Animal Farm Essay

1536 words - 7 pages

Animal FarmEric Arthur Blair, better known by his psuedonym George Orwell, is an Englishauthor commonly known to write about political issues. Orwell has been highly acclaimedand criticized for his novels, including one of his most famous, Animal Farm. In a satiricalform, George Orwell uses personified farm animals to express his views on stalinism in thenovel Animal Farm.Throughout Orwell's early novels, democratic socialism kept the author from totaldespair of all humans(Greenblatt 104). After his better experience in the Spanish Civil Warand the shock of the Nazi-Soviet pact, Orwell developed Animal Farm. The socialismOrwell believed in was not a hardheaded 'realistic' approach to society ...view middle of the document...

Old Major dies before the rebellion just as Lenin did inthe Russian revolution. In actuality Stalin and Trotsky argue over power after Lenin's death,which Orwell satirizes in Napolean and Snowball.In Animal Farm, Orwell immediately establishes the Soviet political allegory as OldMajor (Marx/Lenin) describes the exploitation of animals by humans and the statement 'allanimals are comrades.' The animals continuous singing of 'Beasts of England' can be seennot only as a symbol of the decay of communist notions of a perfect state, but also asOrwell's more general comment on the decline of true liberty and equality in the west(Gardner 99).The progress of the revolution from a common idealism to a state system of leader,police, and workers happens rather rapidly. The animals take over the farm and the pigs( Bolsheviks ) emerge as natural organizers. The pigs rduce the principles of animalism inseven simple commandments and develop a green and white version of the Russian hammerand sickle flag. Instead, theirs has 'a hoof and horn which signifies the future Republic of theanimals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown'(Orwell 89).Orwell demonstrates both the greed and the hypocracy involved in the urge to power whenthe clever pigs contribute to none of the work and keep for themselves all the milk andapples.During the novel, the pigs continue to gain more and more power. In the pigs upriseof power, the Seven Commandments are an effective structural device. Their differentalterations resemble the pigs' progressive rise to power. The pigs' gradual acquisition ofpriveleges- apples, milk, house, whisky, beer, clothes- leads to the final identification of pigand human, Communist and capitalist(Gardner 101).The blurring of the past and the hardening shape of the present, grim, greedy, orjust pragmatic, are accompanied by betrayal of the spirit of the revolution exemplified in theammendments made into the 'Seven Commandments' of 'Animalism'(Gardner 102).Costantly these are changed by one of the deceiving pigs, Squealer. The puzzled animalscan not figure out with trying to keep pace with the pigs increasing authority. So thecommandments such as, 'No animal shall sleep in a bed' becomes, when the pigs move intothe farmhouse, 'No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.' Also, after the savage killings'No animal shall kill another' is modified by the addition of 'without a cause.'Each event that occurs in Animal Farm has a historical parallel(Meyers 106).The Rebellion is the October 1917 Revolution, the Battle of the Cowshed is the subsequentCivil War, Mr. Jones and the farmers represent the loyalist Russians, the hen's revolt standsfor the brutally suppressed 1921 mutiny of the sailors, Napolean's deal with Whymperrepresents Russia's 1922 Treaty of Rapallo with Germany(Meyers 106). The mostsignificant of all the events is the...

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