Animail Farm

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Revisionist Tactics in Animal Farm

The revisionist history casts a false light on actual events and misrepresents reality. The book Animal Farm is a vicious assessment of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution. Retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones by a democratic coalition of animals quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. In the fable the pigs use revisionist tactics to maintain control over the other animals and to maintain secrecy and sovereignty. The revisionist tactics are displayed in many ways throughout the book, more particularly with the Seven Commandments, Snowball’s role in the Battle of Cowshed, Napoleon’s role in the Battle of Cowshed, and Boxer’s death.

In chapter two, they have just overthrown Mr. Jones and the pigs reveal to the other animals that they have taught themselves how to read, and Snowball replaces the words on the sign “Manor Farm” on the front gate with the words “Animal Farm.” Snowball and Napoleon, having reduced the principles of Animalism to seven key commandments, paint these commandments on the side of the big barn. When it becomes apparent that many of the animals are unable to memorize the Seven Commandments, Snowball reduces the principles to one essential maxim, which he says contains the heart of Animalism: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” The animals accept the maxim without argument, and the sheep begin to chant it at random times, mindlessly, as if it were a song. A few days after the bloody executions, the animals discover that the commandment reading “No animal shall kill any other animal” now reads: “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” As with the previous revisions of commandments, the animals blame the apparent change on their faulty memories—they must...
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