Symbolism and Allegory in Animal Farm

Topics: Animal Farm, Communism, Totalitarianism Pages: 4 (1648 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Symbolism and allegory in three aspects of Animal Farm : Old major, The Windmill and The Seven Commandments George Orwell uses symbols throughout the novel Animal Farm to show how the upper class groups use manipulation to their advantage. Animal Farm in simple terms is the allegory of a revolution gone sour. Animalism, Communism, and Fascism are all the symbols which are used by the pigs as a means of satisfying their greed and lust for power. As Lord Acton wrote: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely” which is definitely the case. The author uses the animals, the windmill, and the seven commandments to symbolize the extreme power over the animals (workers commune). “Writers such as Jonathan Swift use allegory to satirise, as does George Orwell, in whose work the hidden meanings are political and and social rather than moral or religious”. George Orwell's book is full of satire. The aim of this book is to get people to think for themselves and have faith in their beliefs; in this way 'People will never be completely equal but at least they will not be oppressed'. This view is voiced by Old Major who said: "... Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest....we must not come to resemble him...No animal must ever live in a house or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade." This is where the Seven Commandments originally comes from and is slowly but surely misenterpreted. Symbolism is the author's way of expressing problems and solutions derived from the Bolshevik takeover. As mentioned in the Critical anthology; “ The symbols employed by writers can sometimes be private or personal, and this can pose problems for the reader in the interpretation of what the writer actually means”. This is not the case in Animal farm as he has chosen a very popular subject. The main message in the Animal Farm is that power or authority cannot be divided equally...

Bibliography: : George Orwell. Animal Farm – penguin classics
Orwell to Dickens scholar, Humphrey House, letter 1940 , quoted in Cambridge Companion to Orwell, p.137
Cambridge Companion to Orwell, p.142 in animal farm‘Mankind’ Capitalist and Royalty
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