Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

"Animal Farm" is George Orwell's rendition of the Russian Revolution
in a smaller scale using an English farm to represent the country of
Russia. At the start of the book, the animals are discussing how much
they dislike their current farm master, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is the
owner of Manor Farm, the farm on which all the animals live, and he
represents the Russian Czar regime.

The animals begin to discuss ways that they can overthrow Mr. Jones.
Their discussions represent views that are similar to those of the
organizations and people attempting to overthrow the Czar government
in Russia prior to the Russian Revolution. During the book, some of
the main leaders of the farm
animals show signs of similarity to prominent leaders in Russia. One
of the leaders fighting for power, Napoleon, displays similarities to
Joseph Stalin and another, Snowball, is similar to Leon Trotsky. Each
one of these animal leaders shows similarities in behavior and actions
to their Russian counterparts.

As the book continues, the animals are able to overthrow Mr. Jones and
take control of the farm government for themselves. The animals'
running of the farm is much more efficient than that of Mr. Jones and
his men. For example, when the animals tend to the harvest, they
produce far more product than the
humans ever did on the farm. Napoleon and Snowball work together at
first to govern the farm and its animals. They are able to come up
with a set of commandments for all of the animals and also state that
all animals are equal. However, a fight for power begins between
Napoleon and Snowball similar to that in Russia between Stalin and
Trotsky. Napoleon uses a plethora of propaganda against Snowball to
sway the animals' opinions towards choosing him as their leader.

Eventually Napoleon is able to drive Snowball away by having the dogs
chase him out of the farm making Napoleon the farm's supreme leader.
The animals decide to rename the farm so that their farm will be seen

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as under control of the animals. They rename it "Animal Farm." With
Napoleon at the helm of Animal Farm, things would dramatically change.
The two dogs of the farm, Jesse and Bluebell, and their offspring are
recruited to form Napoleon's secret police for the farm. Eventually,
Napoleon has a brigade of nine dogs who follow him everywhere for his
protection.

Napoleon orders the executions of many animals who
confess to being in league with Snowball or being involved with plans
to assassinate Napoleon. The killings were similar to the mass
killings ordered by Stalin in Russia. Before Snowball was driven out
of the farm, he had come up with an idea for a windmill which he said
would modernize the farm as well as increase food surplus and decrease
the amount of work the animals did daily. All of the animals, except
for Napoleon, agreed with the windmill idea. When Snowball was driven
out, however, Napoleon showed his fickleness by changing sides and
proposing the windmill idea as his own. When questioned about Napoleon
changing views on the windmill, Squealer, the communication pig of the
government, stated that the windmill was originally Napoleon's own
idea and that Snowball stole it from him. He also said that the reason
Napoleon was against it at first was because he was using his supreme
intelligence to fool the animals that he was against the windmill so
that he could drive Snowball out of the farm. Squealer was excellent
at thinking on his feet and was great at deceiving the animals to get
them to believe what he told them.

The neighboring farms owned by Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington
represent the countries of Germany and England. On Mr. Frederick's
farm he abuses his animals as well as starves many of them to their
deaths. Mr. Pilkington is very peaceful and keeps his farm very well.
Napoleon entered into business deals with both Frederick and
Pilkington but backed out of
Pilkington's deal in favor of the Frederick deal. However, Frederick
double crossed Napoleon and gave him fake money for the lumber he
bought and later attacked Animal Farm similar to the way Hitler's
German forces attacked Stalin's Russia even after they had entered
into a peace agreement. Frederick and his men destroyed the windmill
that had recently been completed. The destruction of the windmill was
similar to the destruction of Stalingrad during Hitler's invasion of
Russia. Both were symbols of the attempts at modernization and symbols
of the efforts citizens were willing to put forward for their country.

When Napoleon took control of the farm he instituted seven
commandments. As his reign grew longer, the commandments seemed to
change as the pigs violated them. The other animals were constantly
questioning whether the commandments had changed, but Squealer was
there to ease their minds. The changes in the commandments included
the adding
of "with sheets" to the commandment against animals sleeping in beds
and the adding of "without cause" to the commandant forbidding any
animal to kill another animal. Napoleon and the other pigs are
constantly going to the edge in their behavior and many times falling
off only to have Squealer pull them back up to safety.

One of the more interesting members of the farm, Mollie, represents
the Bourgeoisie or middle class of Russia. Mollie is only interested
in
herself and not in the well being of the farm. She constantly shows up
late to work but finds an excuse like waking up late or having a sore
leg. One time one of the animals saw Mollie being fed sugar by a man
from one of the neighboring farms but when confronted, she denied it.
Soon after the revolt against Jones, Mollie leaves the farm never to
be seen again.

As Napoleon's reign continues he begins to be more and
more like Jones himself, the very governing force that the animals
revolted against. In addition to sleeping and living in the farm house
and using all of the man made conveniences that he outlawed at the
start of his reign, Napoleon begins to drink alcohol and uses much of
the food surplus to trade for cases of whisky. Napoleon's drinking
habits result in another of the commandments being changed by adding
the words "to excess" to the end of the commandment outlawing the
animals drinking of alcohol. Eventually, so many of the commandments
are changed that the commandment wall is erased and replaced by the
words, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
The "some animals," of course, referring to the pigs. Many of the pigs
are also seen walking on two legs as if to emulate human behavior
almost exactly.

So much of the pigs' behavior mirrored that of the humans on the farm
prior to the revolution that Animal Farm made absolutely no progress
through the years the book covered. Animal Farm was a great commentary
on political leaders and their personal agendas. It also showed that
people need to be careful and look beyond the words when picking their
politicians and leaders. Animal farm was a great novel and a very
impressive representation of the Russian revolution on a smaller
scale.
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