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George Orwell's Animal Farm

By SE4N Nov 25, 2013 844 Words
Introduction:Animal Farm is a short story written by George Orwell in 1945. He had a lot of difficulty getting it published due to its underlying criticism of the political situation in Russia at the time. The story takes place on a farm somewhere in England. The owner of the farm, Mr.Jones, comes into conflict with the animals. The animals rebel, and finally scare him away. Two of the strongest animals, Napoleon and Snowball (two pigs), think that they can run the farm.


Both Napoleon and Snowball felt that they should both be leaders in the early stages of the Revolution. Snowball had many ideas about how the Farm should be run but he came into conflict with Napoleon over many of them. Napoleon, was a shrewd pig who could see that he could not carry on working with Snowball. This was shown when the two of them could not agree on the building of a windmill.When it looked as though Snowball might win the arguement, Napoleon "uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before" and the vicious dogs ran in and attacked Snowball and ran him off the farm. Eventually Napoloeon won and the windmill was built, and soon after Napoleon ran Snowball off the farm. In order to make sure that he would stay leader in the future, Napoleon told the animals that Snowball was against them and was friendly with the old farm owner, Mr.Jones.

The similarity between Napoleon and Joseph Stalin (the Russian leader), is very clear. Without being elected both became leaders, surrounding themselves with powerful guards (the dogs in the case of Napoloeon), living in luxury while the workers were forced to work hard. At first Napoleon seemed to be a good leader, but very quickly became greedy and power-mad, causing conflict among the animals. As in Russia, the idea of Socialism soon changed to a virtual dictatorship, with Napoleon ordering animals to build and work while he sat around. When some of the other animals decided that he should no longer be a leader, Napoleon set the dogs on them and had them slaughtered. He had become power mad, going totally against the ideas of socialism, and ruling through fear, as did Stalin.

As time went on, he became like Mr.Jones, caring for himself without thinking about the others, which was partly the reason for the original Revolution. Food rations were under his control, making sure that he got plently but the animals got just enough to keep them working. Soon after the Revolution the animals got together to make seven commandments that they should all stick to, but Napoleon slowly moved away from them as his power increased. One of them, 'no animal should kill another animal' was ignored by Napoleon when he slaughtered those against him. 'All animals are equal' was another but again, was ignored as Napoleon felt he was above all the other animals and should be praised as their leader. The animals first commandment is of interest. 'Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy'. As the story progresses we see Napoleon become more of a two-legged leader. He can be compared to Mr.Jones in his treatment of the other animals, and in many other actions become the two legged person that was originally hated by all the farm.

He had many conflicts with the other animals on the farm, but with Squealer by his side he made the animals think he was right. In discussing the eviction of Snowball and the questions he met over the decision, Squealer explains that " loyalty and obedience are more important", and Boxer continues " If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right". Showing that Napoleon has taken sole power of the farm and influenced all the other animals, a political move. With the dogs by his side, he disregarded suggestions made by the others, or met them with violence. As a result non of the other animals ever got close to him, he was very much alone and perhaps this also made him resent some of the animals with the friendships they had.


Orwell set out to express his feelings and thoughts on the situation in Russia. By using the basis of a farm and the animals to take the place of people, he was able say more of what he really felt. Napoleon, the leader, pushing himself into the position after the Revolution ( the similar situation with Stalin), anyone not agreeing with his ideas is ejected from the community (as with Snowball). Slowly becoming all powerful, as he sees how easy it becomes to lead, especially with guards by his side that are feared by the rest. Any disagreement is dealt with severly (the dogs). Finally by the end, the situation turns around so it is not so different from the farm that was run by Mr.Jones that caused the original Revolution. The four legged animal slowly becomes the two legged enemy that was hated by all the farm animals.

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