Animal Farm

Animal Farm

George Orwell\'s Animal Farm is a political
satire of a totalitarian society ruled by a mighty dictatorship, in all
probability an allegory for the events surrounding the Russian Revolution
of 1917. The animals of "Manor Farm" overthrow their human master after
a long history of mistreatment. Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue
to do their work, only with more pride, knowing that they are working for
themselves, as opposed to working for humans. Little by little, the pigs
become dominant, gaining more power and advantage over the other animals,
so much so that they become as corrupt and power-hungry as their predecessors,
the humans. The theme in Animal Farm maintains that in every society there
are leaders who, if given the opportunity, will likely abuse their power.

The book begins in the barnyard of Mr.

Jones\' "Manor Farm". The animals congregate at a meeting led by the prize
white boar, Major. Major points out to the assembled animals that no animal
in England is free. He further explains that the products of their labor
is stolen by man, who alone benefits. Man, in turn, gives back to the animals
the bare minimum which will keep them from starvation while he profits
from the rest. The old boar tells them that the source of all their problems
is man, and that they must remove man from their midst to abolish tyranny
and hunger.

Days later Major dies, but the hope and
pride which he gave the other animals does not die. Under the leadership
of the pigs, the most intelligent of the animals, they rebel against their
human master managing to overthrow him. After the rebellion, under the
direction of Napoleon, the most outspoken pig, and Snowball, the most eloquent
pig, the animals continue to work the farm successfully.

As with all societies, the animals have
laws which must be obeyed. Their laws stated that animals shall never become
like humans; cruel and manipulative. They shall not wear clothing nor sleep
in beds. Most importantly, they are to respect one another\'s equality and
killing another animal is strictly forbidden.

Meanwhile, the pigs as leaders are taking
bigger food rations for themselves justifying their behavior as something
necessary for the "brains" of their animal society. At this point we begin
to suspect that the pigs will abuse their positions and power in this animal
society.

Mr. Jones tries to reclaim his power but
the animals prevent him from doing so in what they call "The Battle of
the Cowshed". After the battle, Napoleon drives Snowball off the farm telling
everyone that Snowball was on Mr. Jones\' side. Napoleon is further appreciated
by the other animals for exposing and removing the traitor, Snowball, from
their midst. Slowly, Napoleon gets a stronger and stronger hold over the
other animals, dominating their every action.

The situation at "Animal Farm", the new
name for "Manor Farm", really starts to change now. Napoleon moves into

Mr. Jones\' house, sleeps in his bed, and even wears his clothes. In order
to make his actions appear legal, the law had to be interpreted differently,
which Napoleon arranged. In defiance of the original laws, Napoleon befriends

Mr. Pilkington, the human owner of a nearby farm. Napoleon had such control
over the other animals that they accepted such a blatant disregard of their
law about fraternizing with humans.

The book ends with the pigs sitting at
a table, eating with humans. Napoleon announces to those around the table
that the name "Manor Farm" will be reinstated. The humans and pigs converse
while the other animals outside look on. They, the lowly creatures according
to the pigs and humans, look from pig to man and from man to pig, unable
to differentiate between the species.

The theme throughout Animal Farm is presented
through the allegory of corrupt pigs and the passivity of the other barnyard
animals. The humans in the story represent the Russian royal family and
aristocracy, tyrants who abused their power with no regard for the peasants
who, in essence, supported their royal lifestyle. The pigs represent the

Bolshevik revolutionaries who led the masses in rebellion against the Czar
and the entire royal family. Unfortunately, as with the pigs, power corrupted
and the people were then oppressed by their "comrades" under the new communist
government. Orwell\'s message about power, in the hands of a few, is corrupting
and does nothing to benefit the masses.