Animal Farm: the Principles of Animalism

Orwellian and the Allegory of Communist Russia

George Orwell wrote Animal Farm between 1943 and 1944 as the principles of Animalism. Published in 1945, most of Orwell’s marks were political and humanitarian views. In addition to Orwell’s widely acclaimed thinking, he had a sharp literary mind. He uses his acumen to analyze and incorporate political views into his works. By providing the reader with political views, he reveals the consequences of the movement of a particular society.

On the other hand, Animal Farm mainly focuses on developmental conditions in Russia. Under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin, Russia warned others not to repeat a mistake. Thus, it is an allegorical work in which characters, events, objects, and ideas describe meaning beyond the literal. Allegorical representation serves to reveal an insight or truth about human behavior or human error. In Animal Farm, most events refer to a character from the Russian Revolution and post-Revolution.

Besides being one of Orwell’s most famous books after 1984, the novella tells how a group of animals on a farm overthrow a farmer. The peasants employed them and governed society as equals. All the animals work and share the fruits of their labor. As time went on, it became clear that it was not the animals that made up society at all. It is an allegory for Communist Russia, especially during Stalin’s reign, where he became the leader of the Soviet Union when Orwell wrote Animal Farm.

Plot Summary

A prize-winning wild boar, Old Major, gathers the animals at Manor Farm for a meeting in the large barn. He tells them a dream where all the animals live together without humans to oppress or control them. The animals greeted Major’s vision with great enthusiasm. When he died just three nights after meeting, three young pigs (Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer) formulated the main principles into Animalism philosophy. At night, the animals managed to beat the farmer Mr. Jones in the battle to drive him off the ground. After that, they renamed the Animal Farm property and dedicated themselves to achieving Major’s dream.

Animal Farm lives in peace and prosperity. Snowball worked teaching animals to read, and Napoleon took a group of young puppies to educate them in the principles of Animalism. When Mr. Jones reappears to take back his farm, the animals beat him again. They called it the Battle of the Cowshed and took the weapons which the peasants left as a sign of victory. As time went on, Napoleon and Snowball began to debate the future of agriculture. They began to fight with each other for power and influence among the other animals.

The Windmill

Snowball devised a scheme to build a windmill to generate electricity, but Napoleon was vehemently opposed. Finally, in a meeting, Snowball gave a passionate speech. Even though Napoleon only gave a short answer, he then made a strange sound. Nine attack dogs (Napoleon’s “trained” puppies) burst into the barn and chase Snowball from the farm. After that, Napoleon took over the leadership of Animal Farm. He immediately stated if there would be any more meetings. From such a point, he insists that only the pig will make all the decisions.

Napoleon, with a quick change of mind, devoted himself to windmills and animals. After the storm, the animals find the windmill collapsed. Human farmers proudly claim the animals make the walls too thin. However, Napoleon claims Snowball returned to the farm to sabotage the windmill. So he did a massive cleanup. Unfortunately, various animals also participated in the grand conspiracy. Snowball (an animal who opposed Napoleon’s leadership) met instant death in the teeth of the attack dogs.

The History

Napoleon began to expand his power, rewrite history to make Snowball a villain, and rise like a human. The original Animalist principles strictly prohibit such activities. However, Napoleon’s propagandist Squealer justified every action against other animals. He continued to convince them that Napoleon was a great leader. He made everything more for everyone, even though he answered otherwise.

A neighboring farmer, Mr. Frederick, tricked Napoleon into buying wood. He attacked farms and dynamite windmills, which had been rebuilt at great expense. After the demolition of the windmill, a fierce battle ensued. The animals defeat the farmers, but Boxer, Animal Farm’s most loyal worker, takes a heavy wound. He falls while working on the windmill and senses that the time is almost here. In the end, Boxer had died peacefully after being taken to the hospital, according to Squealer. Napoleon sold the Boxer to a glue maker for extra money.

The Manor Farm

Pigs are becoming more and more like humans. They walked upright, read whips, and put on clothes. As the years go by at Animal Farm, the principles of Animalism are reduced to a single set of principles: all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Napoleon comforts a human farmer named Mr. Pilkington at dinner and declares his intention to ally with human farmers against the working class human and animal communities. He changed the name Animal Farm back to Manor Farm and claimed this title was “true.”

Snowball and Napoleon

Retelling a story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes a history of the struggle for superiority between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Apart from alleging the rise to power of the dictator Stalin, Mr. Jones describes an overthrow of human oppressors by a democratic coalition of animals. Like Soviet intellectuals, pigs established themselves as the ruling class in the new society.

In both historical and fictional cases, Snowball and Napoleon portray the powerful politics of evil usurpation of power. Stalin obliterated his enemies to strengthen the political base in finding expression on Animal Farm as the principles of Animalism. On the other hand, Napoleon represented a revolution by turning pigs into government. Adoption of traits to human behavior captures a real oppressor and who is the real enemy.

Animalist

George Orwell believed in socialist ideals. However, he felt that the Soviet Union realized an ideal in lousy form. Animal Farm creates irony where Orwell describes the corruption and principles of Animalism. It is accusing and exposing the hypocrisy of tyranny based on the initial power debt to the ideology of liberation to equality. The disintegration of the deviant stages of the Seven Commandments illustrates a force as clear as the philosophical justifications of Squealer, the mediator of understanding between Napoleon and Snowball. The novella strongly criticizes how the Stalinist regime demonstrated violent Soviet communism over logic and ideals.

In addition to being an allegory for the Russian Revolution and establishing the Communist regime in Russia, Animal Farm defines political allegory and satire. Orwell’s approach manages to include a story with political significance while retelling a story about greed and society in a general sense. For example, Napoleon rewrote history by slightly changing a word in the command: no animal shall sleep in a bed.

Deception

When other animals could not read, they had to do what Napoleon said. Squealer’s lie about losing the Boxer is another example. Napoleon actively rewrote history until he managed to convince the animals where it never happened. Apart from being a bulging feature of political society, the modern era is full of increasingly tricky media twists, and disorientation between truth and lies no longer exists.

The allegorical approaches of Animal Farm apply not only to how pigs and history become the benchmark of each other’s allegory. Humans, especially exploitation and oppression, become a most intimate but literal theme in the novella. In the novella, humans exploit and oppress animals. Despite the animal revolt taking place, the animals seek to erase the last traces of Mr. Jones. When showing a clear connection between the novella and reality, the allegorical relationship between animal exploitation and human labor can be deduced from Mr. Pilkington at the end of the book. He thought how, if there was a lower class revolution in a situation, then he had the lower classes to use.

All Animals Are Equal

Snowball and Napoleon’s feud demonstrates the power of a corrupt government which creates an impression of unavoidable events. From Napoleon’s rise to his inescapable power to Snowball and his hypocrisy, Animal Farm showcases another of the characters’ worst in the principles of Animalism. “All animals are equal” describes Snowball’s hypocrisy when he feels that he is above other animals. At the end of the story, the pigs become indistinguishable from human farmers. This relationship clarifies how the idea of power must have the same effect no matter whether they are pigs and humans because they are ultimately the same.

By simply drawing a clear line between the main characters in Animal Farm, the Stalinists, and the Russian Revolution, it becomes a layer within a layer. Napoleon is Stalin, and Snowball is Trotsky. Given the direction of the novella as a universal image, it depicts suffering in which people, through power decisions, are presented. It is reflecting a particular incident surrounding the Russian Revolution and its consequences. Orwell carefully wrote a parallel satire with communist influence in Russia. However, is it still relevant? It is dependent on how the reader sees the novella. Nevertheless, one of the most important things is that animals are superior to others by using schemas and sentimental symbolism.

Bibliography

About the author

Salman Al Farisi is the owner of Calxylian and is an elitist who has enjoyed and studied various mediums. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 2020 from the Haluoleo University, Indonesia, where he studied English Literature, Film Criticism, Cultural Studies, Literary Theory, and Literary Criticism. He lives in Kendari in his mom's basement, now unemployed and ghostwriter, life with his cats, and is looking for the future.

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