An Inter-semiotic Study of Ideology on the Book Covers of Persian Translations of George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Amin Amirdabbaghian, Krishnavanie Shunmugam


All the movements and revolutions in the world’s history have been initiated and reinforced by a systematized structure of standards, opinions and thoughts establishing the foundations of political, social or economic perspectives known as ideology. Ideology plays a vital role when the dimension of translation is added to the argument, for in addition to the author’s ideas and attitudes of the world, the translator’s beliefs and value systems as the medium between two cultures come to bear upon the translated product. In Iran, the 1979 Islamic revolution changed the ideological system from the secular to a markedly religious (Islamic) one and this has increasingly influenced the way in which the cultural products are produced and/or translated. George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945) is one of the most retranslated novels in both the pre- and post-revolution era in Iran. This article presents a semiotic analysis on the cover page of Orwell’s novel and its Persian translations at both the linguistic and illustration information level based on Serafini and Clausen’s (2012) model of typography as a semiotic resource as well as Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (2006) model of semiotic analysis. The cover pages of two Persian translations of Animal Farm which have been produced in the pre- and post-revolution era that is, by Amirshahi (1969) and Hosseini and Nabi Zadeh (2003) respectively will be compared in relation to the cover page of Orwell’s original novel. The findings reveal some distinct differences in the design of the cover pages which represent a particular set of values, beliefs or ideology.


Translation; Semiotics; George Orwell; Animal Farm; Persian

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