Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Animal Farm: Making Connections

For this post, I want to focus on discussion. I want you to take a look at several songs and poems that may lend themselves to connections with Animal Farm. I want you to think about these poems and songs and focus on what ideas they are expressing. Some of the poems are very different, so don't get caught up in trying to connect them together. Some of the works may be familiar to you, but it is okay to be critical of the ideas they are expressing.

Talk to one another - This worked well at the beginning of the year, but then we got away from it with assignment-based blogs. Not any more. Discussion is back!!!!

Overall, choose a poem or two to explore. Answer:
1) What is this poem's overall message?
2) What connections, if any, can I make to Animal Farm?
3) What is my opinion of its idea?


I encourage arguments regarding interpretations.

John Lennon's Imagine - This is a popular song, but what is it really saying? Do you agree?
Charlie and the M.T.A. - Be sure to read the history here and look for irony in how this song is currently used.
Billy Collins - Schoolville - One of my favorites
Robert Lax - The Alley Violinist - Scroll down to find this one
Bob Dylan's Maggie Farm - Avoid the obvious connections here
Wallace Stevens' - The Emperor of Ice-Cream - A difficult one, but I remember giving an explication of this poem in my 10th grade Honors class - years and years ago. There are study guides online for this, but I want you to give it a whirl on your own!!! :)

Here is a video for Charlie on the MTA:

Here is a video for John Lennon's Imagine:

good luck - Blog is due Wednesday December 12th.

62 comments:

Ngoc D. 4 said...

I choose to explore the first poem, Imagine.
My first impression was that it resembles Communism, or Animalism in Animal Farm. The poem talks about no boundaries, everybody is equal. "Imagine no possessions" is similar to the idea of no private ownership. The over all message that I conceived from the poem is for everyone to come together to create a heaven on earth, where there are no hunger, no killing. It is only a dream now, but if there are enough people who share that same dream, it can be possible.
I think that the idea of Communism is great, where everybody is equal and all. However, carrying out the idea is where it went wrong in Animal Farm.

Hillary D 2 said...

I chose John Lennon's Imagine. The overall message of this poem is how peaceful the world would be if there were not any things that distracted people from the pure joy of life. It is he idea of communism--"sharing all the world". John Lennon says he's not alone on this idea and I'm sure, but I'm not sure this idea will work. Of course, communism is still going on in the world and I do not agree with this idea. It's tearing countries apart and families are suffering because of the government. Communists should be stopped. I think they all have the wrong idea! For example in Vietnam, the government controls everything--the people have no say. It drove people out of the country looking for freedom and poor families are stilled trapped in that communist world. It's totally unfair and how do they expect the world to be perfect when they act like that??? I still don't understand it when they say "the people own the government. It seems like a very, very good idea, but in reality it can't ever happen! So, I have to disagree with Ngoc. The world can't just be shared.

Jeniffer M 2 said...

Well, as much as I'd like for it to be possible, I don't think that even if everyone shared the dream of a heaven on earth as Ngoc said, it wouldn't be possible simply because humans aren't robots. They have emotions and feelings such as envy or greed, so someone always wants to be in charge. I agree with Hilary because I also don't understand the meaning of "the people own the government".
I read the poem by Billy Collins, "Schoolsville".
The main idea from the poem is that he feels he might not have taught his students to the best of his ability because he writes "The population ages but never graduates." He wishes he had a second chance to teach them more because in this fantasy town he's always "lecturing the wallpaper,
quizzing the chandelier, reprimanding the air." Perhaps, he has to be teaching and he wishes he could teach more. There were very few connections I could make to Animal Farm. One connection was the idea of "the creative-writing students recline on the courthouse lawn," which reminds me of protests and rebellion, and maybe, later on in the book, the animals will realize what's being done behind their backs and try to stp it. Also, the quote "Wherever they go, they form a big circle," which means they work together and are all equal, no one's in the middle of the circle.

Mr. Walsh said...

I like the debate around "Imagine" - keep going. Make some more specific references to the text!

Jen, about Schoolville, I wonder about education. What is Collins saying about his role as teacher?
Also, are the "utopias" of Schoolville and Animal Farm the same or different?

by the by, I love Schoolville.

Martin D 2 said...

I chose to analyze “The Emperor of the Ice Cream” by Wallace Stevens. The overall message of this poem is that life must go on and that one should enjoy life while it lasts, since it is too short. The poem is about a woman who has passed away, since she is “cold” and “dumb,” where her acquaintances came to have a party, instead of mourning for her. The author’s use of the word “dumb,” in this case, means being a mute, because dead people cannot speak/talk. Also, the line is suggesting that those people should not was their time with such a person, being dead and all. This can be viewed as disrespectful in regards to a deceased person, but there is not always one way to look at things. The party could be a sort of positive response, even though it is a sad event. Everyone dies eventually and it is something that is inevitable. In Line 15, “Let the lamp affix its beam,” is redirecting the reader’s attention to the spotlight, of not death, but life.
A connection that I could make from this poem is that of Old Major’s death, from Animal Farm, by George Orwell. Only a sentences was written to tell the reader of what occurred and that “his body was buried at the foot of the orchard” (35). It did not say anything about the animals grieving over him or anything. He was old and they knew that he would die eventually, in which he did, after giving his speech about the Rebellion, “three nights later” (35).
I have always had this opinion of life and death and agree with the fact that life is too short and must go on. My grandfather died not too long ago. Yes, I was sad, but I had to get over it, as well as my family. My life could not always revolve around such a tragic occasion forever. He lived a great life and now I have to live my own and I am sure that this is what he would want. Honestly, to me, my grandfather will always be alive in my heart, watching over me, because he is a respectable man and I miss him.

Mr. Walsh said...

Martin, I like your connection between the emperor of ice cream and Old Major. Thanks for the personal response as well.

Martin D 2 said...

thanks

Cristina V 2 said...

OK, I haven't written by blog yet (obvously) but I was reading it and listening to the songs posted and my dad and I used to listen to "Charlie on the M.T.A." all the time when I was younger, it was my favorite song! :) Can you guess what piece I'm going to connect Animal farm too. *wink wink* :)

Chloe C 2 said...

I chose the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. I agree with everyone, that he is looking for a utopia of some kind, maybe communism. Theoretically, it’s a good idea. It would be a perfect society, but it would never work for many reasons. If it was a perfect society, there would be no crime and everyday would be the same and organized by some higher being. That would make the citizens very bored, causing them to do something dramatic. There will always be a “leading class” because some people do no have the education nor the view to make right choices. This class should make decisions that will benefit the society and the individuals of the society. But since people are always greedy, they will always take advantage of the position to serve themselves. People are also lazy. If they can get the same benefits with less work, they will do it. In a society where you will get the same treatment whether you are a construction worker, a doctor, or a librarian, people will naturally choose the least stressing job. They usually don’t care about the benefit to the society as a whole, but rather about the benefit to themselves. Any “utopia” is doomed to fail. For examples, look at Russia and Animal Farm. China was once communist, but there were still many people starving in the streets. Basically, the only reason it will never happen is because of the nature of man. Lennon is an optimist. Unfortunately, I’m a realist.

Marissa G 4 said...

I did not choose a poem i chose a song, Imagine by John Lennon.I know all the words to this song because in like the 4th grade i had to sing it for a school play, this was an advantage for me becasue I have a better understanding.Image is saying imagine if life was the way that he decribes it and the world would be together as one not all believe diffrent things. This relates to Animal Farm for it seems to be communism which in Animal Farm is Animalism. Communism and animalism is a government to have everyone be equal and no one set ruler. This song is saying that hopefully some day the world will be one and believe in all the same things, not trying to beat everyone else out of something.

Andy T. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy T. 4 said...

I read John Lennon’s Imagine. I came to the similar conclusions as Hillary did. The poem is about Communism which relates to Animalism. In Animal Farm, the animals want to rebel against Mr. Jones and they wanted all the animals to be treated equally. The animals wanted “No need for greed or hunger,” and to be treated alike as “a brotherhood of man” so they got rid of Mr. Jones. Then I also read Alley Violinist by Robert Lax. I’m not sure what the poem means but I think I can relate this poem to Napolean. When everything went wrong, Napolean had disappeared to a different farm. (I forgot which Mr. Pilkington or Mr. Frederick.) Napolean is like the violinist, he has the choice of staying here with the other animals and have it hard like they do, or he could take himself and go somewhere better with the money he had received.(Not sure how to explain >.<)

Mr. Walsh said...

I'm still wondering about Charlie on the MTA...think about the MTA today and maybe the connnections will come.

Cristina V 2 said...

I chose the song, “Charlie on the M.T.A.” (one of mine and my dad’s favorite song.) In this song by The Kingston Trio, Charlie paid to ride the train to Roxbury and Chelsea for ten cents, but when he got there he needed five more cents to get off, now since he didn’t have enough money he rode the train non stop every day. This can relate to Communism because in communist countries, public transportation is free and here “neath the streets of Boston” it’s not. Also, The Kingston Trio is ‘rebelling’ against the fare increases of Greater Boston, much like Snowball in Animal Farm. Another connection is, Snowball, like Charlie “[will] never return, no he’ll never return, and his fate will be unlearned.” Snowball rebelled against the humans and was then chased out of power by Napoleon and was never heard from again. Snowball’s fate is unlearned.

Jonathan C. 4 said...

John Lennon's song was really catchy, so that's the one that I chose. Personally, I think it is a pretty good song and it contains the ideal utopia. A world where there are no individual countries, just one big place for people to live in. The overall message he is trying to get across is that the world would be more peaceful without the simple things that seperate us, such as oceans and imaginary borders that no one can see. "No religeon too," is one of his lines, which would also show that he wants everyone to basically believe in the same things and act as one person instead of billions of people. This is how Animal Farm began, they wanted equality among all animals. Everyone worked for a common cause and everyone thought the same. They wanted to "live life in peace" as John Lennon says, and they wanted to achieve this by driving away the humans and working for themselves. He states that there would be Heaven and no Hell, but sadly he was right when he said that people will call him a dreamer. Although people would prefer life without any negative things, it is necessary to keep balance in the world. The idea of communism and a utopia on Earth is impossible. As long as people have their own thoughts, feelings, everything, then there will be no possible way to have a utopia. Some people might enjoy the calm tranquility, but what if others find it boring? That would not satisfy everyone and the whole point of a utopia is to have a place where everyone is happy all the time. Also, without a leader figure, how would a country function? Everyone could say their ideas and they would all have to be thought of considerably because everyone is considered equal. I think communism is a good idea, but is impossible to actually fulfill. As long as people have their idividuality then there could never be a true utopia. Also, utopias could be different to all people.

Mr. Walsh said...

I wonder about Lennon's idea of "No religion" - what would Napoleon think? Or Old Major?

Jillann C 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jillann C 2 said...

In John Lennon’s lyrics to “Imagine”, he is actually saying that he wants the world to be a peaceful place where there are no stereotypes or prejudices. He wants the world to be so that there is no reason to make fun of people and no reason to fear anything. The whole poem is based on his dream of living in a world where it is an ultimate utopia of nothing but peace and harmony between people. He realizes that this is a dream and wants all of us to have the same dream so that one day it can become a reality for us.

Jessica F 2 said...

When John Lennon is writing “imagine” he is talking about how he wants to be in a peaceful place. He doesn’t want people to get mad fun of anymore. This kind of mixes in with the Animalism in "Animal Farm" because the goal is to have everyone equal. Even if it doesn’t really happen. I think it’s good to have everyone equal but it’s sort of an unrealistic thing. There are always going to be people who are going to try to hurt others emotionally or physically because of their race or gender. It’s a sad thing to say but it happens. It’s really horrible that it happens but it does.

Elaine T 4 said...

The song, “Imagine” by John Lennon, is mainly about how people all share this one dream of utopia where everything is equal and nothing is lost or in pain. Everyone is content and happy about where they are in lives and they don’t have to fight or kill other living things. Everything in this dream world is perfect and peaceful.

This song relates to Animal Farm because of this idea of utopia. Originally, Old Major wanted all the animals to “imagine” (like the song title) a world where there are no humans, no fighting, no hunger, no pain and no slave labor. The animals were able to dream and fantasize about this perfect society where they would rule themselves and get to keep everything that they produced with the labor they put in, and there would be no greed or hunger or any conflict. Their lives would be simple and perfect with no flaws just like the song describes.

I believe that the world can be like what the song describes. I believe that harming others and killing others can stop once everyone recognizes that it’s wrong to hurt others and I also believe that greed and hunger can be erased from our society. When people aren’t power hungry and don’t feel the need to rule everything in their sight, then the world can truly start to become a utopia and maybe then they can focus on stopping other problems like world hunger or the hole in the ozone layer. If everyone was able to share and try to get along, then all the fighting and bickering would stop and everyone would get along and utopia would be a possibility.

Amir Q. 4 said...

In Imagine, John Lennon talks of a communist world. One free of tyranny and violence, one that is peaceful. He states in the poem that this type of a world would be a utopia, where everything is perfect. The entire poem deals with the same ideals that are presented in Animal Farm (Animalism is communism, etc). He talks of the better points of a communist world and encourages people to look into communism as Old Major does with his speech. Communism is the best form of government, in my opinion, and a communist world would be perfect yet sadly it cannot exist. Human nature, particularly human emotions (such as greed and jealousy), make communism unobtainable (for the time being) and halt any progress in developing into a communist society. The fall of the strongest communist country to ever exist, the Soviet Union, would be a good example of this. At the time of its creation to the reign of Stalin, the Union was plagued with problems, many small rebellions and efforts to seize control by the Bolsheviks were greatly hindered. Afterward, for a moment, it looked like the union might actually succeed in achieving its communist state, but with the rise of Joseph Stalin, this was lost. Stalin changed the union from a almost pure communism following country into a pseudo dictatorship. His greed for power changed the union and stopped it from achieving its original purpose. Even though he modernized the country and turned it into a world superpower following WW2, it lost its true purpose and it in a sense failed to achieve its original goals, in my opinion.

Mr. Walsh said...

Good points everyone! Watch repeating other people and start to deconstruct the poems by lines.

Again - you need not make direction connections to Animal Farm, but look at the idea of the poem.

I still haven't had a response to Maggie's Farm.

Herman T 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jillian D 2 said...

In the “Imagine” lyrics by John Lennon, he is saying that the world should be a peaceful place without tyranny and without a leader. He thinks that there should be no racial stereotyping and no prejudices. The poem is saying that he wants to live in a perfect world in peace. He wants no tension with people of different races or people of different cultures. What he imagines is that there should be absolutely no reason to make fun of people or for people to fear anything. In the case of the poem and Animal Farm is that the animals want a community that is strong and everyone can work together and they don’t want tensions between the different types of animals.

Aaron G 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron G 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron G 2 said...

I listened to and read, “imagine”. On a personal not, this was a song that was played when I was in fourth grade for a tribute to the people that helped out during September 11.
As many people said, I think it sort of has the idea of communism and to share the world.
But I mainly think it is the idea of existentialism (living life in the present, as if there wasn’t going to be a tomorrow). Many hippies where existentialists and in the video there is a hippie. The part that made me think of this was “Imagine all the people
Living for today...” All hippies lived like this and maybe he is a hippie too “I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one” asking people to join him and live life with no possessions and in peace. But this will not happen because their will always be people that want more in life.

sandy j 2 said...

The poem I chose was “John Lennon’s- Imagine. I agree with Hillary when she said how peaceful the world would be if there weren’t certain things that happened. The overall message is how great the world would be if some things didn’t exist, because there wouldn’t really be good or bad, everything would just be in the middle. One thing I think that connects to Animal Farm is when he said “Imagine there are no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for.” In animal farm, if there weren’t any humans, then some of the animals wouldn’t have to die to fight for their freedom. There wouldn’t be any other farms to compete with, so therefore there’ll be no competition. Napoleon wouldn’t have to kill the chickens just because they supposedly disobeyed, everything would really be equal. I think that the idea of the poem is surreal because, I doubt that could ever happen. It’s more like a wish or a thought than something that could come true.

sandy j 2 said...

i meant lyrics. silly mistake. sorry!

Mr. Walsh said...

To Sandy's point, do the Animals, even Old Major, want no countries? Is the purpose of Animalism to create a utopia throughout the world or just Manor Farm? I don't have an answer.

laura b said...

I also chose Lennon's popular song "Imagine". My first impression was that the lyrics are simply asking for a world where all people can live and love without any problems. After reading it a second time, and trying to find similariteies to Animal Farm, I began to see the song as a sugar-coated quest for an unrealistic world of happiness.
While I do agree with Lennon's desire for "no need for greed or humger" I also see the danger in it. If we all had "nothing to kill or die for" then life might take on a boring and painful existence. It is our passion as a human race that makes us disagree and sets us apart from animals. It is the desire to do better and the urge to compete that pushes us ahead in technology, medicine and the world. I can see similarities in the poem and the novel Animal Farm because both see compliance as a positive way to live. Napoloan, the leader in the story, wants the other animals to follow along, but he reaps benefits and the equality is lost. THe same would happen if we all 'joined" John Lennon in his dream.

Mat M. 4 said...

The poem I chose is Schoolsville by Billy Collins seeing that not a lot of people blogged about it so I decided to take a shot. At first glance, the poem is about a professor teacher that has spent his lifetime teaching students and is now currently a mayor of a small town. I think this poem is somewhat contrary to the idea of communism where everything is equal yet I think the author shows how sometimes inequality is beneficial to us. Collins mentions how “The A's [students] stroll along with other A's. The D's honk whenever they pass another D.” which is obviously a separation of social classes. Despite that, he says how a student would show up at random to fifteen years later at his house asking questions about poems, double-spacing, etc. I think that this shows despite that student was part of a social class in school, he or she was part of one equal student body.

(I hope that makes sense because that is where I was stuck… Mr. Walsh if u can help me out somewhat with what I am trying to say that would help a lot. thanks)

Mr. Walsh said...

Matt, I like the idea of "class" system within a class. What kind of system is Collins examining? What are its flaws?

What is the leader like? How does he feel about himself?

You can make some nice contrasts. Also, just enjoy this and respond. Don't get caught up in connecting.

Mat M. 4 said...

Well I have time to kill..

I think that Collins is showing how the flaws of a social class are that nobody is intermixed yet in communist society the “A’s” forced to mix with the “D’s.” Also thinking more about it, I noticed how the teacher is similar to a dictator in a communist nation and how everyone goes to him for guidance.

Herman T 2 said...

I chose John Lennon's poem, Imagine. The poem, itself gives off an overall message of communism. Communism is seen when Lennon uses the lines, "Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world..." Communism is the belief of equality amongst people where everyone shares equally, the world. In Animal Farm, by George Orwell, in which communism is Animalism. The animals in Animal Farm were establishing a communist society until someone becomes power hungry. Going back to the poem Imagine, I can infer that the poem is talking about a world where everyone is equal with no limits and how great this world would be with communism. However, when they tried to establish a communist society on Animal Farm, their society begins to break down slowly with equality. Communism is beneficial for the people, but there are always people that are power hungry so communism turns the opposite way.

Lynn T. 4 said...

1) What is this poem's overall message?
I read “Alley Violinist” by Robert Lax. I really like this poem, although I don’t understand it completely, there is something compelling about it. The message of the poem is about values, and what you value. Every time the violinist plays, the paycheck he receives gets greater, but the respect decreases, and the audience is ruder. The poem is asking about what you value more, the art of the music, and the passion for it and giving people something to enjoy, or playing music to get wealthy.

2) What connections, if any, can I make to Animal Farm?
It connects to the idea of animalism in animal farm. Is Napoleon really in it to make everyone equal, and really for the prosperity of his people, or is he doing it for his personal gain in status and power.

3) What is my opinion of its idea?
I like the idea of questioning your values. What do you really want? If I were the alley violinist I’d play for the nickel.

Mr. Walsh said...

Matt - nice points!

Lynn, thanks for doing Alley Violinist. One of my favorites. I would, too, play for a nickel.

What about everyone else?

Trang T 2 said...

I chose the poem Maggie Farm by Bob Dylan. I think that it’s a farm so it may have something related to Animal Farm we’ve been reading in class. And yes, it’s what I expected. First of all, farm is a place where requires a lot of work and farmers have go through hard times to make a living. The authors have used this meaning or theme of the farm to make connections with our society. As I read along this poem, I notice that the author has repeated the sentence “I ain’t gonna work for…”, he wanted to emphasize his emotions and express his hard work. I always thought that he was a young slave man who worked hard to make little cash, but in return he got no respect from the people who worked for. Dylan has put himself in that position of a slave. Moreover, I also searched for the background of this poem; Dylan had performed this play in 1963 in supporting of Civil rights. So I think that it mentions the revolution of workers. The song is a statement against the government. Each member of the Maggie’s family stands for different aspects of US society. It reminds me of Boxer, the old horse in Animal Farm. They have different thoughts about their work condition. Boxer keeps telling himself, he would work harder and harder, in the other hand, Dylan couldn’t stand his work anymore and he wants to quit. In conclusion, I think Communism Government doesn’t really work for people at all.

Trang T 2 said...

Hi Lynn, I was about to choose that poem. But it seems a little hard to understand the real themes of it. For me, the three people ( the poor family, an old sick lady, and last rich one) represent for three classes ( the lower class, middle and higher) it seems like an alley violinist doesn’t get respect from the rich people, they just use their money to mock and ridicule him/her. And why would you choose a nickel, i’d choose a dime because the old lady respects me..

nashally t 2 said...

The song I decided to choose is Imagine by John Lennon. I think the poems overall message is to let us think about how it would be if everyone and everything was equal and as one. The connections I made to animal farm was how the animals want to rebel against humans. And I feel that they shouldn’t. Like the song said “imagine all the people sharing all the world…” the animals can be considered as humans and need to realize that they should see the humans as equal as them. And humans need to realize that as well. My opinion of its idea is that it should be spread out more. This song is sort of old and till this day the world isn’t being seen as one. Not only with animals but as well as race, religion, and other types of things. All we can do is..imagine the world is as one and hope it will be one day.

Belinda L 4 said...

I read the song to "Charlie on the M.T.A." I found it really interesting. It is like the animals in general. I feel like that the train and the operator is sort of like Napoleon because he lets the passengers (the animals)on the train (the idea of communism) and then Charlie is not able to get off because the operator is not letting him since he is missing five cents like the animals missing a leader or not having the farm to themselves if they get off the train.

Kim C 2 said...

I choose Imagine by John Lennon. The idea of this poem is similar to communism and animalism. Lennon dreams that everybody will try to work for peace and equality; that the world will be shared. There is not ownership and violence in the world the poem is talking about, but that is impossible and I totally disagree with this poem. “Equality” can be defined in many ways, but however it is defined it is hard to reach equality at all times. People fight for their own rights and own possessions; its kind for people to share, though not everybody is willing to share. It’s impossible to create a utopia, when many people have a selfish side to them. One thing of this poem by John Lennon I agree is the title. People can only “imagine” that the world is peaceful and shared to everybody.

Katherine Z 4 said...

I choose the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. I think the overall message in this song is that everyone would be much happier if there are no boundaries, no limit, and no restriction on where they live in. If there are no countries, everyone would be living in one place. There wouldn’t be any killing or bloodshed, or war if people aren’t trying to take over other countries. Everyone will be living as one family, like a brotherhood. Lennon is reaching out to everyone; he’s saying that one person cannot make this “Utopia” come true, in order for this place to be created, everyone will need to contribute. This place will be shared by everyone, not just one leader. This connects to Animal Farm’s Animalism, a system where everyone is equal, no classes, or politics.

Chloe C 2 said...

If I was that alley violinist, I would stand there and keep playing. In that situation, I would probably be very poor and hungary, my music being my only income. But I would play for the children in the slums to keep their spirits up and keep dancing. I would play for that old woman's sickness as she sits waiting for my music. The man doesn't understand the magic that music brings because he only believes in money.
(But I would keep his dollar. I have to make a living somehow.)

Malik B. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malik B. 4 said...

I decided to analyze the song, “Imagine” by John Lennon. I interpreted the song as an address to the societal problems caused by possessions. I agree with Lennon’s notion that life without personal issues in mind many casualties could have been avoided. Although individuality is a nice idea in mind, but when applied it often doesn’t come out as desired. Many have said that “Imagine” is about equality, but I believe that it is more about the problems that arise due to personal beliefs. Rather than equality, Lennon’s words signify unity. Unity is an ideal condition in a Utopian society that many admire. Lennon writes, “You may say I'm a dreamer/ But I'm not the only one”. Lennon’s words resemble the pigs’ plans for “Animalism”. Their dream world was with total equality and freedom which many may say is impossible. Lennon’s impossibility is described as a dream which may very well never come true, although it sounds pleasant. Although selfish acts often create arguments, they also expose the very faults that allow people to learn from their mistakes and better their lives in the future.

Mr. Walsh said...

Yes - I would keep the dollar as well.

About Charlie on the MTA, what about the history of the song? How does the government use the song today (All of you Charlie Card holders)? Notice the irony.

Trang - nice job doing the research!!!

Consuelo T 2 said...

I decided to choose something different, so I chose Emperor of ice cream by Wallace Stevens. I am very unsure of what it’s really about, but I do agree with Martin that it has to do with death. I notice it in the second stanza line 12-13 “And spread it so as to cover her face/If her horny feet protrude…). This sort of reminds me when someone dies they cover their face with bed sheets. It also reminds me of when you see a dead corps sometimes you only see their feet. However i think i think that the first stanza connects more to the book.In lines 1-4 I think it’s talking about people roles in life. When it says the “muscular one”, could be talking about a man that is in power. They used muscular meaning having strength and power. Also I think that the poem is saying that women should stay in the kitchen, be feminine, and to be a slave. In the poem it says “Let the wenches dawdle in such dress”(line 4) uses the word “wenches” which means girl or servant girl. I think the poem is saying that women are servants and that is their role. I also think that it’s saying that women should be feminine “dawdle in such dress”. I think that this relates to Animal Farm because in the book the animals also established roles on the farm. The pigs are the ones who do the thinking because they are smarter. As well as Napoleon, who rules over the other animals. While the other animals such as Boxer and Benjamin are left to do the hard work.

::HebaK:: 4 said...

I agree with Matt. In the poem, Schoolsville by Billy Collins, the overall message is that everyone has to have a leader and separate into groups somehow. He sees kids he has taught years ago and they are together. He watches them with their groups, A students with A students, D students with D students. He is the mayor. He was their leader and somehow still secretly is, watching over them. Communism is like this, even though it was made to believe that everyone is equal. Animal Farm is related to this poem because the animals think that they are all equal, that no one is above them. That, obviously, is wrong. I think that this is what is put into the animals heads when old Major brought up the idea of Animalism. The idea of Utopia is too busy fogging up their minds to make them see and think right

Ashley N. 4 said...

About the song "Imagine" by John Lennon, I agree with a majority of people said about it. I also think he chose the title "Imagine" for a reason.
I think that communism, or animalism, only works in our imagination. It's a good idea, and it seems like it'd work out, but it never does.
A lot of people are attracted to the idea of communism, and it seems to be like a utopia for them, but everyone's utopia is different and they all want it to work out. Therefore there'll be some conflicts.
There exists much confusion as to
exactly who is doing what, and for what reasons, that it al falls apart and turns into a dictorship. In certain areas in the phenomenon of communism, greed and dishonesty threaten to displace the essential essence of the original theory of communism itself... equality.

Mr. Walsh said...

Many of you are focusing on the idea of "human condition" and how this prevents communism from occurring. Where do you see evidence of that in the text? (I encourage you not to point to the exaggerated Napoleon, but rather look at the minor characters - I love minor characters!)

will h 4 said...

john lennon's poem is describing a perfect world of communisn. this is very similiar to animal farm's animalism. lennon wants everbody to be equal and share everything. as we see in the Animal Farm nothing works out this way. After reading the poem this idea of communism and sharing seems great. but when you read Animal Farm you see how these ideas of sharing do not work out too well. john lennon's Poem is simmilar to Animal Farm because they both deal with the ideas of communism. they are both very different because the poem attempts to show the good in communism, but Animal Farm shows all the bad that can come about when communism is in effect.

jimmy v. 2 said...

''Human Condition'' does prevent communism from working. Boxer represents the loyal and hardworking people. In communism not all the citizens would be willing to work hard or work at all. Like Chloe said, ''If they can get the same benefits with less work, they will do it.'' If the people own the government who own everything and everyone is ''equal'', some will probably feel that there is no need to work. There is no chance of movement in ranking or classes so there is a lack of a great work ethic.
There is also the matter that some people arent able to put in as much as others. The chickens/winged animals for example. They contributed, yes, but what they could do was nothing compared to..say..what the horses could do. I think the disabled/elderly people are represented by the chickens/winged animals. The only great contribution they give to the communist society is that they layed the eggs, or in a human situation, they gave life to and raised children who now work for the society.

I read the poem, Schoolsville by Billy Collins. I saw a reference to communism in the lines

''The population ages but never graduates.
On hot afternoons they sweat the final in the park
and when it's cold they shiver around stoves
reading disorganized essays out loud.''

I think it is just like communism, the people age but no one ever really goes on to anything better. (''equality'') They work hard yet still are in conditions where they must ''shiver around stoves''. Finally, ''reading disorganized essays out loud'' can be compared to Animal farms rules. The rules are always changed and altered. The pigs manipulate animals into believing them. The animals recite their maxim, ''two legs bad, four legs good.''

Victoria P. 4 said...

I read the first poem, Imagine. I think that it relates to Animal Farm in many ways because both want to become a peaceful place with love and peace. The poem, in my point of view, is trying to show people that if you work hard enough you could have peace and equality on earth. I think that in one way it is a good idea to try and become equal and peaceful but in Animal Farm it is shown that it is not as easy as it looks. The poem connects with Animal Farm in the sense of trying to become a better place, although plans do not always follow through.

Martin D 2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin D 2 said...

I agree with Amir on the fact that "Communism is the best form of government, and a communist world would be perfect yet sadly it cannot exist. Human nature, particularly human emotions (such as greed and jealousy), make communism unobtainable (for the time being) and halt any progress in developing into a communist society."
In Animal Farm, it is called Animalism. As the story prgresses, the original idea presented by Old Major was subverted because of the pig's actions. In the end, the pigs became the humans, that they originally rebelled against.


[so many people did Imagine]
>_<

DAvid T 2 said...

I was looking at John Lennon's Imagine. I can see why Ngoc and Hillary both interpreted the song to be the idea of the original communism . The song talks about having "Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too." With all of this, everyone could "[live] in peace." He also talks about how "the world will be as one"; how the world will be equal as one being. And, as Ngoc had said, "'Imagine no possessions'" is the idea of having no private ownership. But, although this idea of utopia sounds like the perfect world, I have to agree with Chloe that there will always be a group of people that surpasses the rest. Being equal doesn't necessarily mean it's better. As Chloe had stated, even though Russia and China were communist countries, there were still many people living in poverty. With everything being the same, life will get dull really fast. Think of school. We get up every morning, go to the same classes, have the same lunch menu to choose from everyday, go home and do hw, sleep, and the whole process repeats itself.

DAvid T 2 said...

I have to disagree with you Amir that communism is the "best form of government". It's an IDEAL government for an IDEAL world, but i wouldn't say that it is the perfect from of government. As we've talked about in class, with communism, you can't aim for a higher goal. Everything is equal and there would be no war, no progression. If communism had came to the US and taken over as its form of government, we wouldn't be in the same position we are right now. With people always trying achieve something higher, we could help evolve our society with brand new ideas and inventions. If you guys have already read 19.2 in history, the thing with Ford and his automobile industry was that because of his competitors, new designs and colors were being developed each year. the history book states that "Competition helped the entire industry grow."

Kellie L 4 said...

In the song "Imagine" by John Lenon, he is trying to say that the world should be peaceful, and equal. It is just like communism. This realtes to "Animal Farm" becuase the animals are trying to build a "utopia" around communism. The animals want to all be equal and so does John Lenon. I do not think that communism leads to equality or peace, just anger and competition as in "Animal Farm".

Jen-T 4 said...

I agree with what kellie said about imagine which by the way is an amazing song RIP. the song does relate to animal farm because they want everyone to be equal but as we continue our reading that isnt what has been starting to happen. Napoleon is taking over and everything is starting to act like a monarchy sort-of. He's not continuing with old majors plans in the beginning of the book and what he wanted and now hes breaking the rules they all first agreed on and changing them. Hopefully the other animals decide to rebel against him and have all there dreams come true just like in the song!

Jess L 2 said...

The song Imagine by John Lennon is a very good song, and overall it seems to express the ideas and themes of a utopia, or a perfect world, somewhere that everyone wants to live in. It's complete equality, the very root of communism, and this is how Animal Farm should have been from the beginning, no possessions, no greed, no hunger, etc. However, everyone's ideas of utopias are different, and we all know perfection cannot be reached. I think that once the animals realize that they will never have the perfect life they had been dreaming of, they will overthrow Napoleon and try to remake the government and control of the farm, doing what is best for the animals instead of just one group of the farm (the pigs).

barbara j 2 said...

The poem that I read was Imagine by John Lennon. I taught it was a simple poem but it was easy to relate it with our reading.
The poem is basically telling us to forget about our dirty world and imagine how life would be without anything but the sky above our head, the ground we step on, and ourselves as peaceful human beings.
This poem relate to Animal Farm by George Orwell because this book is about animals who wanted a world of peace. They wanted to wake up and not be scared that their life or their friends and family’s life would be taken away. They wanted for all animals to be equal and to love each other. That was the goal for the majority of the animals in the farm.
I personally would love to live a peaceful life where everyone would accept others for who they are and where they would be no hatred or harm. Like the author of the poem said, we might think he’s a dreamer but who knows what the future have in reserve for all of us.