Sara

THE THEMES OF ANIMAL FARM

Posted by saformo on 15 Octubre 2012

Animal Farm

Animal Farm is George Orwell´s first satirical beast fable. Although people refere to Animal Farm as a political allegory of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalin, the truth is that can be read as a political allegory of any political revolution of the 20th century. The novel circulates around seven commandments of the animal in the farm, and the return of tyranny and cruelty of the beginning, after the fulfillment of Animalist revolution; the only notable real change they have after the revolution is the change of the head masters of the farm, but not their forms.

The novel begins with the introduction of Mr. Jones, the old owner of the Manor farm. He is a cruel owner that badtreats the animals in the farm, and he is irresponsable on the necessities the animal have in the farm: he often appears drunk, he insults and hit the animals etc… One day the pig Old Major confesses a dream he had before he died, in the dream the animals of the farm were free of human owners and they managed the farm.

One night, the animals were starving to death so they decide to break the door to eat freely. When Mr. Jones and the farm workers come in the animals leap on them and kick them out of the farm, they had carried out their revolution without notice the big stept they had done. When the owners have already gone, the animals burn everything that resembles them to Mr. Jones and humanity with an understable agresivity, an agresivity that will be the preface of what will come after the revolution.

Now the owner of the farm Mr. Jones is replaced by the pigs Snowball and Napoleon, and they write the seven commandments that condensed their ideals, although they will be soon perverted. The last os the seven commandments is ” All animals are equal ” , however while the rest of animals are working, the pigs assume the leadership and they direct and supervise the other animal´s actions, but they don´t work with the rest. This will be the first perversion of the Seven Commandments.

The Seven Commandments:

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.

When Animalism rules, there will come far more horrible situations for the animals in the farm. While the leader Snowball is organizing, the other leader, Napoleon, manipulates the small animals for his own devil purposes. Soon the rumours of the revolution are spread on the different farms, the rumours for humand will be news of tortures and cannibalism, a place where human beings had been been turned out, but for the animals on other farms will be rumours about a farm where animals manage their own lives. This shows de misinterpretation and falsification of truth.

Then, conflicts between both leaders will start, it is the major theme of the book, the corruption of power and the rivalry between leaders. Soon Napoleon startds to poison the mind of animals to become the only leader, he will betray the commandments to be the only manager of the farm. Satirically, the human being that was present in the animals will soon developed into the animalism humans have.

“The evening Squealer explained privately to the other animals that Napoleon had never in reality been opposed to the windmill. On the contrary, it was he who had advocated it in the beginning, and the plan which Snowball had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had actually been stolen from among Napoleon’s papers… He had seemed to oppose the windmill, simply as a maneuver to get rid of Snowball, who was a dangerous character and a bad influence.”

After Snowball leaves the farm and Napoleon consolidates himslef as the leader, the real tyranny starts. The corruption of power will become the main element of the plot. George Orwell wants to show us the decadence of characters, especially the ones that took the control of the farm, that is, the pigs. They betray their ideals and after the revolution, they badtreat, as humans used to do, the rest of animals, practising the same hard tyranny as Napoleon as the head of this dictatorship.

Power corrupts minds, gradually Napoleon takes control ver every word and action the rest of animals do, as politics do when they have reached power, they forget their ideals and they change history in order to justify the change in the commandments. Animals, like society, will be afraid of new changes and they will accept any rule that power imposes as they are frightened of an worsening of their lives if they react.

In the story, the windmill will become the mean by which Napoleon exerts the control on the rest of animals, and while they are concentrated on the building of the mill, they won´t notice his tyranny as all their efforts are concentrated on the mill. But it is about this time when the animals start to notice the difference between then as animals and the pigs. The pigs had abandoned the nature of the commandments: they sleept in beds, they refused to eating in company of other animals, etc… and one of them notices that  one commandment had been changed.

“No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.”

Beginning with this change in the commandment, the animals of the farm will live the most significant change, an alteration of history through the change of commandments. When a commandment is changed, they think they had remembered it wrong, so they accept the change one by one of all commandments. As years pass, most of the animals involved in the revolution were forgotten, and the only commandment that remains in the wall is:

” All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”

Pigs were not distinguished from humans any more, that shows the terribly condition of humans, there have always been pigs on society and they have always died for a little more of power. To be a”pig” is in human nature.

Animalism was only an illusion cretaed by the pigs to control their society, while they get more power and wealth, and trough the change and manipulation of history, animals will not be able to control the present nor the future.