George Orwell's Animal Farm
Length: 842 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)
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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,
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.