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Animal Farm

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Kami Prier

on 16 May 2011

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Transcript of Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism. Orwell based major events in the book on ones from the Soviet Union during the Stalin era. PLOT: The story begins on Manor Farm which is situated on the English countryside. It’s run by Mr. Jones who is a tyrannical master and who is often drunk. Old Major, the eldest and wisest pig on the farm holds a meeting to persuade the other animals on Manor Farm that now is the time to rebel and take over the farm. Three days later, Old Major dies, but the animals carry on their plan of rebellion, eventually running Mr. Jones and his wife off of Manor Farm. The farm is no longer known as Manor Farm, but animal farm.
The Pigs take the leadership role on the farm because they are the smartest of all animals. All animals on the farm are encouraged to learn to read and write, and a set of 7 commandments are written on the side of the barn. From this point on, the animals face hardship. Things seem good at first and most of the animals are willing to work hard. However, in reality, the farm is failing and the original principles on which the farm was built are beginning to fade away. The pigs, who have made poor leadership decisions, are changing the commandments and becoming more and more like the tyrannical humans that they rebelled against. George Orwell sums up the results of the rebellion in the last sentence of the book, saying, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." Symbolism in Characters: NAPOLEON (Main leader on farm; Pig)
- Directly modeled after Joseph Stalin.
- Represents the political tyrants throughout history, including: Josip Tito, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Augusto Pinochet, and Slobodan Milosevic.
-Name Comes from Napoleon, the French leader who betrayed democratic principles and rose to power. SNOWBALL (Pig in charge before Napoleon)
-Modeled off of Leon Trotsky
-Portrayed in a somewhat positive way
-Passionate and devoted to spreading Animalism
-No match to Napoleon’s brute force and is chased off the farm and later blamed
For all the wrong that happens on the farm. BOXER (Hard working horse)
- Epitome of the working class.
-Loyal, hard working, dedicated, but naïve.
-Exploited by the pigs, but unable to see the corruption on the farm.
-Ultimately betrayed when he is sent to the glue factory to be killed instead of receiving
The pension he was promised SQUEALER (Devoted follower of Napoleon; Pig)
-Silver tongued. Justifies Napoleons actions with his impressive use of words in persuasion.
-Name refers to the squealing noises that pigs use to communicate. Squealer’s character is
defined by his use of words and communication. ANIMAL FARM
-Symbolizes Russia and Soviet Union under communist rule
-Also symbolizes any nation that has structure with a government (the pigs), a police force or army (the dogs), a working class (the other animals), and state holidays and rituals.
- Its location amid a number of hostile neighboring farms supports its symbolism as a political entity with diplomatic concerns. BARN
-Represents the collective memory of a modern nation.
-When the commandments, which are written on the barn, are changed, the leaders argue that the animals are just remembering the commandment incorrectly. Symolism in the Story: WINDMILL
-The great windmill symbolizes the pigs’ manipulation of the other animals for their own gain
-Despite the immediacy of the need for food and warmth, the pigs exploit Boxer and the other common animals by making them undertake backbreaking labor to build the windmill, which will ultimately earn the pigs more money and thus increase their power.
-From an allegorical point of view, the windmill represents the enormous modernization projects undertaken in Soviet Russia after the Russian Revolution By George Orwell Animal Farm CORRUPTION OF SOCIALIST IDEALS IN SOVIET UNION
- Animals overthrow Mr. Jones like Russians overthrow government.
-Pigs take over ruling class like Stalin and Trotsky took over Russia.
-Napoleon makes Snowball look like a traitor and throws him out of the farm like Stalin threw Trotsky out of Russia
-Napoleon eliminated his enemies to gain political power just as Stalin did.
-Napoleon’s abandonment of the original Animalist principles are just like Stalin’s abandonment of the original Russian Revolution principles.
- Both Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution end without their problems being solved. A TENDENCY TOWARD CLASS STRATIFICATION
- Though the Animals, like the Russians, were once united against a common enemy, they reverted back to a system of class stratification.
- On animal farm, the higher class were those who were intelligent, such as the pigs. The lower class were those who were less intelligent, and more inclined to do physical work, such as Boxer.
- Socialist idea’s didn’t work in Russia because humans have a tendency to divide themselves in to some sort of social class. “Equal” becomes a relative term, instead of an absolute term. THE DANGER OF A NAÏVE WORKING CLASS
-Animal Farm is told from the perspective of the common animals, who were hardworking, but naïve.
- A naïve working class, both on the farm, and in Russia, subjects the animals/people to the full effect of the rulers oppression.
- The animals couldn’t see the hypocrisy in the pigs ways, because they didn’t question Napoleon’s rule. If they did question it, Squealer was right there to assure them that Napoleon’s actions were just. THE ABUSE OF LANGUAGE AS INSTRUMENTAL TO THE ABUSE OF POWER
-Squealer served as the propagandist for the farm. His impressive use of language helped Napoleon to gain power and reassured the animals trust in their leader.
-Propaganda reassured the Russian people that their leader was just in his actions, thus helping Stalin gain political power. Themes:
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