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Understanding the book animal farm by george orwell

Orwell was deeply opposed to totalitarianism — as is evident in one of his most prominent novels, Animal Farm. Orwell succumbed to a fatal lung condition at the age of 47. Animal Farm inspired several other works, including the movie appropriately titled: Summary Manor Farm, a modest English farm, is operated by the impetuous drunkard, Mr.

Late one evening, Old Major, a senior boar, summons all of the farms animals. Old Major knows that his life will soon end and feels it necessary to pass along a few words of wisdom. As the animals listen on intently, Old Major explains to them that all of the suffering and misery endured by animals is caused at the hands of Man.

Three months after his passing, the animals rise up against Mr. The animals adorn the side of the barn with the Seven Commandments of Animalism and agree to abide by these rules at all time.

They declare that every animal is create equal and must not ever act in a way that a human would, this incudes not sleeping in a bed, killing their fellow animal, walking on two legs, consuming alcohol, etc.

After the final discussion, Napoleon enlists the aid of dogs, understanding the book animal farm by george orwell he has secretly groomed to serve him, to turn on Snowball and chase him away from Animal Farm. With Snowball gone, Napoleon has no trouble convincing the others that he was a negative influence on them and strips them of their right to vote.

He puts the animals to work on construction and has Boxer lead them. Acting entirely against the commandments, the pigs start to barter with neighboring farms, move inside the farmhouse, and even begin to sleep in beds.

Understandably, the other animals are confused. The windmill, unable to stand up to a storm and an attack by the humans, eventually falls. Unable to accept culpability, Napoleon blames everything on Snowball, the traitor, and deploys fear tactics and even deadly force an all of those who might question him. Behind the scenes, the pigs rewrite each of the commandments in order to substantiate their deceitfulness. They start to ration less food for the other animals and insist that the animals must work harder and longer while they in turn work less.

The rest of the farm animals, misled by the stories concocted by the pigs, believe that they are part of a great revolution. However, when Boxer, the most steadfast worker on the farm, grows old and tired and is no longer able to work, he is sent by the pigs to a glue factory and the money made is used to buy whiskey.

More years go by, and the original members of the animal revolution begin to pass. The ones that remain have difficulty remembering the original philosophies and objectives.

  • Whenever any of the pigs go against the animal commandments, Squealer does his best to convince the other animals that the pigs have the best interest of the animals at heart;
  • Behind the scenes, the pigs rewrite each of the commandments in order to substantiate their deceitfulness;
  • It could be the next day or several generations down the road;
  • Understandably, the other animals are confused;
  • Truly Boxer is the biggest poster-child for gullibility;
  • They declare that every animal is create equal and must not ever act in a way that a human would, this incudes not sleeping in a bed, killing their fellow animal, walking on two legs, consuming alcohol, etc.

The pigs have learned how to walk on their hind legs and have resorted to carrying whips. But some animals are more equal than others. The rest of the animals gaze on in disbelief; they are no longer able to differentiate the humans from the pigs.

Totalitarianism refers to a state of government that seeks out ultimate control over every aspect of life — from thoughts, beliefs, ideas and even politics and economics. Every totalitarian state endeavors to justify their governance. For example, Jones operates Manor Farm on the pretence that humans are superior to animals, while Napoleon operates Animal Farm claiming to fight for the rights of animals against unscrupulous humans.

In his dying declaration, Old Major offers the animals a new viewpoint of their life under the rule of Jones. This causes the animals to envision a better way of life, free from the perils of exploitation at the hands of the humans. The revolution depicted in Animal Farm, like all revolutions, is formed out of a joint desire for a better life. Initially, the pigs are excited about the concept of animal equality, however, through their own self-interest, they create the totalitarian state that they pledged to destroy.

Class Warfare At its very roots, Animalism states that all animals are equal. As years progress, the pigs begin to segregate their offspring from those of the others, and establish themselves as the dominant class, while the other animals are merely menial staff. It is through his teachings that the other farm animals decide to revolt. A prize pig, Old Major has lead a life of privilege and has acquired noble status amongst the others.

It is this status, and life of leisure, that has allowed him the time necessary to develop a full understanding of the depths of the exploitation that animals experience at the hands of mankind.

Animal Farm

He symbolizes the forefathers of communism, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. Napoleon A member of the pigs, and a disciple of Old Major. He is shrewd, cowardly, evil and extremely selfish. Despite having completely supported the revolution, Napoleon is much more interested in taking a position of power for himself. It is this thirst for power that causes to construct a totalitarianism government — ripe with terror and lies.

A government that is considerably more evil than Mr. He symbolizes Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1953. Snowball Another disciple of Old Major.

  1. These dogs would later be used to eliminate Snowball, his arch-rival. In fact, he and his men had taken up the habit of drinking.
  2. There was a huge "Red Scare" in the United States in the 1920s. And the animals do try to rescue Boxer, but it's too late.
  3. The other animals remember that there is a commandment that forbids sleeping in beds, and so they go to the big barn to look at the commandments.
  4. Moses is perhaps Orwell's most intriguing character in Animal Farm.
  5. The pigeons symbolise Soviet propaganda, not to Russia, but to other countries, like Germany, England, France, and even the United States. They kept close to Napoleon.

Snowball is said to be much more capable and intelligent than Napoleon, however, is less interest in control. Snowball appreciates the idea of the revolution and what it stands for, however, there are times where he appears to be willing to disobey the concept of animal equality in order to make his own life more comfortable.

When all is said and done, Snowball is unable to stand up to Napoleon. Squealer Another member of the pigs, Squealer is a born speaker. He puts his own interests well above those of the other animals. Whenever any of the pigs go against the animal commandments, Squealer does his best to convince the other animals that the pigs have the best interest of the animals at heart. Boxer Indicative of the working class, Boxer is honorable and strong. However, he is not the smartest animal on the farm.

He believes strongly in the revolution and everything it stands for — so much so that he is willing to support Napoleon without question. Boxer supports Napoleon with everything that he has in him, yet in the end, Napoleon sends him to a glue factory.

Clover The most motherly of the bunch, she is a gentle soul who believes in the revolution. Despite witnessing the totalitarian environment the pigs have created, she fails to understand that anything is wrong. Benjamin Benjamin is a donkey with a skeptical outlook on life. He believes that life will always be painful and difficult.

  1. Three days later Major dies, but the speech gives the more intelligent animals a new outlook on life.
  2. The only time he seems to care about the others at all is when Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. Truly Boxer is the biggest poster-child for gullibility.
  3. Together with another pig called Squealer, who is a very good speaker, they work out the theory of "Animalism".

He is not shocked when the pigs tarnish the revolution and destroy Animal Farm. Even though his skepticism proves true, it also renders him powerless. He understands what is happening yet does nothing to stop it.

He feels extreme guilt when Boxer, one of his closest friends, is killed. This is one example that the author uses to substantiate how elitist, or the upper class, might use language to oppress the lower class. Napoleon knows that, of the two, he is the least adored by the farm animals, and seeks to get rid of Snowball. He instructs his slave dogs to reinforce his power.

Similar to Stalin, Napoleon prefers to stay out of the public eye — building his reign of power through corruption and in secrecy.

  • Snowball is a better speaker, he has a lot of ideas and he is very vivid;
  • Of course the actual time of the revolt is untold;
  • All animals are equal.

Quotes of Note Chapter 3: Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. But they were happy in their work; they grudges no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.

A number of the characters and the events in the book are meant to be symbolic, or representative, of actual participants in the Soviet Union and the Russian Revolution. Some of the animals who represent specific people or groups are: The aristocratic order, Russian Tsar Old Major: