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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Humanities 2017, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/h6010002

The Function of HumAnimAllegory

Department of Comparative Literature, Emory University, S410 Callaway Center, 537 Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Academic Editor: Joela Jacobs
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
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Abstract

This article presents a critical reading of the function of the animal-human allegory or the “humanimallegory” in both the animated films Animal Farm and Chicken Run. Based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name, Animal Farm provides an allegorical representation of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union by relaying Orwell’s story of a revolution led by a group of farm animals and its aftermath. Animal Farm ultimately reduces its fictional animal characters to simple metaphors for real human subjects, thus serving the most common function of the animal-human allegory in literature as well as film. In contrast, improvising on the many prisoner-of-war films that were produced during the first few decades following World War II, Chicken Run tells the story of a group of chickens who attempt to escape from an egg farm. Chicken Run complicates the function of the animal-human allegory, though, by resisting the allegorical reduction of its fictional animal characters to simple metaphors for real human subjects. By presenting a critical reading of these two different films, this article suggests that the literary concept of allegory itself remains circumscribed within the philosophical tradition of humanism. View Full-Text
Keywords: allegory; humanism; literary theory; film studies; animal studies; George Orwell; Animal Farm; Chicken Run allegory; humanism; literary theory; film studies; animal studies; George Orwell; Animal Farm; Chicken Run
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Meighoo, S. The Function of HumAnimAllegory. Humanities 2017, 6, 2.

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