Another Animal Farm

George Orwell\'s Animal Farm is a political satire of a
totalitarian society ruled by a mighty dictatorship, in all
probability an allegory for the events surrounding the Russian
Revolution of 1917. The animals of "Manor Farm"
overthrow their human master after a long history of
mistreatment. Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue to
do their work, only with more pride, knowing that they are
working for themselves, as opposed to working for humans.
Little by little, the pigs become dominant, gaining more
power and advantage over the other animals, so much so
that they become as corrupt and power-hungry as their
predecessors, the humans. The theme in Animal Farm
maintains that in every society there are leaders who, if given
the opportunity, will likely abuse their power. The book
begins in the barnyard of Mr. Jones\' "Manor Farm". The
animals congregate at a meeting led by the prize white boar,
Major. Major points out to the assembled animals that no
animal in England is free. He further explains that the
products of their labor is stolen by man, who alone benefits.
Man, in turn, gives back to the animals the bare minimum
which will keep them from starvation while he profits from
the rest. The old boar tells them that the source of all their
problems is man, and that they must remove man from their
midst to abolish tyranny and hunger. Days later Major dies,
but the hope and pride which he gave the other animals does
not die. Under the leadership of the pigs, the most intelligent
of the animals, they rebel against their human master
managing to overthrow him. After the rebellion, under the
direction of Napoleon, the most outspoken pig, and
Snowball, the most eloquent pig, the animals continue to
work the farm successfully. As with all societies, the animals
have laws which must be obeyed. Their laws stated that
animals shall never become like humans; cruel and
manipulative. They shall not wear clothing nor sleep in beds.
Most importantly, they are to respect one another\'s equality
and killing another animal is strictly forbidden. Meanwhile,
the pigs as leaders are taking bigger food rations for
themselves justifying their behavior as something necessary
for the "brains" of their animal society. At this point we begin
to suspect that the pigs will abuse their positions and power
in this animal society. Mr. Jones tries to reclaim his power
but the animals prevent him from doing so in what they call
"The Battle of the Cowshed". After the battle, Napoleon
drives Snowball off the farm telling everyone that Snowball
was on Mr. Jones\' side. Napoleon is further appreciated by
the other animals for exposing and removing the traitor,
Snowball, from their midst. Slowly, Napoleon gets a
stronger and stronger hold over the other animals,
dominating their every action. The situation at "Animal
Farm", the new name for "Manor Farm", really starts to
change now. Napoleon moves into Mr. Jones\' house, sleeps
in his bed, and even wears his clothes. In order to make his
actions appear legal, the law had to be interpreted
differently, which Napoleon arranged. In defiance of the
original laws, Napoleon befriends Mr. Pilkington, the human
owner of a nearby farm. Napoleon had such control over
the other animals that they accepted such a blatant disregard
of their law about fraternizing with humans. The book ends
with the pigs sitting at a table, eating with humans. Napoleon
announces to those around the table that the name "Manor
Farm" will be reinstated. The humans and pigs converse
while the other animals outside look on. They, the lowly
creatures according to the pigs and humans, look from pig to
man and from man to pig, unable to differentiate between the
species. The theme throughout Animal Farm is presented
through the allegory of corrupt pigs and the passivity of the
other barnyard animals. The humans in the story represent
the Russian royal family and aristocracy, tyrants who abused
their power with no regard for the peasants who, in essence,
supported their royal lifestyle. The pigs represent the
Bolshevik revolutionaries who led the masses in rebellion
against the Czar and the entire royal family. Unfortunately, as
with the pigs, power corrupted and the people were then
oppressed by their "comrades" under the new communist
government. Orwell\'s message about power, in the hands of
a few, is corrupting and does nothing to benefit the masses.

Category: Book Reports