“Animal Farm”, by George Orwell - Part 2
“Animal Farm”, by George Orwell, is an allegorical novella based on the Russian Revolution - “Animal Farm”, by George Orwell introduction. It is a story where animals on the farm begin a revolution in order to be treated equally. They exile the farmer to be free of his control so that the working class animals could benefit from their labour. However, the pigs took over the farm and, before too long, the farm returned to its original form, controlled by a “human-like” dictator. “Animal Farm” foregrounds many different themes associated with the theme of corruption such as inequality, betrayal and greed.
These themes are all related to society and Orwell has expressed these themes by the use of the characters and events in the novel. One of the themes in the novel is inequality. This theme symbolises the Russian Revolution and society in general. This is shown by the example of the animals,” In these days Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in farmhouse”. This shows that through the year, Napoleon spent all his time in farmhouse and did not work as much as the other animals did. The other animals were working like slaves not the pigs.
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The pigs believed themselves to be the managers and organisers of the farm; they did not sacrifice themselves as much as the other animals did for their society. At the end of the novel, the pigs changed the seventh commandment from “No animal shall kill any other animals” to “No animal shall kill any other animals without cause” (pg61). Napoleon is corrupted by his desire for power, just like Joseph Stalin who was the leader of the Russian Revolution. The revolution in Russia and in “Animal Farm” was to make democracy, however a new leader appears and the leader either kills or exiles someone who has an opinion against them.
This is not democracy and shows inequality in Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution. The reader is positioned to understand and feel empathy for the hard working “animals” during the Russian Revolution. Through the use of the events in the novel, such as, when pigs and men sit down together at the end, Animal Farm loses all its innocence and the moral and political mood is evident in the writing which helps the reader to understand the issue of inequality. Betrayal is another important theme is the novel.
Napoleon and Stalin betrayed the animals and society because they wanted to be the leaders. Stalin had the great “purge” in the Russian Revolution and so did Napoleon in “Animal Farm”. Stalin exiled Trotsky from Russia since he disliked Trotsky and he wanted to become leader of the Bolshevik party. In the novel, Snowball and Napoleon always argue, so Napoleon has Snowball exiled from the farm by sending his bodyguard dogs to chase Snowball. “He put an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge and was seen no more”. pg 80) Napoleon betrays the animals by becoming like a human by walking on two legs as this quote demonstrates, “It was the pig walking on his hind legs” (pg89). All the animals decide that “whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy” (pg15), however, the pigs break this commandment and betray all the other animals. The reader can associate this example of betrayal in “Animal Farm” to the Russian Revolution. In the novel, another issue is greed. Towards the end of the novel, the pigs are greedy.
However, at the start of the animal revolution, all the animals, including the pigs, decide to work together for the farm. Not to work for humans or any other group, but for the farm. Over time, the pigs changed, “it is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples” (pg23). This is a good example of the pig’s behaviour and attitude towards milk and apples. The example of pig’s behaviour is a copy of a Stalin in the Russian Revolution because Stalin became greedy as he got more power.
In the Russian Revolution, Stalin became greedy and he got many luxuries while most of the population did not get enough money and food. The readers can understand the social issues of greed using the example of greed from the novel “Animal Farm”. Themes such as inequality, betrayal and greed are expressed in the novel and the readers can understand the issues in the Russian Revolution easily. “Animal Farm” was written in the 1940’s, long after the Russian Revolution.
The revolutions in Russia and on Animal Farm happened because the workers wanted to make society equal where the workers instead of the elite benefitted from their hard work. Eventually, both the animals and humans virtually returned to their original state where one leader controlled their society and the workers still laboured all day. This shows inequality, betrayal and greed in during the Russian Revolution. “Animal Farm” has explored similar issues to the Russian Revolution very well and readers are positioned to believe that revolution is not always for the best.