Critical Review of Animal Farm

Topics: Animal Farm, Political corruption, Animal Pages: 7 (2584 words) Published: November 22, 2011
“Animal Farm”

Orwell, George. “Animal Farm.” New York: Penguin Books Ltd, 1989

Introduction and Summary:
Animal farm is an animal fable with a deliberate purpose. It is very realistic about society and its politics. There are a number of conflicts in Animal Farm: the animals versus Mr. Jones, Snowball versus Napoleon, the common animals versus the pigs, Animal Farm versus the neighbouring humans, but all of them are expressions of the underlying tension between the oppressors and oppressed classes and between the naive ideals and harsh realities of socialism. In the novel, the animals throw off their human oppressors and establish a state called Animal Farm; the pigs, being the most intelligent animals in the group, take control of the planning and government of the farm; Snowball and Napoleon engage in ideological disputes and compete for power. Napoleon runs Snowball off the farm with his trained pack of dogs and declares that the power to make decisions for the farm will be exercised solely by the pigs. Squealer emerges to justify Napoleon’s actions with skilful but double-dealing reinterpretations of Animalist principles; Napoleon continues to consolidate his power, eliminating his enemies and reinforcing his status as supreme leader while the common animals continue to obey the pigs, hoping for a better future.

Evaluation and Analysis:
The book does flow very smoothly. It affected me because on reading it, I waited impatiently to see if the animals would eventually revolt or leave the farm for real equality. But unfortunately, they conformed and adjusted to mistreatment.  The story is told from the point of view of the common animals of Animal Farm, though it refers to them in the third person plural as “they.” The writer style is omniscient. He analyzes the characters and tells the story in a way that shows that he knows more about the characters than they know about themselves. The tone of the novel is objective, stating external facts and rarely deviating from the animals’ expectations of equality. The tone of the story was to show the obvious irony; they wanted a more just policy, but their own leaders became what they revolted against in the first place. Animal Farm shows that the author does not appear conspicuously as a narrator or major character. The anonymous narrator of the story is almost a nonentity, and was not bias in relating the story. Animal Farm is set in an unspecified time period and it shows that the book can be contemporary. I believe it is a lesson or a philosophical insight of how power can destroy a country’s democracy. What I observed in this novel and one of the novel’s most impressive accomplishments is its portrayal not just of the figures in power, pigs, but also of the oppressed animals themselves. Animal Farm is not told from the perspective of any particular character. Rather, the story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to show how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the pigs but also from the animals’ unawareness of being oppressed. When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” I believe that was his comfort to any wrong or doubt that may arise. Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’s oppression.

It is also impressive that Orwell showed how the pigs used a tactic to abuse language as an instrument to abuse their power. Language was manipulated as an instrument of control. In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and distort the commandments of the revolution to justify their behaviour and decriminalize the pigs’ treacheries and to keep the other animals in the dark....
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