As we continue our exploration of ANIMAL FARM, it is useful to investigate the perspectives and worldviews of author George Orwell!
Today, we are going to read & analyze an essay titled Freedom of the Press. What’s interesting about this piece? How about the fact that Orwell uses it to advocate for the necessity of free thought and free speech, and to condemn Britain’s policy of censoring anything that cast the Soviet Union (an ally at the time) in a negative light.
Even more interesting is the fact that this essay, about the evils of censorship, was not published as Orwell originally intended!
Click the link and follow the instructions!
THE TASK: Read FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (click for the file). Then, using the “Leave a Reply” feature at the bottom of the page, respond to the following prompts.
1) According to Orwell, why do English intellectuals say that ANIMAL FARM “‘oughtn’t to have been published'”?
2) Orwell writes, “For quite a decade past I have believed that the existing Russian régime is a mainly evil thing, and I claim the right to say so, in spite of the fact that we are allies with the USSR in a war which I want to see won.”
What do you think of this? What happens today when United States citizens speak against their nation or its policies?
3) Describe the meaning of the following Voltaire quotation Orwell invokes in his essay: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
4) Are there any instances in which freedom of speech should not be allowed? If so, what are they? If not, why not?
5) Provide a quotation from the essay you found interesting, and describe why.