top-rated free essay

Animal farm

By ayushkiran May 03, 2015 1843 Words
Animal farm
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment todemocratic socialism.[2][3]Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union.[1]Orwell, a democratic socialist,[2] was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War.[3] The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as parasites and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called Beasts of England. When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it "Animal Farm". They adopt Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, "All animals are equal." Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health. Napoleon and Snowball struggle for preeminence. When Snowball announces his plans to build a windmill, Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and subsequently declares himself leader of Animal Farm. Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project. Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consorting with his old rival. Beasts of England is replaced by an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that they are better off than they were under Mr. Jones. Mr Frederick, one of the neighbouring farmers, attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Though the animals win the battle, they do so at great cost, as many, including Boxer the workhorse, are wounded. Despite his injuries, Boxer continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the veterinary surgeon, explaining that better care can be given there. Benjamin, the cynical donkey who "could read as well as any pig",[9] notices that the van belongs to a knacker, and attempts a futile rescue. Squealer reports that the van was purchased by the hospital and the writing from the previous owner had not been repainted. But in reality, Napoleon has sold his most loyal and long-suffering worker for money to buy himself whisky. Years pass, and the pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to a single phrase: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name "The Manor Farm". As the animals look from pigs to humans, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two. Animalism

"Seven Commandments" redirects here. For the Noahide code, see Seven Laws of Noah. The pigs Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer adapt Old Major's ideas into "a complete system of thought", which they formally name Animalism, an allegoric reference toCommunism. Soon after, Napoleon and Squealer partake in activities associated with the humans (drinking alcohol, sleeping in beds, trading), which were explicitly prohibited by the Seven Commandments. Squealer is employed to alter the Seven Commandments to account for this humanisation, an allusion to the Soviet government's revising of history in order to exercise control of the people's beliefs about themselves and their society.[45] The original commandments are:

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
Later, Napoleon and his pigs secretly revise some commandments to clear themselves of accusations of law-breaking. The changed commandments are as follows, with the changes bolded: 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.

5. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Eventually, these are replaced with the maxims, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others", and "Four legs good, two legs better!" as the pigs become more human. This is an ironic twist to the original purpose of the Seven Commandments, which were supposed to keep order within Animal Farm by uniting the animals together against the humans and preventing animals from following the humans' evil habits. Through the revision of the commandments, Orwell demonstrates how simply political dogma can be turned into malleable propaganda.[46] The major change in the pigs' appearance comes in the very last pages of the book. By acting more and more like humans, and through taking on human characteristics (which range from running things to living in the house), the pigs eventually become indistinguishable from humans. Squealer and the other pigs even start walking on their hind legs, until, as the final line of the book says, "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

The most obvious human-like trait is when the pigs start walking on two legs at the end of the book. The construction of the windmill is also a key to becoming more human. It's often said that one of the things that separates humans from other animals is the use of tools and this fits that category. In Chapter VI, the pigs move into the farmhouse and start sleeping in beds. Also in Chapter VI, Napoleon announces that they will start trading with neighboring farms. This trading and establishment of an economy, at this level, is a kind of social integration that is a human practice. Animals do hunt together, live together, but the function is strictly for survival. At this point in the novel, Napoleon and the pigs are initiating a regime who's goals (reached via the other animals' labor) are more than just for survival. They are for luxuries that only the pigs will enjoy - like alcohol. Of course, the pigs (and some other animals) write and speak as well! Probably the more obvious human traits. The pigs also rewrite history through the use of propaganda, so they have a media spinner (Squealer) for their government ideology: all human social institutions. Each of the commandments the pigs, I mean animals, created were to establish a distinguishing difference between themselves and humans. As we watch the pigs break these and change them subtly throughout the book, more and more human characteristics occur. I think a very pointed thing to notice is the humans that the animals come to resemble, those magnified by the efforts of communism that Orwell intended to criticize. I also think it ironic that the animals chosen to mimic humans were pigs. From the beginning, Squealer's manipulation through propaganda resembles the human effort to control other humans thoughts. In Chapter 9, when Napoleon generates a new liter of pigs almost single-handedly, we see the natural effort of humans to create a superior race. Throughout history, as different leaders have risen to power, their 'kind' whether that be in race or religion or something else, tends to have privileges, just like the new liter of pigs were about to receive special treatments by the other animals, and education. Animal Farm by George Orwell has parallels with the Russian Revolution of 1917 and yet it has similarities to any system in the world where power is a corrupting influence. The characters in the "fairy story" are representative of different types of people and the animals' humanization begins early when, even as animals, there is a need to have a form of civilization with rules and leaders (the pigs) and, therefore, inevitably, a "system." The irony of "animalism" and its good intentions highlight the way human nature invades even the most simplistic ideas and channels them into something of benefit to, in this case, the pigs. Orwell is clever to always attribute distinct human qualities separately; for example, Snowball is the visionary, Squealer is the persuader, the dogs are the brute force and Napoleon is self-serving. This ensures that the animals are not complex characters.  In chapter 2, the Seven Commandments are painted on the wall and, subsequent to this, there is a discussion about being created "equal." The animals supposedly reject anything that may be considered human- clothes, beds and so on- but their inability to recognize that rules and the conflict that results are human characteristics, cements their inevitable failure. The fact that, "The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious," (ch 3) means that a hierarchy now exists instead of each animal's worth being measured against what needs to be done and which animal can do it. The survival of the smartest rather than survival of the fittest, which is standard in the animal kingdom, is a concrete humanizing factor as the superiority of the pigs is confirmed.   As the story develops, the pigs begin to enjoy more human comforts and one by one the Seven Commandments are amended to ensure that no animal can question the pigs who are firmly in control. Drinking milk, sleeping in the farm house, sleeping in beds, drinking alcohol and killing innocent animals reveals their growing aptitude for being human. The development of human characteristics by the pigs are accepted by the reader as inevitable and the helplessness of the other animals also confirms that the pigs are becoming more human. By the end, there is little difference between pig and person and it is "impossible to say which is which" (chapter 10). 

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Animal farm

    ...Animal farm critical essay _____________________ “Animal Farm” is a novel written by George Orwell in the form of a fable. The author used animals on an English farm to tell the story of soviet communism. The pigs Napoleon and Snowball are representative of Joseph Stalin and Leon Trostky. By using various techn...

    Read More
  • Animal Farm

    ... Critical Analysis of Animal Farm George Orwell’s classic novel, Animal Farm, unravels the events of the animals of Manor Farm rebelling against the humans, hoping to get to freedom. Many of the characters of this novel relate to actual people in the Russian Revolution and also the plot itself is similar to the Revolution. The idea of commun...

    Read More
  • Animal Farm - 15

    ...In Animal Farm, George Orwell gives a very expressive and accurate description of what happened in Russia after Czar Nicholas II was forced to surrender. The story being an allegory Orwell uses animals to represent people and events that happened in Russian from 1917-1939. Mr. Jones represents Czar Nicholas II, they both lost control over what t...

    Read More
  • Animal Farm by Billy

    ...Animal Farm vs. Soviet Russia Allegory means “a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms; figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another” ( The novel Animal Farm by George Orwell has allegorical connections with the Soviet Union because it has similarities and ...

    Read More
  • Animal Farm Parallel

    ...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 perso...

    Read More
  • The Animal Farm Rebellion

    ...Whitney L. June 7, 2012 The Animal Farm Rebellion George Orwell’s fiction novel, Animal Farm, is an allegory because its events and characters represent key events and people from the Russian Revolution of 1917. An allegory is a work in which it has two meanings, a literal one, and a symbolic one. Animal Farm is basically a retold story ...

    Read More
  • Animal Farm Analysis

    ...Analysis of the book "Animal Farm"    The book "Animal Farm" is a novel by George Orwell. It was written during World War II, but was not printed until after the war in 1945. The book intends to show that Russia was not a true democratic socialist country, and is at the same time a parody of Stalinist Russia. In this book analysis I will t...

    Read More
  • The Russian Revolution and Animal Farm

    ...Jose Ramon Hernandez INGL 3128 0U1 The Russian Revolution and Animal Farm In Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf he writes, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt to the perception of the least intelligent of those whom it intends to direct itself.” No one proves this more than George Orwell in his book Animal Farm. This book...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.