The novel, Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is the story of a group of animals who rebel against their farmer, whom they characterize as a tyrant. Under the command of the two main characters, Napoleon and Snowball, both pigs, the animals revolt and form a new type of government called Animalism. Orwell’s premise in the book is that if one person is given great power, that power will not only change the person, but also change his moral outlook on life. Similarly, this premise has been posited in many instances throughout history and literature. One such instance is the rise of Communism in Russia. Through symbolism, Communism plays a significant role throughout the book such as Old Major’s uplifting speech, causing the animals to rebel against their tyrant farmer. Snowball, being the pig equivalent to Lenin, was chased out of animal farm by Napoleon, who is the animal correspondent to Stalin. Both of whom were the Communist leaders of Russia. The similarity between the people of Russia and the animals in Animal Farm is that both rebelled against their leaders, only to be taken advantage of and lied to by their new leaders. A prime example of this is when Squealer, who symbolizes propaganda, not only alters the seven commandments established by Old Major at the beginning of the revolt, but completely changed the laws in the favor of the pigs. “They had thought the Fifth Commandment was ‘No animal shall drink alcohol,’ but there were two words that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: “No animals shall drink alcohol to excess.” (Orwell 109)
The reader is shown here that the pigs have changed the Fifth Commandment, set and agreed upon by all the animals at the launch of the revolt, because of the pigs thirst for alcohol. In order to make their command acceptable to the rest of the farm, they change the Fifth Commandment by writing “to excess” on the end. Another example of the pigs taking advantage of the other animals is when Napoleon has a...
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