Allegory in Animal Farm by George Orwell Analysis


Animal Farm is an allegorical novel based on the key events that took place during the Russian Revolution that began in March 1917 to January 1918. Once you have read the novel, it is evident that power, corruption, violence and education are key elements to this book.

In Animal Farm George Orwell uses power and corruption to demonstrate how these themes can be toxic to a society and cause it to fall. In the beginning of the novel, he shows a hierarchy between the animals, where the dogs and pigs come into the stable first and sit front row, followed by the rest of the animals. This discretely shows the hierarchical power the animals hold. Old major constructed seven rules in support of animalism, which were later corrupted and erased by Napoleon who manipulated them all to just one rule “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”. This went against the entire basis of animalism. The animals now address Napoleon as “our leader, comrade Napoleon.”. This contradicts the rule of “all animals are equal”. Due to how manipulative the pigs are and how uneducated the sheep are, the pigs are able to easily brainwash the sheep into following the views that pleases them. The sheep change their motto from “four legs good two legs bad” to “four legs good two legs better”. This is a depiction of how Napoleon and the pigs manipulate those inferior to them for power, with Squealer’s eloquence and Napoleon's sternness. “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.”. This figuratively shows how corruption changes people, till they are unrecognisable.

Orwell uses an allegory to satirise the animals in order to communicate how power hungry & corrupt the pigs have become. 

From my understanding of the novel we can relate these themes to human nature and how we can become power hungry, corrupted, in need of a high social status and too lazy to work for what we want. This, in turn, can lead us to making unethical decisions and how the idea of communism on the surface is great but also dangerous.

Mr Jones, who is a main human character in this novel, is the first to introduce violence. He uses violence to control the animals on the farm by whipping them,for example “The next moment he and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, lashing out in all directions.”. The animals use violence to solve their issues with humans and it seems like they remain in their violence, without any intent in taking a more peaceful route. This is shown each time the animals celebrate, after their battle winnings and when Snowball says “no sentimentality, comrade” and “war is war. The only good human being is a dead one”. He says this as he was trying to suppress Boxer's feelings, after he thought he killed a human. Napoleon uses vicious dogs that he has also brainwashed and “show trials” which is the execution of the animals, to control them by instilling fear into them. He uses animals for his own personal gain, then disposes of  them once they become too weak to work. He used Boxer from the start of the revolution and was the cause of his death in the end, and he upholds his image of caring for Boxer. Squealer says “Comrade Napoleon has learned with the deepest distress of this misfortune to one of the most loyal workers on the farm, and was making arrangements to send Boxer to be treated in the hospital at willingdon.” But he instead, sends Boxer to be killed for money.

Orwell uses an allegory to communicate the violence that was evident in the Russian revolution and disguises it as a harmless book. It is clear that violence only leads to more violence. Subsequently, if you have come to power through violence you will need to use that same violence to maintain that power. This suggests that individuals should use peaceful methods of resolving conflict.

The theme, education, in this novel is shown to be the reason the pigs rose to power, and were able to divide the animals into social classes and exploit them without any consequences. ”Once again all rations were reduced except those of the pigs and the dogs.”. The animals believe that starvation is better now, than when they were under Jones’ control because “now they were free” which is not the case. They are too uneducated to realise that Napoleon is now in control of them. Snowball's idea of the Windmill was genius. It helped unite the animals further and aided them in using their voices to choose whether they wanted to build the windmill for electricity or continue with food production. Napoleon set up a school for the piglets. So he knows the significance of an education and also knows that without an education you can be easily controlled. Clover asks Muriel to read the commandments for her. ”It ran:  No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” which was not how the animals remembered it to be, but because they were illiterate they blamed their brains for not remembering it correctly. If they had valued education. Boxer most likely wouldn't have died at the hands of Napoleon.   

Orwell uses satire to warn people of the dangers of illiteracy, criticises societies that don't offer equal access to an education. He believes an uneducated society will never be free and equal as they would always be vulnerable to control from the more educated individuals.From reading this novel I have understood that a basic education is vital for the wellbeing of a person and society. It will make it more difficult for someone to take advantage of you and will prepare you, both intellectually and socially for your future. 

In conclusion I have outlined how power and corruption can dismantle a community, how violence is not productive and how an education is a basic necessity for the growth of a society.

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