Animal Farm: a Communist Manifesto

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George Orwell's novel Animal Farm is subtitled "a Fairy Story", a label that may make the book seem innocent and appropriate for children and classroom settings. However, the title is misleading. Animal Farm is a work of Communist propaganda. It outlines and even encourages the overthrow of the government, and explains how to set up and maintain a communist state. It portrays government as corrupt and the public as stupid and easily manipulated. Orwell himself wavered between being a socialist and an anarchist.

Considering communist China's recent increased aggression, and deteriorating relations between them and the United States, the dangers of this novel must be weighed carefully. It is often taught in schools, despite the fact that it promotes un-American and anti-capitalist views. With today's political tension, do we really want our youth exposed to literature that encourages them to mistrust the government and supports a communist revolution?

Animal Farm is indeed communist propaganda. It describes how the animals overthrow the farmer and drive all humans from the farm. The animals create a set of laws, designed to eradicate all hints of humanity; humanity, of course, represents the capitalist government. The animals call each other "comrade", a clear reference to communism, and after the revolution the animals are described as being "happy as they had never conceived it possible to be" (Orwell 46).

The novel describes much of the procedure of running a communist state. It includes the organization of committees, and the indoctrination of the public in the form of the sheep. Snowball, one of the two pigs who leads the animals after the revolution, teaches the sheep to repeat the maxim "Four legs good, two legs bad," which, he feels, sums up the laws of their new system - completely against humans. Methods of propaganda are also explored. Carrier pigeons are sent to neighboring farms to deliver heroic tales of the revolution...
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