Sara

DYSTOPIAN REALITY: THEMES OF ANIMAL FARM

Posted by saformo on 8 diciembre 2012

Animal Farm (1945) of George Orwell has been described as an anti-utopic novel, a satiric novel and a politic parable. Animal Farm was written durind the Second World War, so when Orwell finished his novel, the Sovietic Union and Great Britain were fighting together against the third Reich, despite their politic differences.

As Orwell explained, his idea for writing the plot of Animal Farm will born after his stay in the Spanish Civil War. Despite that a long time has been by since Animal Farm appeared for the first time, the paralelism between the plot of the novel and some historic facts will not lose its impact on the reader. Animal Farm is a satirical criticism of some historic events as the Russian Revolution that adopted a communis system afterwards. What Orwell displays in the book is that in any period or society revolution will corrupt as the consecuency of autodestruction in any kind of revolutionary movement.

In Animal Farm, the animals that live in Jones´ farm are unhappy with their way of life. The pig, Old major will explain before dying a dream he had, where he had a vision of a revolution that took place in that farm, in the dream they will throw out the farm Mr Jones, the farm´s owner, then they were free from all their yokes. After the dream that Old Major had, the pigs Napoleon and Snowball start as leaders of the farm revolution. One night they were starving to death they break the doors and serve themselves their food. When Mr. Jones and his farm workers arrive, the animals leap on them and they took the control of the farm.

The commandments fixed after the revolution will form an unbreakeable law which all animals should follow and respect, this seven commandments will be the basis of Animalism:

The original commandments are:

  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.

From then on, the life inside the farm is more thriving and they start making plans for the futere: to learn how to read, to study, to build a mill etc … However, soon pigs will take charge on the farm and they take control over the farm´s administration, while the rest of animals work for them.

Snowball and Napoleon, the pigs, will named themselves leaders, but soon it starts to como to the surface differences between them, these differences will end with the prosecution of Snowball who has to leave the farm to safe its life. Thereon, Napoleon set himself up as the only leader and he rules the rest of the animals under a hard dictatorship government based on demagogy and terror. Gradually, pigs star to adopt human habits, and the revolutiones is betrayed definately with the execution of some animals that confessed some treasons.

Gradually the tiranny of the Pig Napoleon gets harder,  the rest of animals, spured on hopes for a better future, and the false promises of pigs and their fear of dogs, try to finish as soon as possible a mill so they can work the land and take profit of it. But Napoleon adopts little by little more human habits, he get dressed and lives like humans do. Finally the only commandment that still reamains on the wall is: ” All Animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”, and it seems impossible to distinguish pigs from humans.

In the first chapter of Animal Farm Orwell sets out the desperation of animals in view of humgry and their future full of unanswered questions, a parallelism with the deception of lower and middel classes after the Russian Revolution.

From the fist page of Animal Farm, the differences between humans and animals are established, and they are the ones who have done worst out: Mr. Jones is always drunk, he hits his animals although he hasn´t got authority in his life. Humans represent violence and anti-humanity, while the animals of the farm are the ones who represent civilization and their commandments will be the method that will assure their survival, so every modification of the codes in the commandments carries antihumanity and violence.