“I Have a Dream” and “Animal Farm” Essay
The Old Major’s speech as portrayed in the narrative Animal Farm has myriad of similarities and differences to the speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. in his attempt to liberate the black race from discrimination. This essay compares and contrasts the content of both speeches.
The Old Major’s speech marks the beginning of the novel. Although the speech is directly meant to incite the farm occupants (animals) to rebel violently against poor leadership, the speech by Martin Luther King Jr. does not openly advocate for bloody resistance against racism and lack of equality.
As Martin King cautions, “let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred” (Echols 5). In spite of the racial injustice that had dominated America for ages, King in his speech calls for a peaceful demand for justice.
On the other hand, both speeches offer a mirage of bad leadership. In the case of Old major’s speech, it is purely a lamentation of the infamous satirical and totalitarian leadership that dominated the Soviet Union during the Post War era.
Both speeches have been presented as visions or dreams for a better future.
In Animal Farm, Old Major encountered a bizarre dream the previous night which he wished to share with the rest of the animals in the farm. Similar to the speech by Martin Luther, the latter asserts severally that he “has a dream”, for instance, that a time will come when the American nation will “rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed” (Echols 25).
The speech by Major is characterized by both Leninism and Marxism similar to the one that brought about Communist revolution in Russia. However, King’s speech was largely embraced by both the discriminate blacks and some whites who strongly felt that equity was necessary for all races.
As already mentioned, the Major’s speech is a complete satire of an unpopular Communist regime that dominated Russia. However, Martin Luther’s speech is not satirical since the orator was directly addressing the concerns of the black race in America. As he observes in his speech, even after one hundred years of independence, there is still no liberty for Negros. On the same note, while Martin Luther’s speech is reiterating the need for freedom for the black race, the Major’s speech is a reflection of poor governance.
The speech by Martin Luther King Jr. makes use of metaphorical expressions and imagery to drive the point home. For instance, Luther refers to unjust treatment of the black people as “a black check… marked insufficient funds” (Henry1).
Such a symbolic expression adds not only the flavour but also strength to the speech and arouses the attention of the audience as well. Similar to the speech by Old Major in Animal Farm, the song “Beasts of England” is symbolic of the maltreatment of animals in the farm who must rise the occasion and fight their way to freedom.
In Martin Luther King’s speech, there is urgent need for the blacks to enjoy their freedom just like the whites do. In fact, Luther is calling for equality in all aspects of life, whether an American citizen is black or white. Hence, the final destination for this peaceful crusade is to place all races on the same platform, economically or politically.
On the other hand, Old Major is warning fellow animals not to turn into the ways of man after clinching their freedom. According to Major, “no animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade” (Orwell 11).
Echols, James. I have a dream: Martin Luther King Jr. and the future of multicultural America, Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004.
Henry, Charles P. Long overdue: the politics of racial reparations, New York: New York University Press, 2007.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm, Fairfield: 1st World Library-Literary Society, 2004.
George Orwell and Animal Farm: A Critical Analysis Essay (Critical Writing)
George Orwell is one of the most celebrated English writers in the 20th century (George 1). Orwell’s literature is committed to telling the blatant truth about the violation of people’s freedom and the injustices against the common person (Dedria and Hall 479). Such phrases from his works such as “some animals are more equal than others” have become so popular especially in political dialogues and has shaped peoples opinions regarding the kind of society we live in (Kerala 36).
George Orwell was born as Eric Arthur Blair in India in 1903, where his British father worked as a civil servant. He had gone to school like any other normal child and graduated at Eaton. He worked in the Burma police force and later unsuccessfully tired his hand in a few business ventures but failed. He left for Spain where signed to fight in the Civil War.
His experience at the civil war de-motivated his views abut communalism so much that he decided to live a life of voluntary poverty (Dedria and Hall 479) . This was a deliberate effort to “experience want and the suffering of the oppressed.” He wanted to feel how poor people fell to help in shaping his own theories on socialism.
At this time, he had changed his name to P.S. Burton. His first novel Down and out in Paris was published as a response to his life in voluntary poverty. This was soon followed by Burmese Days and several other essays that questioned the capitalist state. His best novel so far is The Road to Wigan Pier which was published in 1937. It highlighted the pathetic life of the poor.
By this time, he had started gaining prominence as a writer and his works were starting to draw attention. He continued his writing with such other publications as Keep Aspidistra Flying and Coming up for Air followed in 1936 and 1939 respectively. His novel The Animal Farm is his most popular. It is a satirical piece that portrays a society that fully embraces totalitarian rules, much to the chagrin of those who want “individual freedom” (Kerala 36).
All of George Orwell’s novels seem to defend one main theme: socialism. Socialism is a means of production whereby everything is owned communally or by the government. Every one has equal opportunities to everything. The kind of socialism that George Orwell’s socialism advocates for has real life significance as it portrays “revolutionary idealism experienced in Russia and other countries which was betrayed by the revolutionaries themselves, who continue to pat lip service to revolutionary ideas” (Pierce para 6).
His novel then Animal Farm brilliantly employs satire in highlighting shameless betrayal by leaders who promised change (Dedria and Sharon 479). Orwell continues to portray authoritarianism as an enemy to individual freedoms.
There were concerted efforts to bring in a revolution that would save the people but always the new leaders upon tasting power, would betray this revolution. The new leaders would start to dictate what the same people whom they were fighting to save would do, or not do. Such betrayal was the end of socialism in the 20th century. In this light, this paper will analyze one of his prized novels The Animal Farm.
The story begins in Mr. Jones’ farmhouse one night. Old major, a fatherly and respected pig, gathers the animals and informs them that they had endured deplorable conditions for a long period under the leadership of human beings and therefore a rebellion was necessary. Unfortunately, Old Major succumbs to old age. This leaves the other pigs to lead the fights for animal rights (Darell Para 1).
Two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball lead a successful revolution and after Mr. Jones and his family is driven out, Manor Farm is renamed The Animal Farm (para 2). Other farm owners try to attack the Animal Farm but Snowball lead a successful defense in the battle of the Cowshed and gains much worship amongst the animals (para 4). This is the beginning of his downfall. False rumors are spread by Squealer about him and when the conflict heightens he chased off the farm by Napoleons’ guard dogs (para 6).
Squealer is adopted as Napoleons spokes animal, and proposes the construction of a windmill, an idea that Napoleon takes credit for. Unfortunately the windmill is destroyed in a storm but Napoleon blames Snowball and sentences him to death, together with his sympathizers (para 6). Napoleon and the other pigs begin engaging in anti animalism behavior, such as doing business with men and drinking whiskey. To add to this, the food rations to other animals are reduced significantly (para 6).
To concur with his message that new and old leadership is alike; pigs begin to walk on two feet just like humans. They also start claiming, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The novel culminates in the farm being renamed The Animal Farm while napoleon and other pigs initiate friendship with the human owners of the neighboring farm, and they become just like humans (para 8). It portrays the betrayal of the initial comradeship, and the pessimism of revolutionary movements (Hall and Poupard 348).
George Orwell creates characters carefully to fit in the roles that he needs them to play. Some characters play a major role in this novel. Mr. Jones is a tyrant who represents the old corrupt order. In the real world George Orwell model 20th century dictators such as Stalin in Mr. Jones (Novelguide para 1).
Snowball and Napoleon are the two pigs who lead a successful revolution. They were ambitious of leadership and courageously fought Mr. Jones out of the farm (NovelGuide para 7-12). The pigs are symbolic of the calculating leaders who benefit from tyrannical leadership. They are opportunists who do not spare any chance afforded to them to exploit their advantaged position in the society (Hall and Poupard, 348).
Squealer is Napoleons manipulative tool in the farm. The dogs are a symbol security only that this security is used negatively. They are also another group of loyalist who are misused by the system to gain advantage over the common person (NovelGuide para 20- 22). However, other characters only play minor roles. Old major represents the good father figure in the society who can be relied upon to give concrete advice. He is respected by other animals who take to his advice without question (NovelGuide para 4).
Boxer and Clover in contrast are dedicated workers who spent all their life serving the society (They are also foolishly gullible in that they believe in all the propaganda spread by Squealer who is a “manipulative and persuasive figure” (Hall and Poupard 348). Just like Squealer, Moses is another manipulative and cunning character in the novel (NovelGuide para 7, 8; 13, 14). Benjamin is an enigmatic character who continues to do his work without care of what is happening (NovelGuide para 17).
The Animal Farm is a classic example of how governments exploit and deny citizens of their basic rights. At the beginning of the novel, the animals are united under the banner of exploitation by Mr. Jones. They manage to fight and install their own leaders in Napoleon.
However, Napoleon turns to be worse that Mr. Jones and “perverts the first commandments he helped make” (Pierce para 7). For example, he reduced food rations for the other animals other than the fellow pigs. Some animals as Boxer worked so hard, believing in their leaders but instead of being rewarded, were exploited for the benefit of the same leaders they served (Grade saver para 15-17). These governments use totalitarian rules, to stay in power and subvert justice.
The pigs lead a revolution against Mr. Jones totalitarian rule, but ends up worse. They not only “end up in Mr. Jones House and position but also in his clothes.” Some critics have used this evidence to explain that The Animal Farm is another successful attempt by the society to kill dissent (Hall & Poupard 349). Propaganda is also used to intimidate those who question the abuse of human rights. Napoleon manipulates information and deceives the animals when he gains full power.
He spreads false accusation against snowball leading to his expulsion from the farm. Squealer, Napoleons spokes animal, is the face of propaganda in this novel. He represents governments’ spokes people who are responsible of spreading rumors that help their government to gain a tighter grip on power (Grade saver para 9-11). As a last result, totalitarians use violence and terror, to silence the rebels. Its effect I that it makes people submit to such government. These who do not are either forcefully exiled or killed.
Such excesses were practiced against Snowball and his sympathizers. Terror can also be propagated through propaganda. Squealer instills fear into anyone who tries to question napoleons unethical conduct, with Mr. Jones return (Grade saver para 12-14). Another major theme highlighted with importance is Education. Unfortunately, it is present in a very negative light. In its essence education is supposed to enlighten people. However in this novel, those in power “manipulate those that are governed” by the use of education.
Take the case of the pigs as an example. They realize the intellectual vulnerability of the other animals and take advantage of it by manipulating the seven commandments to their advantage. Napoleon also uses education negatively when he teaches new pigs his oppressive doctrines (Grade saver para 7, 8). This mis-education cast the other animals deeper into oppression.
In conclusion, George Orwell manages to highlight the fact that the biggest political problem is not capitalism but authoritarian rules. Whether under capitalism of socialism authoritarianism is inevitable this is because of the insatiable nature of human beings. The novel The Animal Farm will continue to be relevant for eons to come it.
It explicitly portrays the “class struggles and exploitation in the human society” (Hall & Poupard, 348). New leaders, like Napoleon, who assume power on the platform of change, abandon the idea as soon as they come to power. Most of them end up being worse of than the ones they replaced. They are just turn coat revolutionaries who take advantage of people’s naïveté to fulfill their selfish personal ambition. Because of the effect his works have achieve he one of the best authors in the 20th century.
Darrell, Victor. Plot Summary: Animal Farm, by George Orwell. N. d. Web.
Dedria, Bryfonski & Hall, Sharon.Twentieth century literary criticism: George Orwell. Michigan: Book Tower. 1979. Print.
“Grade saver.” Animal Farm Themes. 2010. Web.
Hall, Sharon & Poupard, Dennis. Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Michigan: Book Tower,1982. Print.
Kerala, Calling. From Eric Blair to George Orwell, Biography. London: Sage, 2003. Print.
“NovelGuide.” Novel Analysis: Animal Farm, Characterization. 2010. Web.
Pearce, Robert. ‘Orwell, Tolstoy, and ‘Animal Farm’. The Review of English Studies, 1998. Web.
Storgaard, Claus. Opinion Essays : George Orwell, Socialist, Anarchist or what…? 2004. Web.
“Animal Farm” by George Orwell Critical Essay
The book Animal Farm by George Orwell is a satirical piece published in 1945 in England. The book attacks the Soviet communism by use of animal characters in a typical English farm, Manor Farm. The animal characters figuratively represent the leaders of the communist party.
The animals stage a successful revolution that topples the farmer but later, corrupt pigs driven by selfish interests fling the binding principles of Animalism. The book has different meaning to different readers depending on their personal experiences. For a person conversant with the history of the Soviet Union, the book illustrates the communist party rule that followed the revolution of 1917 and now perceived as an oppressive and counter revolutionary force.
A teenager from a war torn country will get the perception that revolutions do not work and absolute power corrupts as seen by Napoleon’s neglect of the seven commandments. In the Animal Farm, the animals toil all year long not for their benefit but for their masters. This is the perception of an employed person who feels that his or her efforts are for the master’s benefit.
The novel is a fable against socialism in the Soviet Union that uses animals as figurations of the Communist Party leaders. The two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, represent the Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky as leaders.
The revolution in 1917 led to establishment of communist new regime headed by Vladimir Lenin. The new communist regime took control of all land and industry from the private sector into government control in order to create a centralized economic system that would put the country on the road to economic success.
However, after Lenin died in 1924, Stalin and Trotsky took control of the Soviet Union. Stalin plots a plan that leads to the exile of Trotsky, a proponent of communism. Just like in the Animal Farm, the struggle for power and influence between Snowball and Napoleon leads to the banishment of Snowball from the farm. After the revolution in the Animal Farm, the animals establish the philosophy of Animalism in order to be different from human beings.
Nevertheless, later after Snowball’s banishment, “the pigs start to walk on their hind legs just as the human does” (Orwell, 1996, p. 121). Stalin just like Napoleon in the Animal Kingdom became dictatorial and neglected the philosophy of communism. He committed acts of brutality towards his perceived political enemies who at the beginning were his confidantes.
On the other hand, the Animal farm represents the current political events of revolution in dictatorship countries like Libya. The book illustrates why and how revolutions take place to remove modern dictatorship. The oppressive rule encourages the revolutionary movement to remove the regime.
The Major incites the revolution by his statements to the loyal and energetic Boxer. “And you, Boxer, the very day that you lose those great muscles of yours and lose their power, Jones will sell you the Knackers, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds” (Orwell, 1996, p. 20).
Ironically, Boxer is betrayed not by Jones but by the other animals who take over after the revolution. Revolutions also bring the dilemma of what happens after the removal of the dictatorial regime. A youth living in Libya right now would identify with this book given the recent upspring that seeks to topple Gadaffi’s tyrannical rule.
In the Animal Farm, the animals sacrifices were not rewarded only the masters, the pigs, benefited from the Animals’ hard work. A middle class worker will get the idea that his or her efforts benefit the top leadership in the organization, but not the worker. For example, “all year long the animals worked like slaves…not for the benefit of themselves” (Orwell, 1996, p. 63). This implies that the masters benefitted from the animals’ hard work but the animals without realizing it became the slaves of their masters.
The book Animal Farm by George Orwell represents political satire that has different meaning to various people depending on their personal experiences. Historically, the book represents the Communism history in Russia. The Animal farm also concerns the recent revolutionary political events in many countries and their aftermath of such revolutions to the people’s lives. Hard work by the animals in the Animal Farm is not rewarded instead it is the maters who benefit most; the meaning of the book to a middle class worker.
Orwell, G. (1996). Animal Farm. New York: New American Library.
The Animal Farm by George Orwell Essay
George Orwell, the author of animal farm, was a man who believed in Socialism. He saw the working class as being mistreated by the capitalist government. He wanted a socialist economy with equality and elimination of selfish individual interest. In his book, the Animal Farm, he showed the evils of a Communist market system.
In Russia there had existed a system where a minority of rich and aristocrats owned most of the property under a dictatorial king. The poor rebelled and overthrew the capitalists in order to have a communist society that would follow the ideas of Socialism. All land and property was taken from private individuals and companies and put under the supervision of the government. Unfortunately there arose Stalin, a leader who was a dictator, pretending to practise socialism yet he was a cruel dictator.
Orwell loved socialism but did not like the Communist perception of Socialism and the way they applied the socialist model. He wrote the novel to warn the people of the dangers of Communism. At the time the novel was written Communism was spreading to Europe and the United States. In the novel animal farm, Orwell tells the story of Communism in the form of an animal fable.
There are animals which represent the poor people while the pigs and dogs represent the administrators of the leader. The pigs and dogs are given power to rule the animals by Jones who is the leader.
However these administrators are greedy for power. Through bloodshed and spread of propaganda they destroy all who rise up to complain or resist them. In Russia there were power struggles between Stalin and Trotsky. These were the chief allies of Lenin who was the leader of Russia at that time.
Stalin was shrewd, once Lenin died in 1924 he ganged up with his supporters and Trotsky had fled from Russia. He held public executions of the people who supported his competitors. All the land was owned by the Jones who controlled the economy. The animals were given anthems and rules such as all animals are equal but there are animals which are more equal than others.
The book shows the way it is human nature for people to create classes in the society which leads to oppression of the poor. The pigs and the dogs are corrupted by power. The working class are naive, uneducated and gullible and do not question the intentions of the government. In the book Orwell shows the way totalitarian governments use terror and violence to control the people. Jones overworks the animals and even takes their food.
He beats them up and slaughters them. The pigs and dogs like their master do not hesitate to use this cruel tool of control. Jones exploits the animals for the physical labour. He also exploits the pigs and dogs though they are not aware. He uses them to scare the animals to do his bidding. Orwell through the book predicted that communism would not last long and would fail economically to achieve social equality.
At the end of animal farm the pigs have become the new oppressors. There is no liberation for the animals. Stalin became the new dictator in Russia just like the dictatorial king the poor had rebelled against. The predictions are true since in the communist nations the economy has not done well at all. In the end Europe and America fought with the Communist nations showing that a government-controlled economy was not the way.
A capitalist economy was democratic and the best model to emulate for any country. His warnings on Communism were true however adopting Socialism is not the way either. Capitalism is a good system that encourages competition and there is growth in the economy. Goods and services are produced and given efficiently. A capitalist country should only be careful to ensure there is no exploitation of the poor.
Domination in the Book “Animal Farm” Essay
The animals believed in the concept of equality and democracy. According to them, a good life without working for others (humans) was pivotal in the society. They fought and risked their lives for democracy within the farm due to these convictions. However, nothing ended up as they expected. It is notable that the democracy turned out to be a dictatorship. On the other hand, working hard turned out to be slavery propagated by adverse ideologies.
It is obvious the animals were left with nothing to stand for in the end. There are five basic reasons why Napoleon attained superiority in the Animal Farm (Orwell, 2003). The factors that promoted this include propaganda, dogs (military force), censorship and the seven commandments. The principal rules changed to favour people in power. Animals were always kept busy in the pretext of patriotism. This discussion highlights some of the factors that influenced the social life of the animals within the farm.
The leader applied the concept of propaganda to instil fear amongst the animals. This aspect was also used to cause tension and anxiety. The animals feared the system of rule. The oppressive regime used the principle of “divide and rule.” This propagated the state of anxiety in the entire farm. The oppressive regime recruited different lead animals as potential personalities that caused fear through propaganda. Dictatorial regimes have applied this concept to oppress their followers.
The “less equal” animals became disadvantaged and suffered neglect (Orwell, 2003). Exploitation was the key theme in the farm. This included material and strength in the form of labour. The grievances of the animals never reached the higher levels of rule. This is because propaganda, fear and anxiety caused significant tension and apprehension amongst the regular animals of the farm.
Dogs (Military Force)
The dogs in the animal farm represented the military force. The force caused a considerable stir and impact in the management and protection of the farm. Under the pretext of citizen protection, they managed to curtail and oppress the regular animals. They applied dictatorship to inspect and supervise work activities within the farm. Apart from this, they applied selective judgment and punishment of the “offenders.” Apparently, the highly discriminated animals were innocent (Orwell, 2003).
Napoleon used the military force to encourage and sustain tyranny within the farm. In fact, it is observed that many of the innocent animals died out of frustration and neglect. The military supported too much work with minimal pay or income for the regular occupants of the farm. Indicatively, the role of the dogs during the instances of rebellion and uprising within the farm can be noted. They helped Napoleon to scatter the riots, arrest and molest the various leaders and lobbyists within the farm.
Censorship (No Body Can Talk)
Additionally, the dictators within the animal farm operated through censorship. The animals facing the oppressive rule could not complain. The authority undertook various security surveillance measures (Orwell, 2003).
These measures targeted advocacy groups and other informal leaders who complained against the severe oppression and dictatorship within the farm. Every animal was to remain obedient to the overall authority. Total submission was encouraged and regarded as an important indicator of patriotism, hard work and dedication.
The 7 Commandments (Rules Changed for Whom in Power)
The regime designed seven basic commandments that governed the animal farm. It is critical to note that all these commandments only favoured the people within the high ranks of power. The regular animals were not involved in the development of these discriminative rules (Orwell, 2003). The rules encouraged hard labour. The normal animals within the farm only executed these manual and tasking jobs.
Notably, the leaders did not engage themselves in the core manual duties. However, they were the main beneficiaries from the proceeds of the farm. Their families benefited from the large portion of the harvest. On the contrary, the regular occupants of the animal farm did not benefit. Instead, they were used as tools for hard and demanding labour. The seven commandments were used to propagate these forms of oppression. Therefore, the rules were crucial in enhancing the suffering of animals in the farm.
Patriotism and Keeping the Animals Always Busy
The animals were kept busy with the daily manual jobs. The concept of patriotism also made the animals believe that all activities were done to promote the overall growth and development of the farm. Patriotic belief made the animals work hard in the spirit of development.
The animals that complained were punished and regarded to be unpatriotic (Orwell, 2003). In this regard, many animals endeavoured to sustain compliance and obedience to the farm and its leaders. The leaders also discovered that the animals could work effectively if they were kept busy at all times. Generally, the occurrences in the animal farm reflect a typical dictatorial society. Such occurrences are evident within many societies. George Orwell applied a satirical and reflective literature to elucidate these negative trends.
Orwell, G. (2003). Animal Farm: 1984. Orlando, FL: Harcourt.
Social Conflicts in “Animal Farm” by George Orwell Essay
One of the main characters of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” says: “Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no!… Man is the only real enemy we have” (Orwell, 2). This quote is truthful from the point of view of revolutionary moods overwhelming the farm. Orwell uses the farm analogy in order to demonstrate the most common course of all revolutions and struggles for freedom. The animals identify a leading power, which is men, as the ruler that must to be overthrown. This is the only way for the animals to establish equality and create a flourishing, happy and wealthy society. “Animal Farm” by Orwell is a description of the metamorphoses that happen within a freedom movement turning it into a corrupted tyranny.
The novel demonstrates the emergence and development of a disorder within a society when some of its members start to feel dissatisfaction with its leaders and ruling power. Orwell shows that sometimes it takes one extremely expressive speech to start a revolutionary movement, set the masses against the ruling powers by means of pointing out the unfair aspects of their life, inequalities, social and financial gaps. In literature conflict is a literary element that serves to represent the opposing parties or ideas that confront each other. The conflict of “Animal Farm” starts with the sentence: “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing” (Orwell, 2). This way the author shows the differences between the two sides of the initial conflict that begins because of the inequalities and exploitation of farm animals by humans without an appropriate reward. This kind of conflict is highly recognizable, as it is commonly experienced in the world of nowadays.
Gradually, the brotherly and united atmosphere in the farm society fades away. Just like any freedom movement, the farm faces the inevitable difficulties such as lack of enthusiasm, cold attitudes and constant disagreement in the leading segment of the group. In order to emphasize the feelings of discomfort and uncertainty the author puts the farm into unpleasant and cold settings. The purpose of the literary element called setting is to establish the time and place of the happening events, describe the way the surroundings affect the characters and their story. In “Animal Farm” the setting describes winter: “In January there came bitterly hard weather. The earth was like iron, and nothing could be done in the fields” (Orwell, 18). Even though the description is quite simple and not very rich, it successfully establishes the cold mood starting to bother the farm and its society. The reader gets to sense that not only the weather was “bitterly hard”, but also the relationships between the leading members of the farm.
Orwell starts his story with the emphasis of one of the most popular social conflicts – the disagreement about equality and properties, saying: “Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no!… Man is the only real enemy we have” (Orwell, 2). This statement serves as a the first sparkle of the upcoming revolution that soon gets out of control, turns into a disaster and burns down the participants making them miss the way things used to be in the past.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. 1945. Web.
Animal Farm by George Orwell: Literary Analysis Essay
The Significance of the Novel’s Title
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is often discussed as an allegorical story having the features of the fable and satire. The significance of the novella’s title is in its satirical nature. An animal farm is traditionally discussed as a place where animals are bred by humans. The farms are usually named after the owner. However, Animal Farm is rather different. It is a place where animals are owners of the properties (Orwell 6). While referring to the meaning and significance of the phrase which is used for the title of the novella, it is important to emphasize the opposition between animals and humans as well as their differences.
The name “Animal Farm” is chosen by the characters in order to accentuate the meaning of this specific place where animals can rule instead of humans and without being exploited by them. However, the ownership of the farm by animals is a rather provocative idea. While focusing on the fact that the purpose of the novella is to present the political regime in the Soviet Union before World War II, it is possible to state that the title is significant because it stresses on the inhuman nature of Joseph Stalin’s regime.
Providing the title for the work, Orwell seems to ask the questions about the differences in the regime of the Soviet Union and irrational rule of animals at the farm. The satirical title is significant because the reader also starts asking questions about the political and social meaning of the work’s message and ideas. Using the metaphor in the title, Orwell draws the readers’ attention to the Animal Revolution as his allegory to demonstrate the results of the Russian Revolution of 1917. That is why, the title is significant to represent the double meaning of the story and stimulate the readers’ interpretation of the literal and allegorical aspects of the title’s meaning.
The Major Themes Emerging from the Novel
The major themes represented in the novella are the leadership and power in the Soviet Union, corruption, inequality, the role of an individual in the society, exploitation, and control. In his novella, Orwell discusses the power in the Soviet Union as unlimited and focused in the hands of the elite, as it is typical for the totalitarian governments. These leaders are allegorically described in the characters of pigs which are powerful, but selfish, brutal, and vicious.
The theme of corruption is discussed with the help of stating that the absolute power makes people corrupted or depraved because of receiving the unlimited resources. Thus, those pigs which were the leaders of the Animal Revolution betrayed their ideals and principles and chose to live in Manor’s house because of the convenience and extreme desire to satisfy their needs while ignoring the needs of the other working animals.
These animals chose to follow the principle “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (Orwell 112). Thus, Orwell also discusses the themes of inequality and the role of an individual in the society. In spite of the fact that the Animal Revolution was declared to be organized for the welfare of all animals, only the leaders received the real benefits. The same situation was observed in the Soviet Union. The social stratification and the division into rich and poor were not overcome, but these problems were hidden now.
The other significant themes discussed in the fable are exploitation and control supported by the leaders of the revolution. The pigs were satisfied with the work of hard-working animals, but any differences in the views could result in violent punishment. This allegory represents how Stalin chose to resolve the problems with dissenters. Thus, the institution of control in the Soviet Union was People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, and the guarantee of the pig’s control was dogs which were used to persecute dissenters.
Important Passages and Their Significance
The first passage that attracts the reader’s attention is Major’s speech about the role of a man in the world. Thus, Major states in his speech, “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing…Yet he is lord of all the animals” (Orwell 6). Major notes that a man makes animals work, but he does not care about them and only “prevent them from starving” (Orwell 6). Major persuades the animals that they are better than men, and they have to rebel while focusing on the threats of exploitation. This statement reflects the Socialists’ arguments declared during the Revolution period. However, the significance of the passage is in the fact that the pigs forget about their statements and ideals while receiving some power, and they begin to exploit the others.
In Chapter 3, the principles of the Socialists’ attitude to work and the belief of the poor men in the better future are reflected. The horse Boxer becomes the inspiration for each animal at the farm because he follows the principle “I will work harder!” (Orwell 25). This principle is actively followed by lower class animals, but it is also used by the pigs to exploit workers. The ideology prevents these animals from seeing the real situation at Animal Farm.
The expulsion of Snowball with the help of dogs can be discussed as the important allegorical description of the struggle between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky observed in the Soviet Union. Napoleon used any means to realize his goals. Thus, he even used dogs to fear Snowball and other animals, “there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws” (Orwell 48). Napoleon could not support his leadership with the other resources, and he used violence to state his high social position. This moment is symbolic to represent the deterioration of any Socialist principles declared at Animal Farm.
The next significant passage is about judging Snowball as a scapegoat. This moment is important to describe the reality of Animal Farm and make the reader think about the Soviet Union. Snowball was accused of any crime at the farm only because he did not support Napoleon. Thus, “If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it” (Orwell 66). This situation is the first step in persecution of ‘suspicious’ animals who were killed because of possible relations with Snowball. Thus, the authorities used all the cruel methods to justify and support their regime while violating the basic principles of their ideologies.
The Setting of the Novel and Its Effects on the Plot
The setting of the novella is imaginary Manor Farm located in England. This place becomes the communal territories owned by the animals after the Animal Revolution. The time period associated with the described events is not stated clearly. Animal Farm becomes the place where animals live according to the principles of Animalism and equality of all the animals. These equal animals have the only enemy in men who previously exploited them (Orwell 4).
Concentrating on the allegorical meaning of the novella, it is possible to note that the setting of the story is the Soviet Union after the period of the Russian Revolution in 1917 and during the rule of Joseph Stalin. The setting can be considered as affecting the plot significantly because all the described events occur at Animal Farm where animals try to develop the communal way of life. This farm becomes the place where the pigs win the people and receive the power.
It is possible to state that the story could be told in a different setting, but the features of the fable can be lost because the main distinctive feature of the novella is its allegorical character. While putting the characters of the novella in the real-life setting, it is possible to discuss the moments from the history of the Soviet Union without using any allegories and metaphors in order to accentuate the dramatic features of the regime. That is why, this story about the corrupted leaders and exploited workers presented in a different setting can be discussed as ineffective to reveal the author’s main idea.
The Main Characters and Their Motivations
The main characters of the novella are Napoleon, Snowball, Boxer, Squealer, and Old Major. The character of Napoleon is based on the personality of Joseph Stalin. This ambitious pig tries to become a leader at Animal Farm after the death of Old Major. Napoleon uses all the means to achieve the goal, and these means are mostly persuasive speeches and unlimited violence. As a result, Napoleon can be described as a political tyrant.
The character of Snowball is based on the personality of Leon Trotsky, the main rival of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. Snowball is an idealist, and he also wants to become a leader at Animal Farm, but he fails because of avoiding the use of extremely violent means and because of basing only on clear reasoning. That is why, Napoleon makes Snowball to become a scapegoat in order to receive the opportunity to cope with the smart competitor.
Boxer is a cart-horse who represents the working class at Animal Farm. Boxer works hard in order to contribute to the farm’s intensive development. He is loyal, strong, naïve, and dedicated to the ideals of Animalism. Boxer can be discussed as motivated by the belief in the better future and achievements of the working animals.
Squealer is a pig who develops the active propaganda at Animal Farm in order to support Napoleon’s ideas and personality (Orwell 20). This pig speaks in a language that is understandable for other animals, and he is motivated by possible Napoleon’s appraisal.
Old Major is an old pig whose character is written basing on the personalities of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Old Major is rather wise, and he is focused on finding better ways for living at farm while avoiding the exploitation of the animals as the lower class (Orwell 3-4).
The character to whom it is possible to relate oneself is Boxer. This cart-horse is the appropriate choice because he discusses the hard work as the only way to build the better future, and he tries to inspire the others to do their best to create something good.
Important Relationships Among Characters in the Novel
The novella is based on the description of the problematic relationships between Napoleon and Snowball. These pigs are rivals in their fight for leadership at Animal Farm. In spite of the fact that both Napoleon and Snowball orient to receiving the unlimited leadership and influence, the methods which they use to complete the goals are different. That is why, Napoleon who uses violence and fear becomes more powerful than Snowball who uses reasoning. Although Napoleon and Snowball start applying the ideals of Animalism to the regime at Animal Farm as a team, they need more leadership after the death of Old Major. These relations are typical for the ruling class where the fight for power is not only extreme but also prolonged.
The other type of relationships is described with references to workers Boxer and Benjamin. Orwell describes these animals’ relations the following way, “the two of them usually spent their Sundays together in the small paddock beyond the orchard, grazing side by side and never speaking” (Orwell 4). The horse and the donkey represent different visions and attitudes to the world and situation, but they live to support each other. Boxer can be described as more enthusiastic and positive while discussing the ideals of Animalism. Benjamin is more passive in spite of the fact that he understands the real situation at Animal Farm. Benjamin chooses not to do anything to fight cruelty of Napoleon’s regime. Thus, this character represents the visions of the majority in the Soviet Union.
The Narrator of the Story and Impact of His Perspective on the Narration
The narrative point used in Animal Farm is third-person, and this point of view can be discussed as impersonal and omniscient because Orwell is not presented as a character in the work. First, it seems that the narrator’s perspective is limited, but then it can be found that readers know more than animals which are discussed in the story. Thus, the anonymous narrator not only retells the actions of the animals, but he also presents the motives and thoughts of such characters as Napoleon, Squealer, Boxer, and Benjamin (Orwell 3-14). As a result, this perspective can affect the way according to which the story is told and understood by the reader. The used approach helps accentuate the differences observed in the pigs’ words and their actions toward horses and other animals who work hard to support the commune.
The narrator can also be described as detached, and there are more opportunities for the author to present and develop the allegorical meaning of the novella while focusing on the real motivation of such characters as Napoleon and Squealer while comparing their words, thoughts, and actions with the activities of the other animals at the farm (Orwell 58-64). This point of view is effective to be used in the allegorical novella because the reader can understand all the hidden meanings of the described activities and words while referring to the narrator’s ironical remarks and hints. That is why, the choice of the perspective is rather appropriate to address the idea or message of this satirical story.
The Ending of the Novel
The ending of the novella can be discussed as appropriate to represent the result of corruption of the ideals and principles developed at Animal Farm. Thus, animals betrayed their ideals because of the benefits of working with their human enemies. However, the last scene demonstrates that animals and men have many features in common because of their focus on cheating, exploiting, and expanding only their own properties. The quarrel between animals’ leaders and people observed by the other animals through windows of the house reveals that “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” (Orwell 118). Thus, Orwell effectively stresses on how tyrants can use the ideals against the lower classes and support their power with the methods used by the previous leaders.
Recommendation of the Novel
Animal Farm should be recommended for reading to others because this allegorical novella is helpful to understand the nature of the totalitarian regimes which can be based on the effective ideals. Furthermore, the novella is interesting to help readers become detached from the historical reality associated with the Russian Revolution and look at the events from the other perspective. The satirical anti-utopian story makes the reader think about the true nature of many things observed in different types of the society. In his work, Orwell effectively discussed the threats of the totalitarian regimes which can be corrupted because of the aspects of the human nature. That is why, the novella can be actively recommended to the readers to look at the political events from the perspective of the satirical fable.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990. Print.
Seven Commandments of Animal Farm
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm which is on the subject of the existence of a society of animals living on the Manor Farm.
One first thinks that this novel is about the animals living in a farm from the title. But as the story goes on, it gradually begins to make the readers understand the depth content of the workings of society in Communist Russia. George has accurately compared the society of human to the animals to the animals living in the Manor Farm. In this novel, author has compared the Russian revolution, where animals represent the significant personage and act as the leaders in the Russian Community. Animals are used to demonstrate the operation of the communist class system and how the citizens(people) respond to this and the effect of the leadership by early Russian leaders such as Stalin on the behavior of the people of Russia. For instance, the Old Major makes the speech to other animals about the idea of revolution.
Since he dies before the beginning of the revolution, it could be compared to the Karl Marx, whose ideas set to the Communist revolution in motion. The seven commandments are consider as one of the important step in the revolution which changed by the rulers of the Farm. This paper talks about how the seven commandments were altered during throughout the story and whether it reflects the message of the Communist Manifesto.
After the rebellion took place in Manor Farm, it changed to Animal Farm where the set of laws was introduced to the citizens of the farm by the leaders. The set of laws which are known as The Seven Commandment are said to be “form an unalterable law by which all animals on Animal Farm must live forever after.”(Orwell) These Commandments were so important that they were painted by Snowball and Squealer “in giant white letters that could be read from thirty yards away.”(Orwell) The original Seven Commandments ran as:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall sleep in a bed
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill other animal.
No animal shall wear clothes.
All animals are equal.
These commandments were to be followed by all the animals living on the farm at all times regardless. As one can think from the reading, the simplest phrase that explains these commandments is “Four legs good, two legs bad.” As time passed by, the commandments were altered by the rulers of the farm. Napoleon (the pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after rebellion) who very cleverly broke the commandment and reintroduced as “four legs good, two legs are better” Even though the first two commandments state that anyone on two legs is bad and should not be allowed in the farm, they were wracked in the first year. Since the pigs started walking on two legs, the first commandment was violated and more over, the hero of the Battle of the Cowshed, Snowball turned into an enemy of the Farm as he was thrown out by Napoleon and allowing trading through Mr. Whymper resulting in violation of commandments .
The pigs moved back in to the farm house which result into alteration of the first commandments. The third commandment restricts animals of the farm to sleep in the bed which was forced to change by Napoleon with the modification of the commandment by adding “with sheets.” After the rebellion took place in the farm, the first commandment overruled which was being “all animals equal.” As we read thru out the story the pigs were keep on changing the “unalterable laws” for their comfort just like we saw above with sleeping in the bed. According to Napoleon, sleeping on beds is not a major change yet it was not allowed earlier since humans lived on the farm slept on the bed. The pigs changed the commandment so wisely that the other animals of the farm didn’t think as the violation of the commandment.
The next commandment to change is “No animal shall kill other animal”. This happens not long after the confessions and executions of animals on the farm that were supposed traitors and in league with Snowball. After these executions, again Muriel, Clover and also Benjamin plus some other animals felt this did not square with this commandment. Once again, the pigs have changed the Commandments in order to justify their actions. The animals read the Commandment they though did not agree, “No animal shall kill other animal without cause”, and then the animals see how really the Commandments had not been violated.
The next commandment to change is when Napoleon abuses his power and made life harder for other animals. The pigs impose more control while reserving privileges for themselves. Squealer justifies every statement Napoleon makes, even the pigs’ alteration of the Seven Commandments of Animalism. “No animal shall drink alcohol” is changed to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess” when the pigs discover the farmer’s whisky.
One would never think that pigs ever made change to the commandment about the clothes as they were enough powerful to rule other animals. The seventh commandment explains that all animals in the world are treated equally without distinction. Instead of considering the commandments as “unalterable laws,” they were replaced by worthless slogan “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others,” which is totally opposite to with what they were introduced to other animals.
Orwell has used images to make his argument stronger. He has used events to help readers to understand his thoughts. While reading, we develop a feeling of sadness inside getting attach emotionally to the story. Orwell writes in a way to targets readers emotions because they have the ability to experience and feel the pain suffered by the animals in the farm. The following scene could create a strong sorrow to the readers “So Napoleon, with the help of his dogs, slaughters anyone who is said to be disloyal. 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, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones.” To top it off, Napoleon outlaws Beasts of England, which had served as one of the only remaining ties between Animal Farm and old Major?” (Orwell 65).
In conclusion, it is clear that George Orwell intended his novel to allegorically represent the figures and events of the Russian Revolution, and through the characters of Mr. Jones as Czar Nicholas, Old Major as Karl Marx, and Napoleon as Joseph Stalin, Animal Farm makes a profound statement regarding the abuse of power. The animals began their revolution with the best intentions. However, their noble ideas of a utopian society where “all animals are created equal” gradually deteriorated into a totalitarian state with a cruel and unjust dictator which, of course, mirrors the chain of events that turned Marx’s dream of a classless society into the nightmare of Stalin’s ruthless regime. This evil cycle of rebellion, power, and then corruption is best described by Barbara Tuchman: “Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.”
Orwell, George. George Orwell’s Animal Farm. New York: Nick Hern Books, 2004. Print
Coffin, Judith G., and Robert C. Stacey. Western Civilizations. 16th ed. Vol. 2. 500 Fifth Ave, New York, N.Y. 10110: Norton & Company, 2008. Print.
Animal Farm Essay
Animal Farm by George Orwell is a compelling book that represents the Russian revolution.
Although viewing through the eyes of animals may seem like a childish concept, George does well into making sure that the book carries out the message of revolution. I, t believe that George showed that Animal Farm was influence of the Russian revolution by the naming of the naming of the three pigshe condition of the farm, and because of the story’s plot.
Many of the animals in Animal Farm show some sort of connection with the Russian revolution. Most animals either represent a group of people, or an in/famous person. As the story starts to evolve from the rebellion to the Battle for the Windmill, the reader notices how the animals start to change. When Mr. Jones gets expelled for the farm, 3 smart pigs take of the farm: Squealer, Snowball, and Napoleon. These three animals all represent dictators the had a part in the Russian revolution. The most significant part about the names given to the pigs is that they all symbolize the dictators perfectly. Napoleon was a tough, fierce looking boar but was not much of a talker. This would symbolize Vladimir Lenin., the man who took the place as dictator after Tsar Nikolas II stepped down. Squealer’s name was the identity of Joseph Stalin, the man who kept on “stalling” the people by giving quick, persuasive speeches on how Lenin was improving the country. Snowball is then given to Trotsky because like Snowball, Trotsky split up with Lenin. In Animal Farm, these three pigs basically reenact what took place during the Russian revolution: betrayal, propaganda, and communism. Perhaps the best device Orwell used here was how he portrayed the three dictators as pigs, which shows how the name and appearance of the characters in this book are significant and related to the revolution. A reason I believe Animal Farm is about the Russian Revolution, was the choice of naming for the pigs
During the whole book, Animal Farm was in very poor condition. During the beginning, Manor farm was a horrid place to live: with little food and lots of work everyday, it portrayed what Russia looked like during the time of revolution. Only during the early stages of the revolution was the economy slightly better than once before. Each time that Orwell describes the farm, it is always in a different condition, one which usually matched the condition of Russia. When Napoleon was ruling, the farm was in great economic trouble: the animals were always hungry while the pigs and dogs had enough to eat. This shows that the economy did not actually improve the animal’s lives, but instead started to benefit the other, higher members of society which is exactly what the Russian revolution resulted in. The condition of the house was a symbol of Russia’s state which shows how Animal Farm is connected with the Russian revolution.
The final way that Orwell connects both Animal Farm and the Russian revolution, was by the plot of the story. During the entire book, all of the events that took place had at least some little significance with the Russian revolution. When Napoleon oppressed the animals by killing them, it was portraying what was known as Bloody Sunday. At the beginning of the novel, when Old Major is giving the speech about rebellion, it was all inspired by the old man known as Karl Marx. Even the event in which Mollie leaves shows the connection between the two. The easiest event to determine the the two, was most likely the scene were Boxer is taking away. If you think back to the revolution and back to Boxer’s motto ( I will try harder), you can easily see the Boxer is representing Russia’s working class. Because Russia’s working class was so loyal to Napoleon, most of them ended up for worse then before, and even worse, is the fact that Napoleon tossed away these people as if they were tools. The exact same can be said for the Russian revolution. Lenin abused his people and Orwell demonstrates it very clearly and profoundly.
I believe that George showed that Animal Farm was influence of the Russian revolution by the naming of the naming of the three pigs, the condition of the farm, and because of the story’s plot. By renaming and reassigning of few characters and events, George Orwell has described the revolution into a book that can is comprehensive to both little kids and young adults.
Qualities of good leader
A good leader is supposed to help their followers when they are in need, lead them to a better place and guide them into reaching their goals and accomplishing tasks. However, some leaders are only in their position because they want power to manipulate their followers to benefit themselves and to get what they want. In the novel “Animal Farm”, the author George Orwell shows the consequences when a leader (Napoleon and his assistant Squealer) has absolute power and only cares for himself, and how many of his followers (the rest of the animals on the farm) suffered under his control.
At the beginning of the story, Napoleon and the pigs started off with good intentions and it seems like they are doing a fairly good job at leading the farm and the animal by giving persuasive speeches to get the animals to rebel against Jones. When the rebellion first started, the pigs always tell the animals how they should work together as a group.
They gained their trust by patiently teaching them the alphabet, as well as how to read and write. Snowball always tries to use new methods to improve the animal’s life.
For example, when the seven commandments was established, Squealer and Snowball helped to paint it on the wall. Snowball even read it outloud for all the animals because he knows that a lot of them can’t understand the writing (pg. 43). In addition to this, he also tried to get the animals more involved on the farm by creating different committees, such as the Egg Production Committee for the hens, Clean Tails League for the cows, and even reading and writing classes (pg. 49). Though these Committees weren’t very successful, but it shows how the pigs are trying to unite all the animals together and help them get used to their new life.
On the other hand, Napoleon has a very different style of leadership compared to Snowball. And as the story continues, him and Squealer began to reveal their true selves. Throughout the story, you can see the manipulation of Napoleon on the animals, he started establishing himself as a leader by lying to the animals and tricking them into thinking whatever the pigs tell them is right, and they should not oppose against them. He also uses his assistance Squealer, which is an excellent speaker and propagandist, to speak for him and mislead the animals. For example, when all the animals were confused about where all the milk and apples went, Squealer said, …You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege?
Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health He then continues to lie to the animals that it has been proved by Science that milk and apples contain necessary substances for pigs, as they are brainworkers (pg. 52). This shows how the pigs are making up excuses to cover up for themselves and fooling the animals. Adding onto this, the pigs also began to make up rules that are only beneficial to themselves.
For example, throughout the entire spring and summer, all the animals worked sixty hours per week, like slaves. And in August, Napoleon announced that there would be work on Sunday afternoons too. He stated. This work is strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half (pg. 73). He used the word “voluntary” to give them the idea of freedom, then threatening them with the reduction of their rations if they don’t volunteer. This shows how Napoleon and the pigs don’t really care about the animals at all, and that they’re manipulating them by giving them threats.
Furthermore, while the pigs first only started using their power for food and small benefits, their desire grew, so they began to change and break rules. For example, Napoleon announced that Animal Farm is now allowed to be engaged in trading with their neighboring farms. This resulted in confusing some of the animals, as they were told to never engage in dealings with humans, and to never make use of money. But Squealer then lies to them about the decision and asks, “Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere? (pg. 77)
The animals were soon convinced as there was no proof that it was written down. Another example would be when the pigs suddenly started to live in the farm house. But as the animals began to doubt about the resolution against this, Squealer again, convinced them by saying it’s necessary for the brainworkers of the farm to have a peaceful and quiet place to work in (pg. 79). It is later revealed that the pigs has changed the Fourth Commandment from “No animal shall sleep in a bed” to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” (pg. 79). This again shows how Napoleon and the pigs just keeps on making up excuses about why the pigs are allowed to have benefits (though it’s stated in the Seven Commandments that all animals are equal) and how the rest of the farm are treated unfairly.
In conclusion, Napoleon and the pigs do not qualify as good leaders. Though they started off with good intentions, but as the story goes on, their true selves began to reveal. They have failed to guide the animals into reaching their initial goal. Instead, they started manipulating them into fulfilling their own desires, which made the animals suffered under their controls.