Animal Farm As A Social Criticism

Animal Farm As A Social Criticism

Writers often use social criticism in their
books to show corruptness or weak points of a group in society. One way
of doing this is allegory which is a story in which figures and actions
are symbols of general truths. George Orwell is an example of an author
who uses allegory to show a social criticism effectively. As in his novel

Animal Farm, Orwell makes a parody of Soviet Communism as demonstrated
by Animal Farm\'s brutal totalitarian rule, manipulated and exploited working
class, and the pigs\' evolution into the capitalists they initially opposed.

Totalitarianism is a political regime based
on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all
aspects of life. It was used by Stalin and the Bolsheviks in Russia during
the 1920\'s and 30\'s and is parodied in Animal Farm by Napoleon, the "almighty"
leader, and his fellow pigs and their ridiculous propaganda and rigorous
rule. In the book, Napoleon is deified and made superior to all other animals
on the farm, for example he is called emperor or leader while everyone
else was referred to as a "comrade", and all the pigs were given higher
authority then the rest of the animals. An inequality between the pigs
and rest of the farm was that the pigs lived in the farm house while the
other majority had to sleep in pastures. A certain pig Squealer who could"turn black into white" was in charge of propaganda, and he would often
change the commandments of the farm so that they would fit the actions
of Napoleon or the "upper class" of the farm which was supposedly classless.

For example, at one time a commandment read "No animal shall drink alcohol"(P.

75), but soon after Napoleon drank an abundance and almost died the commandment
was changed to "No animal shall drink to excess." which made it seem as
though Napoleon was within the rules. Another instance where Napoleon showed
severe rule was when everyone on the farm who had either pledged for or
showed support at one time for Snowball, the exiled former leader, was
executed on the spot. This act was a humorous resemblance of The Great

Purge in Russia where all opposition was killed off. The governing system
of the Animal Farm was truly corrupt, but it did not stop with the propaganda
and executions.

At first on the Animal Farm, it was promised
to the majority of the animals who were neither Napoleon or a pig, or the
so-called "working class", that "from each according to his ability to
each according to his needs", no more, no less. In other words, if all
the animals worked to their capabilities they would get the work back in
rations. This system worked for a while, but stopped when Napoleon and
his Totalitarian government took over, and the system was manipulated.

Napoleon and his fellow pigs gave the animals unfair hours of labor and
unfair rations for their work which corrupted the system. Napoleon attempted
to keep the animals intact by inspiring them with slogans, "Napoleon is
always right." and "I will work harder."(P.40) This seemed to work because
no animal would refuse to do their job because of the fear of their food
supply being cut as a penalty. As an example, Napoleon announced that all
animals would have to work voluntary Sunday afternoons, but any animal
who absented himself from it would have his ration reduced by half(P. 42).

Napoleon gave the animals long, many hour days so that the farm could move
toward industrialization with the building of a windmill, much like The

Five Year Plan of Russia. This act was made comical because much like in

Russia the plan kept on failing, but the government proceeded in actions
anyway. The so-called "working class" of the Animal Farm which at first
had a bright future was turned into more of a "slave class".

Animal Farm started with a dream, a dream
of old Major\'s which was for the animals of England specifically the Manor

Farm to rebel against the humans, take over the farm, and live at peace
amongst themselves. This dream soon became a reality for the animals of
the Manor Farm as they defeated their master, Mr. Jones, in the Battle
of Cowshed with their battle cry "Four legs good, two legs bad", and took
over the farm which they renamed Animal Farm. The first leader was Snowball
who ruled along with his fellow pigs and kept Major\'s dream alive, only
to be expelled from the farm soon after he took over. The next leader