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Animal Farm Background and Exposition
Transcript of Animal Farm Background and Exposition
Eric Arthur Blair
(25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name
, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment to democratic socialism.
Commonly ranked as one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century, and as one of the most important chroniclers of English culture of his generation, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945).
In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture.
Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian — descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices — has entered the language together with several of his neologisms, including cold war, Big Brother, thought police, Room 101, doublethink, and thought crime.
Background of the Work
Animal Farm was published on the heels of World War II, in England in 1945 and in the United States in 1946.
George Orwell wrote the book during the war as a cautionary fable in order to expose the seriousness of the dangers posed by Stalinism and totalitarian government. Orwell faced several obstacles in getting the novel published.
Animal Farm appeared only at the war’s end, during the same month that the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The tragically violent events of the war set the stage well for Orwell’s fictional manifesto against totalitarianism.
Animal Farm was Orwell’s first highly successful novel (the second being 1984), and it helped launch him out of the minor fame of an essayist into the stratosphere of acclaimed fiction. Despite publishers’ initial hesitance toward the book, the public in both Britain and the United States met it with enthusiasm. In the United States alone, it sold 600,000 copies in four years. Animal Farm was translated into many languages, proving its universal reach.
Animal Farm is an allegory or fable, a fairy tale for adults. Orwell uses animal characters in order to draw the reader away from the world of current events into a fantasy space where the reader can grasp ideas and principles more crisply.
Animal Farm is also a powerful satire. Orwell uses irony to undermine the tenets of totalitarianism, specifically that of Stalinism.
Animal Farm is universally appealing for both the obvious and the subtle messages of the fable. While the allegory’s characters and events are deeply or specifically symbolic, Orwell’s narrator softens some of the punches by including a gentle and un-opinionated narrator.
Background of the Work
The donkey. He is the oldest animal on the farm and stereotypically stubborn and crotchety. He is also intelligent, being the only animal (aside from the pigs) that can read fluently.
Benjamin represents the human (and also stereotypically Russian) tendency towards apathy; he holds fast to the idea that life is inherently hard and that efforts for change are futile.
Benjamin also bear a similarity
to Orwell himself.
Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher
The dogs. When Bluebell and Jessie gave birth to nine puppies, Napoleon confiscates them and secludes them in a loft, where he transforms them into fierce, elitist guard dogs.
The male of the two horses in the farm. He is “an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together. A white stripe down his nose gave him a somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work”.
Boxer represents the peasant or working class, a faction of humanity with a great combined strength--enough to overthrow a manipulative government--but which is uneducated enough to take propaganda to heart and believe unconditionally in the government’s cause.
The only cat on Manor Farm. She is lazy and indifferent, but she does participate in the Battle of the Cowshed.
The female of the two horses on the farm. Clover is Boxer’s faithful companion as well as a motherly figure to the other animals. Clover represents those people who remember a time before the Revolution and therefore half-realize that the government is lying about its success and adherence to its principles, but are helpless to change anything.
The nine puppies which Napoleon confiscates and secludes in a loft. Napoleon rears them into fierce, elitist dogs that act as his SECURITY GUARDS. They also act as executioners, tearing out the throats of animals that confess to treachery.
The dogs represent the NKVD and more specifically the KGB, agencies Joseph Stalin fostered and used to terrorize and commit atrocities upon the Soviet Union’s populace.
The owner of Pinchfield, the small farm adjacent to Manor Farm. He is a hard-nosed individual who is known for his frequent legal troubles and demanding business style.
Frederick represents Adolf Hitler.
The owner of Manor Farm and a drunkard. His animals overthrow him in the Rebellion. When he tries to recapture his property, they defeat him, steal his gun, and drive him off again.
He represents the kind of corrupt and fatally flawed government that results in discontent and revolution among the populace. More specifically, Jones represents the latter days of imperial Russia and its last leader, the wealthy but ineffective Czar Nicholas II.
Minimus is a pig who composes propaganda songs and poems under Napoleon’s rule.
He represents the Soviet Union’s artists, who were forced to use their talents to glorify communism rather than express their personal feelings or beliefs.
Mollie ( a white mare) is the only animal not to fight in the Battle of the Cowshed, instead she just hides in her stall. She eventually flees the farm and was last seen, bedecked in ribbons, eating sugar and letting her new owner stroke her nose.
Mollie represents the class of nobles who, unwilling to conform to the new regime, fled Russia after the Revolution.
A tame raven that is Mr. Jones’s “especial pet.”
Moses gets in the way of the pigs’ efforts to spread Animalism by inventing a story about an animal heaven called Sugarcandy Mountain.
Moses represents religion, which gives people hope of a better life in heaven. His name connects him to the Judeo-Christian religions specifically, but he can be said to represent the spiritual alternative in general.
The pigs dislike Moses’s stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, just as the Soviet government opposed religion, not wanting its people to subscribe to a system of belief outside of communism.
The white goat. Muriel can read fairly well and helps Clover decipher the alterations to the Seven Commandments. Muriel is not opinionated, but she represents a subtle, revelatory influence because of her willingness to help bring things to light (as opposed to Benjamin).
One of the leaders among the pigs, Napoleon is a “large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar” that is up for sale. He is the only Berkshire boar on the farm. He modifies his opinions and policies and rewrites history continually to benefit the pigs.
Napoleon represents the type of dictator or tyrant who shirks the common good, instead seeking more and more power in order to create his own regime. Orwell reflects Napoleon’s greed for power with a name that invokes Napoleon Bonaparte, the very successful French leader who became “Emperor” and brashly invaded Russia before being defeated by Russia. But Napoleon the pig more directly represents Stalin in his constantly changing policies and actions, his secret activities, his intentional deception and manipulation of the populace, and his use of fear tactics and atrocities.
A prize Middle White boar that the Joneses exhibited under the name “Willingdon Beauty.”
Major is highly respected among his fellow farm animals. His age is twelve years, which makes him a senior among them, and he also claims to have had over four hundred children. He is the one who calls the meeting in the first chapter to discuss his strange dream.
Major symbolizes two historical figures. First, he represents Karl Marx, the father of Marxism. Marx’s political hypotheses about working-class consciousness and division of labor worked infinitely better in theory than in practice, especially when corrupt leaders
twisted them for their personal gain.
Second, Major represents Vladimir Lenin,
the foremost of the three authors of the
Russian Revolution and the formation
of the Soviet Union.
The owner of Foxwood, the large, unkempt farm adjacent to Manor Farm. He is an easy-going man who prefers pursuing his hobbies to maintaining his land.
Pilkington can be seen to represent the Allies. Allied countries explored the possibility of trade with the Soviet Union in the years leading up to World War II but kept a watchful distance.
A pig that Napoleon enlists as his taster, lest someone try to poison him.
The sheep are loyal to the tenets of Animal Farm, often breaking into a chorus of “Four legs good, two legs bad” and later, “Four legs good, two legs better!” The Sheep--true to the typical symbolic meaning of “sheep”--represent those people who have little understanding of their situation and thus are willing to follow their government blindly.
One of the leaders among the pigs, Snowball is a young pig that is up for sale. He is more intelligent than Napoleon but lacks Napoleon’s depth of character. He is also a brilliant orator. Snowball, who represents Leon Trotsky, is a progressive politician and aims to improve Animal Farm with a windmill and other technological advances, but Napoleon expels him before he can do so.
Snowball’s name may also refer to Trotsky’s call (following Marx) to encourage a revolution outside the Soviet Union that would “snowball” into an international proletariat revolution. Snowball can more generally be said to represent systems of belief outside of communism, which the government demonizes in order to lionize its own system.
The best known of the porker pigs, Squealer has “very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements, and a shrill voice.” He is also “a brilliant talker” who is talented in the art of argument. The other pigs say Squealer “could turn black into white”
Under Napoleon’s rule, Squealer acts as the liaison to the other animals. He lies to them, rewriting history and reading them encouraging, but false, statistics. Squealer is especially good at playing on the animals’ ignorance and gullibility. He represents the propaganda machine of a totalitarian government.
A solicitor in Willingdon who acts as Animal Farm’s intermediary to the human world. He is “a sly-looking little man with side whiskers.” He visits the farm every Monday to get his orders and is paid in commissions. Mr. Whymper’s business-minded attitude towards Animal Farm, which allows him to ignore the injustices and atrocities committed there, make him a parody of nations that conducted business with the Soviet Union while turning a blind eye to its internal affairs.
Animal Farm (Russia)
Chapter I. The Dream of Old Major
A. Old Major’s Wisdom during the meeting
Animals were exploited by Mr Jones, the owner of the Farm. Old major calls for a meeting of the Animals in the Manor farm to impart his knowledge of how to free themselves from the abuses.
B. Decision of Major to man and animals
They have realized that men are their enemies and all animals are their comrades.
C. Old Major’s Dream
Old Major shared the dream that he had last night and remembered an old song which his mother used to sing to him in his early life.
D. The singing of the Beasts of England
The animals followed the lead of old major singing the “Beasts of England”. This song symbolized their unity to rebel against the abusive Mr Jones.
“Beasts of England”
Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the Golden future time.
Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.
Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.
Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.
For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake.
Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well, and spread my tidings
Of the Golden future time.
Chapter II. Principle of Animalism
A. The Death of Old Major
Three nights later old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was buried at the foot of the orchard.
B. The Rebellion
During the next three months there were much secret activities as preparation for the Rebellion of which they didn’t know when to take place. Snowball and Napoleon led the Animal forces to oust Mr Jones in the Manor Farm.
C. Manor Farm to Animal Farm
After Mr Jones expelled, they decided to change Manor Farm into Animal Farm with the Leadership of the pigs, namely Napoleon and Snowball and crafted the seven Commandments that they must abide.
The Seven Commandments
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. (Without sheets)
5. No animal shall drink alcohol. (To excess)
6. No animal shall kill any other animal. (Without Cause)
7. All animals are equal. (But some animals are more equal than the others)
Chapter III. The Superiority of the Pigs
A. The Biggest Harvest
The Animal farm was blessed with great harvest under the leadership of the pigs. All their efforts were rewarded as they all worked for a good production in the farm.
B. Implementation of Sunday’s Activities
They have no work on Sundays. Every after breakfast there is a ceremony which was observed every week. They hold meetings and ends with the singing of “The Beasts of England”.
C. The Animal Committees
Snowball organized committees to make the administration of the Farm more organized that Napoleon refuted.
D. The essential Principle of Animalism
Snowball shortened the commandments into a single maxim to make it easier for the animals to remember which is “Four legs good, two legs bad”. This laid the principle of Animalism.
Chapter IV. Battle of Cowshed
A. The Spread of Rebellion
By the late summer the news of what had happened on Animal Farm had spread across half the county. Every day Snowball and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose instructions were to mingle with the animals on neighbouring farms, tell them the story of the Rebellion, and teach them the tune of 'Beasts of England'.
B. Battle of the Cowshed
Mr Jones attempted to recapture his Farm back with other Farmers but failed because of the strategies that the animals used. Their victory of defending the Animal Farm was named Battle of the Cowshed in honour of the cow who died.
Chapter V. The Plan about the Windmill
A. Disappearance of Mollie
It was winter, Mollie during work hours in the morning was always failed to attend. He always reason out of over slept and suffered mysterious pains. However, Clover discovers that Mollie is being bribed off Animal Farm by one of Pilkington's men, who eventually won her loyalties. Mollie disappeared, and the pigeons reported seeing her standing outside a pub, sporting one of the ribbons that she always coveted.
B. The Dispute between Snowball and Napoleon
Snowball argued in favor of the windmill, which he was certain will eventually become a labor-saving device; Napoleon argued against it, saying that building the windmill will take time and effort away from the more important task of producing food. The two also disagreed on whether they should (as Napoleon thinks) amass an armory of guns or (as Snowball thinks) send out more pigeons to neighbouring farms to spread news of the rebellion.
C. The Place for Windmill
Snowball observed that the windmill will be placed in the long pasture, not far from the farm buildings that there was a small knoll which was the highest point of the farm. By then, declaring that this was a placed wherein dynamo and supply from the farm with electrical power made to be operated.
D. The Slogan of Where to vote
The whole farm was deeply divided on the subject of the windmill. Thus, the animals formed themselves into two factions under the slogans, “Vote for Snowball and the three-day a week” and vote for Napoleon and the full manger.”
E. Presentation of the Windmill
In glowing sentences Snowball painted a picture of Animal Farm as might be when sordid labor was lifted from animals’ backs. He presented that the windmill produces electricity that could operate threshing machines -ploughs, harrows, rollers, and reapers and binders, besides supplying every stall with its own electric light, hot and cold water, and an electric heater.
F. Amendments of some of the Activities
The windmill itself was a symbol of technological progress. Snowball wanted it to be built because he thinks it will bring to the farm a degree of self-sufficiency — which accords with the principles of Animalism.
Chapter VI. The Building of the Windmill
A. The unexpected Difficulties
The animals had difficulty in breaking the stone into pieces in suitable size. They came up to a solution to slash a rope around the stone, drag the rope and topple it in the top to shatter it into the ground. Boxer worked harder because he’s strength is almost equivalent to the strength of all the animals in the farm.
B. Engaging in Trade with Mr Whymper
As the summer wore on, the animals started to notice their shortages such as the paraffin oils, nails, string, dog biscuits and iron for the horse shoes. Thru Napoleon, the animals made business with Mr. Whymper as an intermediary between the farm and the outside world. He goes to the farm every Monday morning to receive instructions.
Chapter VI. The Building of the Windmill
C. Disobedience of the pigs on the 4th Commandment
The pigs had moved to the farmhouse, but the other animals have remembered the rules about sleeping in beds. Clover with the helped of Muriel read the commandments written in the wall, which says that no animal should sleep in bed with sheets. Squealer explained the reason of their stay and satisfied the other animals that they are not sleeping in the bed with sheet. Sooner the animals have agreed to these and also agreed that the pigs will wake up 1 hour late than the other animals in the morning.
D. The Southwest Winds
As the November-south winds came, it brought destruction to animal farm. Their half a year built windmill was destroyed. Napoleon had accused and sentenced snowball that he was responsible for destroying the windmill. Napoleon had given rewards for those who can catch Snowball. Napoleon also announced that the animals will work all the winter, rain or shine to rebuild the windmill and to show to Snowball and the people outside that they can’t undo their work and defeat the animals.
Chapter VII. The investigation of Snowball’s Activities
A. Rebuilding of the Windmill
It had been decided to build the walls three feet thick instead of eighteen inches as before, which meant collecting much larger quantities of stone. Some progress was made but the animas could not feel as hopeful about it as they had felt before. Only boxer and clover never lost heart.
B. Occurrences of famine and disease
In January, food fell short and corn rations were drastically reduced. With the collapse of the windmill, human beings are inventing lies that all the animals in the animal farm were dying of famine and disease. Napoleon decided to make use of Mr. Whymper to spread a contrary impression. He instructed the sheep to remark casually in his hearing that rations had been increased. He ordered the almost empty bins in the store-shed to be filled nearly to the brim with sand, which was then covered up with what remained of the grain and meal. Mr. Whymper had been deceived and continued to report to the outside world that there was no food shortage in animal farm.
C. Investigation of Snowballs Activities
Napoleon, with his dogs in attendance set out and made a careful tour of inspection of the farm buildings. He snuffed in every corner and found traces of Snowball almost everywhere. The animals were thoroughly frightened.
D. The Secret Agreement of Selling the Pile of Timber
Whymper advised Napoleon to sell the pile of timber. Both Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick were anxious to buy it. Napoleon was hesitating between the two, unable to make up his mind.
E. The Slaughter of Some Animals
In the late afternoon, Napoleon ordered all animal to assemble in the yard. When they were all gathered together, Napoleon emerged from the farmhouse. The pigs who confessed that they had been secretly in touch with Snowball had been slaughtered by his dogs. He demanded whether any animal had anything to confess. All other animals had confessed and all of them were killed.
F. Abolition of the “Beasts of England”
Clover lacked any words to express on what had happened to the other animals that had confessed and had begun to sing Beast of England. Squealer approached them and announced that Beast of England had been abolished since rebellion had been completed after the execution of the traitors. So Beast of England was heard no more.
Chapter VII. The investigation of Snowball’s Activities
Chapter V. The Plan about the Windmill
Chapter VIII. The Success of the Windmill
A. Revision of the Sixth Commandment
After the confession and execution where many animals died, Clover asked Benjamin to read the 6th commandment but he refused it. Clover fetched Muriel to read it and it stated that “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause”. But it was revised into “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause” in which the original statement was added two words at the end. With the revision of the 6th commandment, the animals saw that they had not violated it there’s a good reason of killing if ever they found out that anyone will betray the group and has a secret connection with Snowball.
B. “Comrade Napoleon” by Minimus
Since the “Beast of England” was heard no more, Minimus composed a poem entitled “Comrade Napoleon” and then it was inscribed on the wall of the big barn at the opposite end of the seven commandments.
C. The Complicated Negotiation
Napoleon was engaged in a complicated negotiation between Frederick and Pilkington to whom the timber will be sold. Mr. Frederick was eager to buy the timber but he did not offer a reasonable price. In addition, the animals heard that Mr. Frederick was planning to attack the farm and will destroy the windmill. On the other hand, Napoleon was arranged to sell the timber to Mr. Pilkington and they had an agreement of exchanging various products between Animal Farm and Foxwood.
D. The Windmill’s Success
Despite the hardship and the problems encountered by the animals, the windmill had been realized. The animals could hardly imagine how they labored it. Everyone was uttering cries of triumph.
E. The Pile of Timber was sold to Mr Frederick
Napoleon announced that he had sold the timber to Mr. Frederick and his wagon would come soon to cart it away. Although the relationship of Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington was almost friendly, it was found out that Napoleon had a secret agreement with Mr. Frederick. After the timber had paid up, it was hurriedly removed from the farm.
Chapter VIII. The Success of the Windmill
Chapter VIII. The Success of the Windmill
F. The Terrible (Buffalo) Hullaballo
After three days, it was found out that the bank-notes paid by Mr. Frederick were forgeries. The news was immediately spread to all the animals. Napoleon called a meeting and declared a death sentence to Mr. Frederick.
G. Windmill was destroyed
Mr. Frederick and his men with a dozen of guns, attacked the Animal Farm. The animals fought back but some of them were already wounded. The whole farm including the windmill was now in the hands of the enemy. The animals could hardly believe that the men with the hammer and the crowbar were drilling a hole near the base of the windmill. The battle was called the “Battle of the Windmill”.
H. Revision of the Fifth Commandment
As Muriel was reading the seven commandments she noticed that the original 5th commandment which stated that “No animal shall drink alcohol” was changed into “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess”.
Chapter IX. Animal Farm as a Republic
A. The Sacrifice of Boxer
After the day of the celebration of the victory, the Animal Farm had started rebuilding the windmill. Boxer refused to take even a day off in work, even if he is suffering from pain after been shot in his hind leg. Clover and Benjamin had been warning Boxer to work less hard for the sake of his health but would not listen to them.
B. The Fall of Boxer
After Boxers’ hoof was healed, he had even worked much harder. Apart from work in the farm and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was the schoolhouse for the young pigs. Boxers his hide was less shiny than it had used to be, and his great haunches seemed to have shrunken. Once again Clover and Benjamin warned him to take care of his health, but Boxer paid no attention. Late one evening in the summer Boxer went out alone to drag stones from the hill few minutes later two pigeons came racing in with the news: Boxer has fallen and can't get up. The news was confirmed as they see boxer lying between the shafts of the cart, his neck stretched out, unable even to raise his head. His eyes were glazed, his sides matted with sweat. A thin stream of blood had trickled out of his mouth.
Chapter IX. Animal Farm as a Republic
C. The Death of Boxer
The next two days Boxer remained in his stall. It was in the middle of the day when the van came to take him away. The animals were astonished to see Benjamin come galloping from the direction of the farm buildings, braying at the top of his voice. It was the first time that they had ever seen Benjamin excited. They taught that the van would take Boxer to the hospital but they were taking Boxer to knackers. Boxer tried to kick his way outside the van. But his strength had left him; and in a few moments the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter and died away. Three days later it was announced that he had died in the hospital at Willington, Squealer came to announce the news to the others. After speaking, he fell silent for a moment, and his little eyes darted suspicious glances from side to side before he proceeded. Some of the animals had noticed that the van which took Boxer away was marked `Horse Slaughterer,' and had actually jumped to the conclusion that Boxer was being sent to the knacker's.
Chapter X. All Animals are Equal but Some Animals are More Equal Than Others
A. The Changes of the Farm
After the death of Boxer, there were many animals brought in the farm which were fine upstanding beasts, willing workers and good comrades but very stupid. The farm now was prosperous and well organized. The area was large by two fields which had been bought by Mr. Pilkington. The windmill had been successfully completed; the farm now owned a threshing machine, a hay elevator of its own and various new buildings. There are also changes regarding with the routine of the farm like addressing one another comrades and marching every Sunday morning past a boar’s skull which nailed was nailed to a post in the garden.
B. The Reconciliation of the Human Beings to the Animal Farm
There was a gathering at the Animal Farm where animals and humans gathered. Mr. Pilkingston of foxwood asked for a toast and uttered these few words, “the long period of mistrust and misunderstanding has now come to end”.
C. Animal Farm to Manor Farm
Napoleon announced for the first time that the name Animal Farm had been abolished. The farm was now to be known as “The Manor Farm”, for he believed that it was the correct and original name of the farm.
Third Person Omniscient Point of View
POINT OF VIEW
Man vs Man
Snowball vs Napoleon
-They were debating every meeting in the barn and always disagreeing with their ideas.
Man vs society
Mr Jones vs Animals in the Manor Farm
-The Animals of the Manor Farm rebelled against Mr Jones’ exploitation.
Man vs Nature
Animals of Farm vs raging south west winds
-The animals struggled with the devastation brought by the winds especially the destruction of the Windmill.
- Jones which represented the Russian Government was highly criticized and/or mocked by Old major in the meeting at the big barn exposing the vices or exploitation.
- Orwell also accentuated as a whole Napoleon representing Joseph Stalin of his administration and harsh and unfair exploitation of the animals in the farm being a totalitarian.
- “Why then do we continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings.” (Old Major)
- Napoleon – based upon Joseph Stalin
- Snowball – allusion to Leon Trotsky
- Squealer – correlates with Pravda and represented the propaganda
- Piglets – generations raised under Lenin regime
- Mr Jones – symbolized Tsar Nicholas II and imperial Russia
- Mr Frederick – represented Adolf Hitler
- Mr Pilkington – represented capitalist governments of England and United States
- The Windmill – symbolized the manipulation of the pigs of other animals for their own gain
- The Barn – where the seven Commandments were written symbolizes the collective memory of the nations
- Boxer and Clover – represented the Proletariat or the working Class
- Mollie – characteristic of the middle class
- Mr Whymper – represented the western intellects
- The Rats and Rabbits – represented some of the Nomadic people in the Far East of USSR
- Moses – represented Religion
• Allegory (political)
- The setting in the novel was the Manor/Animal Farm is actually Russia during the rise of Communism and its Communist Party in 1917 to 1943. The characters were all animals, they are actually the Russian people in different groups (proletariat, elite, Religious leader/s, etc.).The novel as a whole is about the Russian History.
- Old Major representing Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin expressed his dream of an upcoming rebellion due to abusive conditions of the labouring class which in Russian History stands for the influence of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.
- The Fall of Jones was the representation of the overthrow of the Russian Tsar (Nicholas II).
- Battle of Cowshed was the stand-in of Civil War in Russia
- The Hen Rebellion represented the Russian’s Great Purge
-Frederick’s Scheming represented Hitler’s breaking of non-aggression pact he signed with Stalin
- The Battle of Windmill represented the World War II.
- Final Feast was the meeting of animals and humans in the end of the novel Tehran Conference 1943 and the beginning of Cold war.
-Ribbons – Slavery
-"Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion?"(Mollie) - Sugar represents happiness, freedom, and satisfaction.
-Flag – Nationalism/Patriotism
- Gate- boundary or territory
“….Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet,that sooner or later justice will be done….” (Old Major, p. 9)
• Dream Motif
"And now, comrades, I will tell you about my dream of last night. I cannot describe that dream to you. It was a dream of the earth as it will be when Man has vanished. But…..”- (old Major, p.11)
“Many years ago, when I was a little pig, my mother and the other sows used to sing an old song…” (Old Major, p.11)
• Figures of speech
With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side…
They had just noticed this when a cry of despair broke from every animal’s throat.
Starvation seemed to stare then in the face
Old Major, the prize Middle White boar
Mollie, the foolish
Muriel, the white goat
Benjamin, the donkey
Napoleon the Father of all Animals, Terror of Mankind, protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings Friend
The other side of squealer, he could turn black into white
Nothing could’ve been achieved without Boxer whose strength seemed equal to that all of the animals
It was decided to set the gun up at the foot of the flagstaff, like a piece of artillery and fire it twice a year…
The earth was like iron, and nothing could in the fields….
The news of what happened spread around the farm like wildfire
It was a bitter winter
“War is war…..”(Snowball,p.43)
• Irony (Situational)
The pigs were celebrating after the death of Boxer.
The life of Animals was misery and slavery; that is the plain truth
“Man is the only creature consuming without producing” (Old major)
All that year the animals worked like slaves
• Historical Allusion
- Farm Building – the Kremlin in the Soviet days of the USSR and later became the residence of Joseph Stalin
- Windmill – Russian industry that has been built by the working class
- Battle of Cowshed – represents the allied invasions of the Soviet Russia during the Russian Civil War
- Battle of Windmill – represents the patriotic war (world war II) especially the battle of Stalingrad and the battle of Moscow
The Soviet Union under Stalinism
-The allegorical characters of the novel represent specific historical figures and different factions of Imperial Russian and Soviet society. These include Karl Marx (Major), Vladimir Lenin (Major), Leon Trotsky (Snowball), Joseph Stalin (Napoleon), Adolf Hitler (Frederick), the Allies (Pilkington), the peasants (Boxer), the elite (Mollie), and the church (Moses).
-The resemblance of some of the novel’s events to events in Soviet history is indubitable. For example, Snowball’s and Napoleon’s power struggle is a direct allegory of Trotsky’s and Stalin’s. Frederick’s trade agreement with Napoleon, and his subsequent breaking of the agreement, represents the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact that preceded World War II. The following Battle of the Windmill represents World War II itself.
-Squealer’s subsequent announcement that the executions have ended the Rebellion connects them to the period of the Red Terror, however.
• The Inevitability of Totalitarianism
- Orwell emphasizes the insidiousness of totalitarianism early in the novel, when the pigs take the fresh milk and apples. The pigs justify their actions on the basis of their superiority; they are smart and need more nutrition than the other animals to fuel their brainpower.
-In the beginning, Jones is the autocratic Tyrant which later who Napoleon became.
• Intelligence and Education as Tools of Oppression
-The moment the pigs are faced with something material that they want—the fresh milk—they abandon their morals and use their superior intellect and knowledge to deceive the other animals. The pigs cement their status as the educated elite; they use their mental advantage to manipulate the other animals.
• Propaganda and Duplicity
-Squealer as a fluent speaker persuades other animals of Napoleon’s good intentions that every time Clover has doubts of the commandments which are obviously changed by Napoleon; he manages to convince that Clover’s observation is wrong.
- Napoleon is brainwashing the animals that “The Beasts of England” shouldn’t be sang at all since the rebellion had taken place already. He actually did it to eradicate in the minds of the animals any ideas of rebellion which could possible endanger the power he is enjoying.
• Violence and Terror as Means of Control
- Jones overworks the animals and steals the products of their labour, but he can whip or slaughter them at his discretion.
- Boxer was eminently exploited that even his life was put at risks believing that Napoleon is doing everything for good.
- The executions of the animals by the cruel dogs being charged as a traitor against Napoleon which actually made animals fear any opposition to Napoleon.
• Violence and Terror as Means of Control
• Corruption of the absolute power may inflict injustice among people
- When the pigs claimed that they are the one who must consume more foods and have convenient shelter for they’re the one who had used so much of effort of their brain in the administration of the Farm. Animal food ration had been reduced by Pigs.
• The greed for power among leaders results to the betrayal and destruction of nation
- After the fall of Mr Jones, the administration of the Manor Farm had been handed to the leadership of Snowball and Napoleon who later compete with each other of the authority instead of uniting for improvement of the Farm and Equality among the animals.
• Law makers are sometimes the law breakers
- Napoleon who imposed the laws actually breaks it that made people exploited and suffer inequalities. The 7 commandments were altered by him who increased his power. Like when, He negotiates with men, wore clothes, slept in the bed, drank alcohol, executed animals and claimed that animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others which are all opposite of the original commandments crafted based on the principle of Animalism.
• The slavery and abuses in Russia
- At the height Of Stalinism in Russia, people were exploited in terms of their work.
• Corruption among political leaders
- Corruption is common in any country especially in poor countries.
• Illiteracy among the members of the society
- Illiteracy would lead to manipulation and oppression.
• Patriotism and Nationalism
- People are willing to defend their country no matter what.
• Harvest Time
- Every great harvest time there is a celebration has been a tradition of the people.
- It is the association to communism; people in a communist country address each other “comrade”.
• Red Herring
- The attention of the people is diverted when there are issues arising in the politics or government.
• The rule or dominance of the intellects and elite
- Generally, those individuals who are intellects and elite become the leader.
“Four Legs good, two legs bad”- (chapter 3, p.50)
“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others” (Benjamin,p.134 )
“I will work harder”- (Boxer, p. 29)
“War is war. The only good human being is – a dead one”-(Snowball,p.43)
“Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility”- (Sqeualer,p.55)
“The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally.” (Napoleon,p. 129)
“Don’t take your own brother to his death” – (Clover,p. 123)
“Forward comrades! Long live the Windmill! Long live Animal Farm!” – (Napoleon, p. 71)
“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. “Old Major (p.7)
“And among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle.” Old Major (p.10)
“Will there still be sugar after the rebellion.” Mollie (p.17)
“Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.” Benjamin (p. 30)
“A bird’s wing is an organ of propulsion and not of manipulation.” Snowball (p.34)
“Bravery is not enough, loyalty and obedience are more important.” Squealer (p.55)
“The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.” Boxer (p. 85)
“Don’t take your own brother to his death!” All Animals (p.123)
“If you have your lower animals to contend with, we have our lower classes.” Mr. Pilkington (p.138)
Animal Farm is a depiction of different attitudes and characteristics of animals like people in a society and in the farm. The farm and its animals are to be administered systematically with an authority,- A leader just as people needs a government to govern the country, serve and protect its subjects –the people. The title of the novel illustrates the political destruction of USSR and other countries due to influence of Soviet Communism. The Animals were representing the Proletariat who were vehemently oppressed under totalitarian leadership of Joseph Stalin who was also represented by Napoleon. The revolution portrays the willingness of the people all throughout the world to defend their land whatever the cost may be. The novel also gives the readers a glimpse of the horrifying past of the communist rule in 1917-1944 amidst the attempts of revolution by the people. In General, Animal Farm mirrors the sacrifices and hardships of the people who are yearning for freedom and liberty.
"It's better to die fighting for freedom than to live life in chains."
Every human being seeks freedom and equality. These are the driving forces to resistance against cell of oppression. People are willing to fight and die for their land to liberate themselves rather forever be chained on tyranny of power-hungry leaders. We realized that unity plays a significant role to reach a certain goal. Difficult things become easy when everyone works hand in hand with it. The strong involvement of every individual matters whether you bea farmer, an illiterate, an indigent person, an elite, businessman or whatever you are have greater impacts for nation’s betterment parallel to the theory of Structural Functionalism where every element of the society plays a certain role which affects the society as whole. But a leading individual must take the greater responsibility in making every action be taken effectively. It’s a leader-member interrelationship. Thus, a leader must take everything into consideration and assures that all its subjects are given equal opportunity to the benefits of Liberty and the subjects as well be active and responsible of their personal and civic responsibilities.
Thanks for listening!
At first glance, an inexperienced reader would think that Greorge Orwell's Animal Farm is nothing but a child's
about talking animals, a fantasy, a nursery story. Instead Animal Farm is a deadly serious story intended for adults. A book with a biting
. Animal Farm is a satire. Orwell is telling his readers about humans and nations, but in this allegory, he uses a barnyard to make his points. With its talking beasts and its obvious moral, Animal Farm is actually a
, more complex but just as memorable as Aesop's.
Any book, story, or essay in which the author uses objects or events to
entirely different objects or events.
In Animal Farm, the animals represent
, and the farm represents the
. The animals represent the people of
during their revolution in
(the time that
was at its worst.
A piece of liteature that is
of customs or individuals, political or social establishments.
any of these--
political, or social establishments
A satire can take the form of
or it can be
is written in order to point out something evil or absurd going on, usually with the hope that things will be
as a result.
The institutions that Orwell is satirizing (bitterly opposing) are
Facism: Italy and Spain
Communism: China and Cuba
Never once does Orwell mention ANY of these governments or nations.
He also never mentions anything about dictatorships or totalitarianism.
CAUSES OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917
A. Dreadful Famine – people starving (1890s….)
B. Terrible losses in Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
C. Rise of factories – workers mistreated (strikes, unions)
D. No freedom – people were rioting to get rights; government controlled by czar
RUSSIA BEFORE THE REVOLUTION:
A. Tsar (Nicholas II): absolute dictator; had unquestioned power
B. Boyars: corrupt upper class; supported czar’s oppression
C. Bourgeoisies: factory owners; exploited/took advantage of proletariats
D. Proletariats: factory workers; poor and exploited
E. Peasants: farm workers; lowest and poorest
Society turned upside down
In the autumn of 1917, the
revolted and turned everything upside down.
1. German socialist philosopher – came up with the idea that the people should own everything (communism)
2. Was angry about the terrible conditions workers were suffering during the early
3. Envisioned a
society in which the means of production would be owned and controlled by the
4. In his famous book,
The Communist Manifesto
, he predicted an inevitable revolution of the
against the capitalists who exploit their
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924)
1. Founder of the Bolshevik party (later called the
(Note: “Bolshevik” means “majority” in Russian)
2. Developed Marxism into Russian Communism –
3. Founder of the
4. When he died, his body was
embalmed and displayed in Moscow’s Red Square
1. Worked with
to lead the
2. Founded the
. and the
(titled this for “bloodshed”)
3. Lost power to
in 1924, the same year Lenin died
4. Bitterly opposed to
policies (rule by force)
5. Deported in 1929; later brutally murdered in
1. Struggled with
2. Ruthless dictator of the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death
3. Stalin “
” the Soviet Union (by force):
conducted mass deportations to Siberia (minorities)
. conducted public executions (opposition)
starved those who tried to keep their land (farmers)
used informers and secret police (KGB) to control (everybody)
4. In the end, Joseph Stalin was responsible for even more deaths than
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TROTSKY AND STALIN
Big projects that would help the entire Russian economy
Believed that the soviet Union should help
in other countries, so the whole world would become
Was more interested in developing a strong government "Borrowed" Trotsky's plans for industrialization by starting "
Five Year Plans
Believed the Soviet Union should fully implement communism at home first.
to spread the ideas of the revolution The song of this organization was the "
Why Animal Farm is an ALLEGORY
IN RUSSIAN HISTORY
Czar Nicholas II
old ruler overthrown
group that exploits others
song of the revolution
IN ANIMAL FARM
Employees on Jones' farm
"Beasts of England"
According to C. M. Woodhouse in his introduction to the novel, "it is impossible to attach a moral in any familiar sense to Animal Farm, where wickedness ends in triumph and virtue is utterly crushed. There is perhaps a moral for farmers: don't take to drink and let your animals get out of hand; but even so the villains will be comforted to find that eerything comes out all right for them in the end. For the downtrodden animals there is nothing but misery, cruelty, and injustice; and in place of a moral there is only the tragic chorus of the donke Benjamin, who held that 'life would go on as it had always gone on--that is badly.'"
In the mid 1800s, the capitalist system was strong in Europe and America, but the profits of businesses came at the expense of workers who labored 14 to 18 hours a day in unsafe conditions. There were no child labour laws, and wages were barely livable for the common worker. In 1847, an international workers' group ask Karl Marx, a German philosopher, to draw up a plan for their organization. The group was called the Communist League. Marx wrote a plan called the Mqnifesto of the Communist Party.
Marx envisioned a workers' revolt followed by a kind of paradise where each person would work according to his or her ability and receive money according to his or her ability and receive money according to his or her need. Marx saw the final stage of his Communist system bein total worldwide economic equality. About this time, labour laws were passed in Western Europe and America that made the workplace safer and more tolerable for workers. The worldwide revolution that Marx foresaw never came to pass.
The people tht followed Marx's thinking were called Socialists. The Socialist split into two groups. The milder group wanted to bring about Communism slowly by passing new laws. The other group (we'll call them Communists) stuck to Marx's original idea of a major worker revolt. The Communists were a small extremist group compared to the total number of Socialists. The formed a political party called the Bolshevik Party, which was led by a man named Vladimir Lenin.
Beginnings of the Russian Revolution
By 1917 the suffering was too great and groups of people began a revolution. The Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, took a role in leading this revolution, Czar Nicholas II was forced to leave power, and later he and his family were executed. The Bolshevik Party under Lenin took control of the government. From 1918 to 1921 other countries that did not want Communism to spread invaded Russia. However, the Communists were successful, and they changed the name of the coutry from Russia to the Soviet Union. They often called each other "comrad" which means someone who is a friend and equal.
Rule of the Czar--
Strike--unrest--Sins against God revealing the need for a stricter autocracy.