Animal Farm and Stolen Bacillus
H. G. Wells was born in 1866 and died in 1946; he was the author of many books including ‘Time Machine’, ‘The Invisible Man’ and ‘The Stolen Bacillus’. He wrote stories that were fantasy and science fiction. He was born in Bromley, Kent where he was the youngest of three sons. When his father injured himself whilst playing professional cricket Wells was forced into work at the age of thirteen. His mother started work as a housekeeper where Wells secretly spent time studying the books in the library. He went on to win a scholarship to study science at the present, Imperial College, London.
He was concerned about social justice and so joined the ‘The Fabian Society’ where they wanted to bring about a fairer society. George Orwell, who was born in 1903, had a pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. He wrote ‘Animal Farm’ in 1945 to reflect his lifelong distrust of the autocratic government. After his contribution in the Spanish Civil War his thoughts on communism were disillusioned. These thoughts encouraged him to write his books. Most of his books are based on his views or beliefs and his experiences during his life.
Both Wells and Orwell wanted a better society and they both used the same method to get it. In each of their novels they used allegories to represent people in the real world. Orwell used a simple story about animals taking over a farm so that people couldn’t object to it because on top that’s all it is, just a story. The truth can only be seen when looking deeper into the text. Orwell wanted a fairer society and he knew that this couldn’t be achieved by violence or revolution. Wells also realised this and used more satire in his story to put his point across.
He wanted to show that people shouldn’t be afraid of others who tried to change the world by violence and that it never works, also for them to stand up to these people. He knew that by using satire he could make fun of people without being nasty to anyone in particular. He did want revolution but in a peaceful way. He knew that violence brought nothing. He showed this by using the anarchist and how his plan failed miserably. ‘Animal Farm’ is a book written to show what was really happening in the Russian Revolution.
When the book ended the Second World War had just ended. There is a point in the book where Napoleon-the leader-is trying to decide which of his neighbours to sell a pile of timber to. This represents Stalin and his decision whether to join up with Hitler-Mr Frederick- or Churchill-Mr Pilkington. When Stalin does decide to join up with Hitler when he is double-crossed, Mr Frederick giving Napoleon forged money so that he gets the timber for free represents this. In ‘Animal Farm’ Stalin is represented by Napoleon who gets power in several ways.
One of these ways is when there is an enemy, Napoleon uses that enemy as a way to keep the animals from rebelling against him so they will follow him and believe whatever he says. An example of this is shown when the pigs start to sleep in the farmhouse beds. Squealer blackmails the animals into letting them sleep in beds by telling them that if they don’t sleep well they wouldn’t get any rest so the ‘paperwork’ wouldn’t get done. He finishes his speech with ‘Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back? ‘ Because none of the animals want Jones back it’s something that they all agree on and let the pigs have their way.
Stalin also used this method by telling the Russian people that they surely wouldn’t want the Tsar back to rule them. He succeeded in changing the past to suite himself. He told the animals that when Snowball had been awarded ‘Animal Hero, First Class’ that this was, ‘… merely a rumour that had been spread by Snowball himself’. Some of the animals might have thought that they remembered Snowball being awarded it but because nothing had been written down they couldn’t prove anything and had to believe what they were being told. This shows the importance of education in everybody’s lives.
Napoleon used his power for several things but they were all to do with himself. An example is when he and the pigs gave themselves an alcohol ration and extra food. Napoleon knew that the animals were too stupid too remember what the conditions were like before the rebellion compared to how they were now and he used this information for his own purpose, ‘They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in the summer, by the flies.
Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days when Jones’ expulsion was still recent, things had been better of worse than now. ‘ Because nothing was written down there was nothing to back them up that it was better than before except Squealer’s list of figures and statistics. Here, Orwell is showing that a fairer society can’t be achieved by violence. Wells also shows this when the anarchist steals the bacteria and tries to poison the world.
His plan doesn’t work out as he planed and Wells point is put across that a fair society can’t be achieved by violence. Napoleon and the anarchist were both influenced by powerful speeches. Old Major influenced Snowball at the start of ‘Animal Farm’ and the anarchist by the bacteriologist in ‘Stolen Bacillus’. Old Major’s speech was especially inspiring when he talked of the rebellion and of being free and having plenty of food, ‘…. the produce of labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free’.
The anarchist is inspired by the bacteriologists work on the ‘cholera’ when they were discussing the effects of it and the bacteriologist explains to him what might happen, ‘ Only break such a little tube of this into the water supply, would devastate a city’. This encouraged the anarchist to steal the tube. The bacteriologist was showing the anarchist what power he could achieve without knowing what he was doing it! The bacteriologist shows the anarchist the bacterium and explains what he would like to do, ‘I wish for my own part, we could kill and stain everyone of them in the universe’.
By putting forward his own ideas he is encouraging the anarchist and giving him more reason and more confidence to put his plan into action. In the same way, Old Major had the same effect on Napoleon but Napoleon’s plan evolved over time, because the might not have known how he wanted everything to turn out before the speech. On the other hand the anarchist knew exactly what he as doing and nothing could make him take his mind off his aim, the bacteriologist could only encourage him. Both authors use satire-the art of criticising through ridicule or contempt.
Orwell to show how silly Stalin and the Russians were just as the anarchist was in the ‘Stolen Bacillus’. Stalin and the Stalinist regime are exposed when Orwell uses satire in ‘Animal Farm’, when Napoleon forces animals to come forward and confess to crimes they hadn’t committed, ‘The three hens who had been ringleaders in the attempted rebellion over the eggs now came forward and stated that Snowball had appeared to them in a dream and incited them to disobey Napoleon’s orders’, ‘A goose came forward and confesses to having secreted six ears of corn during the last years harvest and eaten them In the night’.
Stories like these went on until, ‘… there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet’. The dogs that killed those animals represent Stalin’s agents who hunted down and killed any people who had betrayed them. Here, Orwell is making fun of Stalin as he uses petty excuses for a death sentence. Wells also used satire in the ‘Stolen Bacillus’. At the end when the anarchist thinks that the cholera is inside him the bacteriologist tells his wife the truth, ‘… He certainly might have things look blue for this civilised city!
He says this because he knows that the bacteria was harmless and was making fun of the anarchist while he thought that he was destroying the world! He then explains to his wife what the bacteria actually did, ‘Of course, I cannot say what will happen but you know it turned that kitten blue, and the three puppies, -in patches, and the sparrow-bright blue’. When he talks about making ‘things look blue for this civilised city’, he could be saying the city feeling down or the city literally being blue! It has a double meaning to it, Wells wants his audience to not be afraid of anarchists.
The consequences of Old Majors’ speech and the bacteriologist’s speech were that people cam to power. When this happened they abused their power. The anarchist tries to destroy the world and Napoleon tried to rule the farm and co-operate with humans. There are several times when Napoleon is using his power to get what he wants, particularly when it involves humans. When My Whymper joined forces with Napoleon, Napoleon wanted to get food for him and the other pigs.
When My Whymper had arranged with the pigs to take eggs, ‘… stack of hay and part of the current years’ wheat crop’. The animals were giving their produce but weren’t getting any of the proceeds. Squealer gave speeches about the rations, ‘… it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations’. The pigs had more food and more privileges, ‘… were to have the privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays’, ‘There were lamp oil and candles for the house, sugar for Napoleon’s own table… and dog biscuits’. Later on in the year money was short after the collapse of the windmill.
So the animals suffered once more, ‘A stump of hay and part of the potato crop was sold off, and the contract for eggs was increased to six hundred a week’. It was seen that the pigs were getting enough as they, ‘were putting on weight’. Just after the barley had been reserved for just the pigs, ‘… the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a ration of a half a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself… ‘ Another example of Napoleon using his power was near the end of the book when Mr Pilkington and his men were round at his farm and they were drinking and laughing with the pigs.
While Mr Pilkington was making his speech he mentioned that, ‘He believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals on the farm did more work and received less food than any animal in the country’. He also, ‘…. congratulated the pigs on low rations, the long working hours and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm’. So Napoleon had used his power for two things here, to make the animals work long hours for less food and to get the humans to come round to the farm to discuss business.
The consequences of the bacteriologist’s speech were that the anarchist was given further confidence to back him up. It gave him another reason to proceed with his plan. He might have carried out his plan even if the bacteriologist hadn’t given that speech but it still helped him on his ‘mission’. I have concluded that after comparing and contrasting these two stories that the authorial intent of the authors was to show how stupid Stalin and anarchists are and what these characters are really like.
Wells wanted to show that nobody should be afraid of anarchists that they are stupid and their plans never work out anyway because they are too over confident. Orwell wanted people to know what really occurred during the Russian Revolution. He was concerned about telling the truth and how the ideas of the Russian Revolution were betrayed. He used his method of allegory very well and I think that his idea was simple but very effective. Neither of the authors was afraid to express their opinions and beliefs on these subjects.