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animal farm analytical essay

By sweetdreams_princess Oct 22, 2013 2367 Words
Animal Farm Analytical essay Final Copy

Animal Farm is an allegorical Novel based on the Russian revolution. It explains to us through the characters of animals how Russia transformed into a communist country. It is written By George Orwell who is a very multi-talented author. Animal farm is one of George Orwell’s best pieces of literature and was published in 1945. The book reflects what George Orwell’s opinion and feelings were towards Communism in Russia. World Leaders ad politicians such as Stalin, Trotsky, Carl Marx and etc are resembled in the book through the characters of Animals.

The book is about a farm called Manor Farm where animals are under the cruel rule of Mr. Jones. The animals are described to have “miserable, laborious and short” lives and were given the bare minimum of food, only enough to keep them alive. . One day an old, wise boar had a vision of a utopia where the animals were in charge of themselves, and where animals were not pushed to their limits for the benefit of humans. The wise boar’s dream consisted of basically 2 main rules, that all humans are enemies and that never to acquire human traits such as drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco and sleeping in beds and etc. His second rule was that all animals are friends and that all animals are treated equally and that no animal shall kill a fellow animal. Old Major was the name of the wise Boar and he spoke of the word “rebellion”, rebellion against the humans so that the human race was overthrown. He was unsure when this would come but he wished to pass on his wisdom before his death reached upon him. This rebellion indeed did come, even if it was unintended and out of coincidence the animals had managed to overthrow the human race off the farm. Through this rebellion came the natural birth of two leaders (Snowball and Napoleon) whom the responsibility of leadership fell upon. Both of them were pigs, as the pigs were the most ingenious and intelligent creatures on the farm.

The two of them were the ones who took on Old Major’s words and came up with the first establishment of laws called the 7 commandments life. These were the righteousness of life. Life seemed well for the animals as they were working for themselves but it was noticed that one by one the commandments were being disobeyed by the pigs themselves without the animals realizing it, as the pigs would lie and cheat to cover the commandments that they had disobeyed. Snowball’s expulsion didn’t help keep the farm under control. Napoleon’s jealousy of Snowball and his greed was what led to the abolition of the farm and the disobeying of the commandments.

The revolution was brought to the farm through Snowball and Napoleon. Initially they came up with the seven commandments which were the laws and regulations of Animal Farm. Slowly one by one each commandment started to be disobeyed by the pigs themselves. The Initial commandments read as; “The Seven Commandments”

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

The rules above were what Animal Farm was intended to be like, but that wasn’t the case. The pigs had abused the power they had and out of the seven commandments none had been obeyed and some of them had been amended to benefit the action and desires of the pigs.

Commandment 1 stated that whatever went upon two legs is an enemy. This commandment was defied in chapter 6 when the pigs started trade with the humans. Trade with humans was described as a human trait by Old Major but Napoleon under went with the trade as he said materials were urgently needed, to defend themselves Squealer went around telling the animals that no resolution existed that said there was a ban against trade with humans.

Commandment 2 and 6 stated that all that go on four legs or has wings is a friend and that no animal shall kill any other animal. These commandments were among those which were also disobeyed. A quote proving when this commandment was broken was when Napoleon started the slaughtering of animals. “And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood.” P53. This quote proves how Commandment 2 and 6 were broken as the killing of animals was a sin and Napoleon defied that because a group of animals had committed small mistakes, and killing animals is definitely no sign of friendship. To hide from the animals that Napoleon had broken one of the commandments, commandment 6 was changed to “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause” P56. Showing how Napoleon cheated and lied to his animals so that there would be no animal on the farm who went against Napoleon.

Commandment 3, 4, 6 were basically about acquiring human traits. Commandment 3 stated that no animals shall wear clothes; this commandment was defied as near the end of the book the pigs were seen wearing clothes. Commandment 4 stated that no animal shall sleep in a bed. This commandment was also disobeyed by the pigs as they moved into the farmhouse for their comfort and to be able to sleep in the beds. They then changed the commandment from “No animal shall sleep in a bed” p15 to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”p42. Squealer then further manipulated and tricked the animals to believe that a bed was a place where one slept but it was the use of sheets which was a human trait.

Commandment 6 was the forbiddance of drinking alcohol by any animal. It was again the pigs who didn’t follow the commandment and started drinking the alcohol. Again to defend themselves from the accusations of the animals the pigs had again changed yet another commandment from “No animal shall drink alcohol.” P15 to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.” They obviously did this so that they could drink alcohol and get away with it.

Commandment 7 stated that all animals are equal. To make out when this commandment was broken was extremely easy as there were many occasions where we could see that all the animals were not equal. The pigs were obviously more superior to any of the other animals as they took majority of the ripened crops, they stayed in the farmhouse, and got the best of the facilities, did absolutely no physical labor but got the biggest ration of food.

It was clearly noticed through the change in the commandments that the revolution had completely gone haywire since Old Major died. In old Major’s eyes the revolution was supposed to create a much equal and a much easier life as all animals were supposed to be equal, all animals were supposed to live for their own benefit, and humans traits and humans were not to exist anymore. The farm which Napoleon created was completely the opposite of what Old Major’s rebellion was about, as the animals were working for the benefit of the pigs, the animals were again given the bare minimum amount of food, only enough to keep them alive, there was no democracy and equality on the farm, the pigs acquired all the human traits which were banned by Old Major. I think all the trouble that the animals went through to create this rebellion was a waste of time as life was the same whether Mr. Jones was in charge or Napoleon they had the same “miserable, laborious, short lives”.

An interesting argument would be whether the farm would have been different if Old Major was alive and he was in charge of the farm. I feel if Old major was in charge of the farm it would have been a different place as he was a highly respected Boar with no greed flowing through his veins. As he seemed to have no greed in him I think all the commandments would have stood as they way the were initially.

Throughout the Story Napoleon and Snowball both play a vital role in the development of Animal Farm. The relationship they share is an interesting one which constantly changes. Snowball and Napoleon were by far the smartest on the farm, the quote “pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon.” P9 supports the fact that these two were the big guns of the farm.

“Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker but with a reputation for getting his own way.” P9.
Snowball on the other hand “was a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive.” P9.
These 2 quotes tell us quite a lot about the characteristics of the two pigs. From these two quotes we now know that Snowball was a much better speaker than Napoleon already telling us that there is difference between the two pigs and already a reason for Napoleon to be Jealous of Snowball.

Never the less, the two of them took it upon themselves to create the rebellion as they were the ones who were immensely inspired by Old Major’s Utopia. The rebellion did come and the responsibility of leadership fell upon Napoleon and Snowball. At the moment they shared a relationship of being two partners who were in charge of the farm. They showed excellent partnership and teamwork skills when they came up with the seven commandments. The relationship between the two of them seemed to have grown with the power in their hands. But as soon as they had united to form a team or a political party, suspicions grew against Napoleon. An incident of this was when 5 buckets of fresh milk had gone missing when during the period of a harvest. Napoleon had sent off the animals with Snowball and decided that he would follow soon later, after dealing with the milk. When the animals returned they were to see the sight of the milk gone missing. This early incident shows us signs of betrayal from Napoleon not only towards Snowball but the other animals too. This early sign of trickery already foreshadows to us that the relationship that Napoleon and Snowball share is one that is going to change.

As the story progresses we get more signs and hints that suggest Napoleon is starting to dislike Snowball. The first of these was during the Sunday morning meetings where there were usual debates. “It was noticed that Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active during the debates. But it was noticed that the two were never in agreement” P19. This reveals how the tension between the two of them has changed from being partners to rivals.

The plot further thickens. With the quotation “These two disagreed at every point possible.” P29. This quote reveals how hatred and disliking is starting to brew up between Snowball and Napoleon, and the rivalry between them is now a personal battle. Now we can see that these two characters share a bitter relationship which has become a case where the farm isn’t big enough for the both of them.

The biggest conflict that they had was over the windmill. Snowball wanted to build a windmill so that the animals would have less hours of work but Napoleon on the other hand wanted to increase food production as he felt food was more important, the difference in opinion between them lead to a civil war in the farm as sides were now starting to be chosen. A quotation which proved how much Napoleon hated and disrespected Snowball was when he went to observe Snowball’s plans on the Windmill. “He walked heavily round the shed looking closely at every detail of the plan and snuffed at them once or twice, then suddenly he lifted his leg, urinated over the plans and walked out without uttering a word. P31. His urination over the plans is a big gesture which tells us to what degree the rivalry and hatred between them had come to.

All these actions were the build up to the grand event which showed what relationship Napoleon and Snowball had shared. Napoleon loathed Snowball so much that he exiled Snowball from the farm with the use of the nine vicious dogs that he had brought up. His reputation of having his way lived as he got what he intended. He later decided after all to build the windmill and came up with the lie that Snowball had stolen the idea from him in the first place to solidify his leadership thus proving that it was not the fact that Napoleon disagreed against the windmill which made him drive Snowball off the farm but that he was a greedy pig who wanted all the power for himself.

Later in the story we see how Napoleon takes advantage of Snowball’s absence by blaming all the faults and dysfunctions of the farm on Snowball. “Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.” Thus showing how he didn’t care about Snowball and how much he loathed Snowball. This shows how the relationship of Snowball and Napoleon changed from Partners, to rivals and to bitter enemies.

In conclusion I would like to say that it was Napoleon’s greed and stubbornness that lead to the disruption of Animal Farm and its commandments, and the expulsions and bitter relationship that he shared with Snowball. A quote which really reflected what Napoleon had done to the farm would be the last lines of the book “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures from 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.”P89

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