Eric Blair was born in India in a small town along the border of Nepal, during the early nineteen-hundreds. His ingenious political satire, Animal Farm, published under the pen name "George Orwell", is one of his most popular works, justifiably so. Orwell’s writing takes the shape of a creative and intuitive, dystopic story, involving the creatures of the Manor Farm, run by a tyrannical farmer, Mr. Jones. This becomes apparent within the first few pages of the novel, as does the fact that Orwell intends to paint a verbal picture far beyond that of ordinary farm life. Animal Farm is a satirical look at the Russian Revolution and its players, portrayed through the lives of animals in a society controlled by the presumably intellectually superior of their own, the pigs.

Each of Orwell’s animal characters play a key role in the novel, as do their human counterparts. Probably the most important of the animals on the Manor Farm, as well as the most short-lived, is Old Major, the pig used to represent a prominent political philosopher of Orwell’s time. The animals fall into social classes outlined in the Marxist theory capitulated by Karl Marx, the philosopher Old Major exemplifies. The old, wise pig spreads his theories and ideas of a society more fair to them, a society run not by the tyrannical human, Mr. Jones, but by themselves! The radical idea Old Major proposes soon results in the ousting of Mr. Jones, and paves the way for the rest of the story. After the death of their leader, Old Major, the animals turn to the remainder of the pigs, Snowball and Napoleon in particular. Being that the majority of the animals are lacking education, and in some cases it seems, common sense, they rely completely on the pigs to tell them what to do and when to do it. There are numerous little songs throughout the story, bleated by the sheep, such as "Four legs good, two legs bad!", which indicate just how mind-numbingly fatuous the rest of the animals on the farm are in comparison to the scheming, power-hungry pigs. The other characters that stand out from the larger portion of the Animal Farm population, are Boxer, a work horse who represents the working class Russians, and the various other creatures who are intelligent, and yet, very easily dissuaded. Orwell does a remarkable job in describing the characters and the personalities, and relating them back to the players of the Revolution. Even if the reader begins the novel with little knowledge of the Russian Revolution, the novel is still very enlightening, an extremely worthwhile read.

Napoleon (i.e.: Russian dictator, Josef Stalin), the conniving and subversive leader of the animals, is the villain of the story. He appears at first to be the lesser of two evils, the other being Mr. Jones. However, as the story goes on the opposite becomes true. A plot of unscrupulous activity unravels as Snowball, Napoleon’s "competition", is run off. This in effect, is the turning point of the story. Conditions on the farm grow steadily worse until, inevitably, the animals begin to question Napoleon’s leadership. However, Squealer the pig, a fairly minor character in the novel used to represent the propaganda spread during the Russian Revolution, soon silences any concern that arises.

Animal farm is an excellent novel in terms of humor as well as reality. The reader might benefit from a brief review of the major facts of the Revolution before they commence reading, or even afterwards. The time necessary to do so would be very well spent. Orwell’s intelligent outlook on the Revolution as well as the actual conditions animals face on a farm provides an easy, yet intellectually stimulating read.

Animal Farm

At Manor Farm, all of the working animals are called to a meeting by Old Major, a withered but respected pig. He calls for a revolution against Mr. Jones and the rest of the humans who run the farm and force the animals to work for nothing more than what is needed to keep them alive. Old Major explains, "Man serves the interests of no creature except himself." The animals decide this will be a worthy change, and rule that any creature that stands upon two legs is an enemy, but all with four or wings are friends.

Old Major soon dies of old age, but the animals successfully revolt against Mr. Jones and claim Manor Farm (soon renamed Animal Farm) for themselves. The pigs, most intelligent of all farm animals, learn to read. Three of the most outstanding pigs, Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer, set out to educate fellow animals in the principles of "animalism", a way of living based on the Seven Commandments.

    1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
    2. Whatever goes upon four legs or 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.

The animals complete the hay harvest more successfully than they had when they worked under humans, but some animals notice that the pigs 'oversee' everything rather than work. On Sundays, a general assembly is held to plan the week ahead, Napoleon and Snowball put forth resolutions on which they almost never agree. Napoleon educates the newest litter of puppies in private, isolated from the rest of the farm.

Mr. Jones and his fellow farmers are all frightened by the rebellion and soon revolutions occur in nearby farms. Jones returns to reclaim his farm with a group of farmers, but the animals force their retreat. Snowball is injured, and one sheep is killed, but the reward "Animal Hero, First Class" is given to both Snowball and Boxer, the horse responsible for the most damage to humans. However, Mollie, a stubborn horse used to being pampered by humans, betrays Animal Farm to go live in the bordering human-run farm.

It is decided at the next general assembly that from now on the pigs shall make all final decisions. There is a great debate over Snowball’s new plans for a windmill, and when he seems to be holding the majority of the pigs' favor, Napoleon grows angry and releases his trained dogs that he has kept in isolation since birth. The dogs chase Snowball out of Animal Farm, and Napoleon takes charge. He ends the Sunday general assemblies, and rules that all decisions are to be made by a select committee of pigs, presided by himself. Any opposition to Napoleon’s new orders are silenced with harsh threats. He also decides that the windmill will, in fact, be built, and claims that it was actually his idea in the first place. No animal is brave enough to question this.

The quality of work decreases and the pace seems slowed after Snowball’s departure, even though work is required even Sunday afternoons if the animals do not want half rations. The animals grow uneasy when Napoleon begins associating and trading with humans in order to increase the rate at which the windmill is built. He claims that the resolution against trade and money never passed, or was even suggesting. Soon the Seven Commandments are once again violated when the pigs decide to reside in the farmhouse. Once again, Napoleon insists nothing restricting this sort of behavior was ever suggested. The fourth commandment is changed to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." Some of the animals seem to remember that it was different, but none are smart or strong-willed enough to oppose Napoleon.

Snowball is rumored to be hiding in a neighboring farm and is supposedly visiting Animal farm at night to upset food productions. Snowball becomes a "bogeyman" on which all bad fortune is blamed upon. Napoleon declares, "Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start!" He claims that Snowball was never in fact awarded with Animal Hero, First Class and insists that he, in fact, betrayed the farm and ran away cowardly during the battle against the humans. Boxer the horse questions Snowball’s betrayal, but is quickly silenced with threats from the dogs. Napoleon’s iron fist rule is displayed when four pigs are framed and killed for aiding Snowball. Three hens, three sheep and a goose are also killed in this manner.

The sixth Commandment is changed to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause" in order to explain Napoleon’s injustices. Food production is worse than it was under the rule of Mr. Jones, but Squealer, Napoleon’s right hand man, lies about food figures. The mill is soon completed and named Napoleon Mill. Dealings with the humans grow hostile once more when Napoleon trades a large amount of timber to the farmer Fredericks, who pays with forged money. Animal Farm is attacked once more, this time by fifteen men with guns. The farmers capture the pasture and destroy the windmill. The animals retaliate but lose one cow, three sheep and two geese. Three men are killed by Boxer, the rest of the men flee when attack dogs threaten to surround them. Napoleon considers the battle a victory, despite the animal casualties. In an egotistic fit of celebration, Napoleon gets drunk and once again violates one of the Commandments. This fifth Commandment is changed to "No animal shall drink alcohol in excess,"

The rebuilding of the windmill begins, but Boxer, the most dedicated worker of all of the animals, suffers a split hoof, though he continues to work his hardest. The coming winter is a hard one; all rations are reduced except those for the pigs and dogs. Soon, pigs are given special rights by Napoleon. All barley is reserved for the pigs who receive a ration of beer daily. Animal Farm is declared to be a republic under the presidency of Napoleon (though there is in fact an election, the only candidate for presidency is Napoleon).

According to Animal Farm’s new president, Snowball apparently openly fought on Jones’ during the first battle against the farmers. The animals are still unable to oppose any resolutions the pigs come to, even though some of the quicker animals, such as the old goat, seem to remember that at one time Snowball hadn’t been an evil crook. Because of the hard winter and low rations, Boxer grows weaker and more tired, but insists on continuing his work on the windmill until he falls one day with a collapsed lung. He is supposedly sent to the best animal hospital in England, but the van that comes to pick him up is that of the town knacker.

Squealer announces that Boxer died in the hospital, and was not taken to the knacker’s, as rumor has it. Most animals believe this because they did not know how to read well enough to tell that the van was without a doubt the knacker’s, but a few animals begin to feel distrust towards Napoleon and his cohorts, even though they are helpless against their tyranny. Some resolutions that were previously passed to give animals of a certain age retirement homes are forgotten in hopes that the windmill will be completed sooner. Without Boxer’s help, the work progresses at a much slower rate, but the windmill is completed and used for milling corn. During this time Napoleon bought two more fields from the neighboring Pilkington Farm. However, animal education has been brought to a near halt; none of the new horses are able to learn the alphabet past B and all animals now accept everything that is said without a question.

The general situation of Animal Farm seems much like that of when it was a human owned farm, and the pigs slowly begin to resemble humans more and more. Every single one learns how to clumsily walk on his hind legs, and the malleable sheep who had previously chanted "Four legs good, two legs bad" now chant, "Four legs good, two legs better." Napoleon wears Jones’ old clothes left in the farmhouse and appears in all aspects to be a replica of Animal Farm’s former cruel ruler. One day, after a meeting with all of the nearby farmers, Animal Farm is renamed Manor Farm once again and all of the old commandments disappear although one statement is left where the others used to be:

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

Overview of Animal Farm by George Orwell

Mr. Jones and Napoleon are very similar and very different depending on where in the book you are reading. Mr. Jones is a very angry, unpleasant man throughout the book. He is a drunk, doesn’t treat his animals well, and only does enough work to buy his next drink. His farm is unkempt, and so are his animals. This combination of actions sets up a rebellion of his animals against him (assuming that animals can think for themselves). Old Major, a wise, old pig on the farm, suggests to the other animals that they need to triumph over Mr. Jones and rule the farm themselves. This is where Napoleon steps in, because after a while, Old Major dies and there is a place for a leader to take over. Napoleon is a kind, wise pig who at first, treats the animals with the utmost respect and leads them to a victory over Mr. Jones. He honors what the other animals think, and leads for the betterment of the entire farm. At this point, Napoleon is very much unlike Mr. Jones. This would change in time.

After overthrowing Mr. Jones, Napoleon makes quick work to gain his position as the supreme leader of the farm. Another pig, Snowball was vying for the position. At one point, when Napoleon thought that his status was being threatened, he chased Snowball out of the farm with a pack of dogs he raised to be his bullies. Napoleon was a smart pig; he surrounded himself with the other pigs and secluded himself and the pigs from the other animals. This way, he could get the animals to assume that the pigs were better than them and pigs were better help for the farm if they worked on intangible problems all day. They would think up concepts and other ways to brainwash the animals to better their positions. At this point in the story, Napoleon is slowly becoming more like Mr. Jones. He is no longer respecting the animals and changes some of the rules that the farm put together after the rebellion. Some of the rules had to do with drinking alcohol and sleeping in beds, and other activities deemed bad, because humans did them. Each time the other animals saw the pigs breaking these rules, the pigs found clever ways of changing the minds of the animals and thinking what the pigs wanted them to think. Napoleon was always having poems written about his great deeds, and all the animals were to respect him like a king. One such time that the animals saw the pigs breaking the rules, was when the pigs got drunk and stumbled about making all kinds of noise inside the house. The clever pigs convinced the animals that they did not like drinking the alcohol, but that it increased their mental capacity to make the farm better. There were many other occasions where the same type of thing would happen. The animals would find the pigs doing some outrageous thing, then the pigs would end up smoothing it over and telling the animals what they wanted.

Towards the end, Napoleon was more and more like Mr. Jones. He even talked with other humans and drank with them, which was considered a very mortal sin. The pigs were doing everything that humans did by the end of the story. They even walked on their two hind legs, like humans. The other animals came to recognize this and when they were being starved, the pigs were getting fat, something would have had to be done. I think that if the book had gone on another 50 pages, it would tell the tale of the animals rebelling against the pigs. I believe the animals would win, but who knows what would happen after that. This book curtails communism in its most basic form. A people are being oppressed, and when the most able of those oppressed rise up with the people to destroy this mighty oppressor, they ultimately take their spot in leadership. Communism is not meant for human use. The human traits that we all assume of other humans don’t fit into the government of Communism. It gives too much leniency to what eventually happens in most governments, which are corruption, crime and murder. Until humans learn to deal with their own making, we will continue to have problems within our race, which will ultimately hurtle us to our doom.

A pornographic film that was infamous in my childhood. For years it would come up in schoolyard conversation as the height of illicit viewing. If you had seen this film you had seen everything. At a time when most of us could just about look at page 3 without running home to mother, the stories we heard about Animal Farm were fascinating in the same way as a car crash or train wreck. Rumour had it that the film featured men and women getting busy with various farm animals, ranging from a man plucking a chicken to a woman literally getting porked.

Whether the film ever actually existed I may never know, but those scenes will play on forever in the minds of my peers.

Animal farm is an allegory of Russia before, during and after the revolution in 1917. The book was originally written about the Russian revolution but because it was just after the war and nobody would want to read about war and fighting, the publishers refused to publish it. George Orwell rewrote his story as a children's book about a farm in which the animals rebel against their human masters and he sucessfully managed to get it published.

Animal farm is a farm full of animals with neighbouring farms. The farm itself represents Russia. The poor state of the farm shows the poor state Russia was in at the time. The different types of animal on the farm represent different types of people in Russia at the time and the neighbouring farms represent different countries which bordered and were close to Russia.

In the story each type of animal represents a different type of person in Russia at the time. For instance, the pigs represent the natural leaders, people who take charge whenever the opportunity to arises. Snowball represents Trotsky and Napoleon represents Stalin. The cat on the farm represents the lazy people in society. Molly the sheep represents the vain people in Russia who really weren't ready to lose their useless novelties for the sake of the freedom of their country like Molly wasn't ready to lose her ribbons and sugar to liberate the farm. The sheep in the story represent the followers, the people who will follow whatever is set out by the leaders without question. The raven on the farm represents religion, the pigs disagreed with him but let him stay on the farm because he helped encourage hard work and submissive behavior. The raven is named 'Moses' which is blatantly taken from the Bible. He also speaks of 'Sugarcandy Mountain' which is symbolic of Heaven in the Christian faith. The horses in the book represent the working class people who aren't very intelligent but are loyal to their country and work hard. Boxer is the most obvious example of this in the book, he has difficulty learning the alphabet but is by far the hardest worker on the farm and is loyal to the farm until he dies. Boxer trusts Napoleon even when it is against his better judgement

"Ah, that is different!" said Boxer. "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." He said this after disagreeing with Squealer about Snowball. It shows he trusts Napoleon's judgement even when it contradicts his own. The dogs in the book represent the secret police which helped enforce Stalin's rules. In the book the dogs always surround Napoleon and look vicious to intimidate animals into not trying to oppose him. Benjamin in the book is a very interesting character. He is the donkey and represents the wise people who know when and when not to speak. Up until Boxer's death Benjamin refuses to say anything other than a cryptic remark about donkeys living a long time. Benjamin is very intelligent but doesn't openly admit it to the other animals. He never seems very enthusiastic about the development of the rebellion and the windmill, he knows what's happening with the pigs and the rules but never speaks a word of it because he knows he'll get executed. Squealer the pig is a main character in the book and represents the propaganda minister. He distributes propaganda to the animals for the pigs and is very persuasive in his speaking.

The story starts off with the farm being run by Jones and his men. They neglect and mistreat the animals and often drink alcohol. Jones and his men represent the Czar and Czarina. The Czar and Czarina ruled over Russia before the revolution. They neglected the citizens of Russia just like Jones and his men neglected the animals. The people of Russia were left to starve while the Czar and Czarina lived in luxury with massive wealth. Just like how Jones and his men left the animals without food and whipped them.

In the story Old Major was a boar who represented Karl Marx who introduced the idea of 'Communism' to Russia just like Old Major introduced the concept of Animalism to the farm. He also taught them the song "Beasts of England" which is symbolic of the song "Communist internationale" which was a real song sung by supporters of communism at the time. In the book Animalism is the equivalent of Communism. Communism and Animalism have certain things in common like they both have the basic concept that all people are equal but in animalism it's 'All animals are equal.' Old Major died before the revolution took place just like Karl Marx died before the Russian revolution took place.

Two of the head characters in the story are Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball represents Trotsky and Napoleon represents Stalin. Trotsky and Stalin were the main leaders of the revolution in 1917. Snowball and Napoleon are both pigs who represented leaders. A while after Old Major's death Jones comes back drunk one night and left the animals unfed. The animals could stand it no longer and decided to revolt just like the people in Russia when the Russian revolution broke out. Jones and his men were driven out of the farm, in the revolution the Czar and Czarina were killed but since the story was intended for children George Orwell probably didn't want to include murder in his book from fear of not getting it published.

Once the animals had control over the farm things were much more prosporous than before since everything the farm made went directly to the animals instead of going to Jones and his men. This was the same as in Russia because everything they worked for went straight to themselves instead of the self-serving Czar and Czarina. The leaders of Russia grew more corrupt from the start of the revolution through to the end, the behavior of the pigs shows this. Shortly after the revolution the cows' milk goes missing. It's fairly obvious that the pigs took it for themselves without telling the animals. After the revolution the animals set up 7 commandments which showed all the animals' rights, this was later subtly changed to suit the pigs' regime and as very few animals could read they didn't notice the changes to the commandments.

After the revolution farms nearby were worrying about animals taking over their farms. They had never heard of animals rebelling and commandeering a farm by themselves. Just like the neighbouring countries to Russia in 1917 had never heard of a country's government being overthrown by the citizens. They were concerned it may happen in their own countries just like the other farmers were concerned it might happen on their farms.

A while after the revolution Snowball was run out of the farm by Napoleon's dogs, this is similar to how Trotsky was exiled from Russia by Stalin. Trotsky was a better speaker than Stalin and more intelligent. This was probably what made Stalin exile Trotsky from Russia, his jealousy. The same applies to how Napoleon was jealous of the other animals admiring Snowball more than him. After Snowball was driven from the farm Napoleon began to spread vicious rumours about him like saying that he lead the humans in the battle of the Cowshed.

"Did we not see for ourselves how he attempted-fortunately without success-to get us defeated and destroyed at the Battle of the Cowshed?"

This was said by Squealer, this is obviously not true as Snowball lead the animals in the fight against the humans in the Battle of the Cowshed. Most of the animals believed this though because they could not remember what happened very well. The same was true for Russia, after Trotsky was exiled Stalin referred to him as "Judas Trotsky".

The flag in the story represents the communist flag. The Animal farm flag is a hoof and a horn like the communist flag was a sickle and a hammer. The sickle represented agriculture and the hammer represented industry. The same was probably true for the animal farm. The changing of the flag at the end of the story to a plain green flag and the reversal of the name back to 'Manor Farm' represent the fall of communism.

One of the seven commandments was "No animal shall kill any other animal." This was changed to allow Napoleon to execute any animal he wanted to. Napoleon wanted to execute animals because he was paranoid that they were conspiring against him. Stalin was paranoid that his followers were conspiring against him too. He often thought his doctors were trying to kill him. The executions represent the 30 million of his own men that Stalin killed.

The fact that the pigs start sleeping in beds, wearing clothes and standing on their hind legs shows how they were becoming more like the humans who used to run the farm as time went on. At the end of the novel when the animals are just as miserable as when the humans were in charge and the pigs are unrecognizable from the humans shows how the ideals of communism collapsed under Stalin's rule and Stalin became just as bad as the humans he opposed in the beginning.

I got an A for this essay, which is a rarity for me.

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