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Themes in Animal Farm
Transcript of Themes in Animal Farm
Written by George Orwell
What themes are presented
in the novel Animal Farm
Totalitarianism and abuse of power
The term Totalitarianism is defined as a political system in which the state possesses complete authority over the society and controls all aspects of public and private life whenever necessary. Orwell criticized Totalitarianism and believed that was it was inevitable in a communist system, as those put in charge will result in the abuse of their power.
The theme Orwell intended to get across was the all Totalitarian regimes are the same – those who hold power will do anything to maintain it. The pigs, who were the leaders, frequently displayed this. One example was when tension arose between Napoleon and Snowball shortly after he came up with the idea of the windmill. Napoleon became envious of Snowballs gain in popularity and ended up executing him from the farm.
Poetry and Songs
Another reoccurring theme found in Animal is the use of poetry and songs. It contains various anthems; the most notable being “Beasts of England” and “Comrade Napoleon” which were adopted by the farm animals. The reason why Orwell used poetry was to display a discrete form of propaganda, intended to be a form of social control. The songs also take away the animals sense of individuality and keep them focused in the tasks to which they think will allow them to achieve their freedom.
“Friend of fatherless! Fountain of happiness! Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on Fire when I gaze at thy Calm and commanding eye, Like the sun in the sky. Comrade Napoleon! "
Corruption of the Soviet movement
One of the reasons why Animal Farm is such a successful novel is because of the way it retells the story of the Russian Revolution in a smaller scale. The tale illustrated many disdainful moments which depict not only the corruption in Animalism, but Communism. An example of this is when the animals declare:
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
This quote shows the irony and evolution of the Animal Farm. The significant of this theme is that it serves as a warning and ultimatum by displaying the outcomes of trying to establish a communism, and also how it has the possibility to destroy equality Its main idea is to critic the practices of Stalinism and its consequences.
Exploitation of Rights
One topic which Orwell implements is to show how those who are considered lower class are being abused by those superior than them. Not only did this occur before the rebellion with Mr. Jones, but it happened after, especially when Napoleon was in charge. However, some animals are not exploited by others, but by themselves. The prime example is Boxer, the horse. Although he pushed himself to the limit, he still continues to believe whole-heartedly in Napoleon’s word. Throughout the novel, Orwell demonstrates how the lack of civil rights results in total vulnerability for the inferior animals.
Symbolism and Portrayal of Key Figures
Animal Farm is filled with characters symbolizing key figures that not only played a corrupt role in the Russian Revolution, but also in society at that time.
: They symbolise the Soviet or Stalinist leaders. The use of pigs is a negative suggestion towards those that are head of Communist regime as pigs are considered as gluttonous and avaricious creatures, but are also known to be very intelligent. The two main pigs in the novel Snowball, represents Leon Trotsky, and Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin
The other animals:
They represent the citizens of Russia, who were considered the Labour Class. They are drawn towards the idea of communism as they believe it will benefit their society, only to end up being betrayed by the Communist party.
The Humans: The people in animal farm from the very beginning are recognised as the enemies. Mr. Jones, the main human character is thought to represent Tsar Nicholas II.
...I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat. - George Orwell