George Orwell’s Animal Farm Analysis
George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the classic satire of the Russian Revolution, protests the brutality of totalitarianism. Animal Farm is a story about farm animals that revolt against their human masters in order to create an ideal society based on the principle that all animals are created equal.
Like many revolutions in modern society, the animals’ success is ephemeral; a new totalitarian regime soon takes power and assumes the place of the humans. Orwell exposes what really happens to the victims of failed revolutions and why these revolutions cannot succeed.He targets the methods dictators use to obtain and hold power, the gradual corruption of government, and the ignorance of people who allow these dictators to take control. Orwell describes the cruel, iniquitous, and greedy techniques dictators use to obtain and hold power. For example, he writes, “Suddenly the dogs sitting around Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again,” to demonstrate that Napoleon uses fear of his dogs to keep the animals under control.
The dogs signify Stalin’s KGB secret police, which he used to hunt down his enemies and make people fear him. Orwell ridicules the use of fear because it is an evil tool that dictators use to extort their people. Another example is how Squealer makes the animals believe that they have better lives, Napoleon helps them, and Snowball is an enemy by persuading them with arguments like, “Surely you do not want the Jones’ back? ” This represents how Stalin used the Pravda to publish his brainwashing propaganda and lies about how well the Soviet Union was doing.Orwell disapproves of a dictator lying to his people to keep them happy, because a dictator taking credit for something he didn’t do is immoral. Yet another example is how Napoleon made the animals work “a sixty-hour week, with work on Sundays as well” to satisfy his greed and keep them so busy and so tired that they could not have time to plan a rebellion.
This symbolizes how Stalin’s 5-Year Plans to strengthen the Russian economy were a detriment to the people of Russia and prevented them from having any time to pursue their interests or educate themselves.Orwell snubs dictators that keep their people poor, busy, and uneducated because it robs them of the opportunity to live life to the fullest. Thus, Orwell shows his contempt for the methods avaricious dictators use to hold power. Orwell reveals the corruption of totalitarianism because he utterly detests the injustice of dictatorships. For example, Orwell writes, “The mystery of where the milk went was soon cleared up. It was mixed every day into the pigs’ mash.
.. ” to show the first in a long list of betrayals that grow steadily worse.This represents how Lenin and his men first moved in to the Czar’s palace, and then started giving themselves more and more privileges.
Orwell shows that power is a dangerous thing that can corrupt even the most moral and good men like Lenin. An example of the ungratefulness of totalitarian government is when Benjamin cries, “They are taking Boxer to the knacker’s! ” because Napoleon was so greedy that he sold Boxer, his most loyal and hardest worker, for a case of whiskey. This symbolizes Stalin’s purges that killed millions of innocent people: some were to make a point, and others were because he was paranoid.Orwell loathes dictators that who abuse even their loyal followers. Another example is how the pigs change the seven commandments of Animalism to suit their wishes.
It signifies how Stalin said he was a Communist and supported equality for everyone, but he was living in luxury while his people suffered. Orwell despises hypocritical dictators; they preach ideals that they do not follow. The message Orwell tries to get across is expressed in Lord Acton’s famous words: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.Great men are almost always bad men.
” Orwell targets the ignorance of people who allow dictators to assume control because they contribute as much to the problem as the dictators. He mocks the animals that have doubts but don’t speak up, like Clover when she thinks, “it was not for this that she and all the other animals had hoped and toiled,” and Benjamin when he was skeptical about the pigs’ motives. Clover and Benjamin represent the skeptical and uncaring people in Russia who suspected what was happening, but didn’t speak out.Orwell shows no sorrow for these people, because they might have stopped totalitarianism but they chose to become victims of the regime they allowed to take power.
Another ignorant animal is Boxer, with his motto, “Napoleon is always right;” this belief helps Napoleon significantly because the other animals look up to Boxer. Boxer represents the working class of Russia that believed in Stalin and sacrificed for him, and since the workers were behind Stalin, no one could oppose him. Orwell really wants to point out that people need to know who they support; blind trust is pathetic!If people are tractable enough to accept a dictator then maybe they deserve the harshness of it. Orwell identifies and attacks the slow but sure corruption of government, the unawareness of the populace who permit these tyrants to take control, and the means dictators utilize to seize and cling to power. He does this because he cares about society and he is a great humanitarian.
The message he is trying to convey is that people who try to achieve democracy need to be aware of the temptations of power.At the end of the American Revolution, George Washington was asked by his captains to become the king of America. He said no to power; Stalin said yes. The only difference between the success of the American Revolution and the failure of the Russian Revolution is the man the people put their trust in and gave power to. Orwell is warning future generations to be wary of those who would seek to gain and abuse power; people like Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, who repress their people.