Animal Farm - Essay 16

Topics: Communism, Soviet Union, Benito Mussolini Pages: 5 (2094 words) Published: February 20, 2011
Animal Farm is a simple fable written by George Orwell in 1945, but has great symbolic value as it is the history of a revolution that went wrong. The novel remains relevant in today’s society as any attempted revolution of the communist kind fails and generally ends up in a dictatorship government. This is done on allegorical levels and its parallels through characters such as Napoleon and Snowball. Animal Farm illustrates that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton) throughout the novel. This is done through the Animals aiming for a communist society. This revolution fails and the animals land themselves in a dictatorship of pigs, which were the brightest of the animals. As the date of the original publication of the work becomes more remote, the historical events that preceded it lose their immediacy, but Orwell's story remains viable. In fact, Orwell emphasized the universality and timelessness of his message by not setting the story in any particular era, and, while placing the farm in England, not making that fact important. Animal Farm can relate to the Russian Revolution (1917) and The Hungarian Revolution (1956) as corrupt communist governments but also to Pol Pot (1976-79) and Mussolini (1922) as corrupt democracies. The seeking of power to do good only to find that the power once attained corrupts is a message that is resonant today and is pertinent in many situations and therefore gives the reader an insight into common political problems that humanity is continually attempting to overcome. Animal Farm has stood the test of time relating to governments in the past, present and future in any corrupt government along with human nature playing its role in society.

Power is authority and strength, which is any form of motive force or energy, ability to act, or control. When too much power is given, a dictatorship government can form, in which all decisions are made by one authority. This is shown in Animal Farm clearly and powerfully by the pigs; Napoleon and Snowball after taking over from the highly respected pig, Old Major. Old Major is portrayed as the leader considering “everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say.” (Animal Farm, page 1) Animalism is invented by Old Major and is described in the song ‘Beasts of England’. However it was only named Animalism after his death. The Seven Commandments were designed to unite the animals together against the humans and prevent the animals from following the humans’ evil habits. The most important commandment was the Seventh, ‘All animals are equal’. This represents the communist system in society as all people are considered equal. The obvious parallels in Animal Farm are in the time the novel was written; The Russian Revolution (1917). Each character or event can represent an aspect of the Revolution. The Russian Revolution is the collective term for the series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Czarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. In the first revolution of February 1917, the Czar was deposed and replaced by a Provisional government. In the second revolution, during October, the Provisional Government was removed and replaced with a Bolshevik (Communist) government. Old Major represents Karl Marx; Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin; Snowball represents Leon Trotsky and Squealer represents the propaganda minister in Lenin’s government. All the pigs represent the communist party loyalists. An example of the parallels is when Stalin expels Trotsky from the party and then adopts many of his financial and political plans. In Animal Farm this is when Napoleon uses his dogs (KGB- Secret Police) to chase Snowball out of the farm and adopts Snowball’s blueprints for the Windmill and claims it as his own. The Seventh commandment was changed to “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” (Animal Farm, page 15) This portrays how a...
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