Animal Farm Review

George Orwell’s novel ‘Animal Farm’ opens with Old Major’s dream for a free world of animals. He shares his dream with the animals on the farm.

The first glimpse of the novel undoubtedly pictures how the animals on the farm are fed up with their master, Farmer Jones. Following the motivation received from Old Major, the animals kick him out of the farm and take control of it.

George Orwell through the novel makes his opinions on Russian leaders explicitly heard through the revolt and the incidents that follow in the Manor Farm. He has clearly pictured the animals to cleverly represent the characters of Russian politicians, voters, and workers.

Following the revolt, the animals work hard on the farm with the vision of a prosperous future. On the other hand, missing milk and Napoleon’s choice for training the puppies himself foreshadows what could be expected as a turn of events. Unexpectedly, at the right chance using the dogs, Napoleon, chases Snowball away, and assumes himself as the leader of the farm.

Soon, a lot many things happen and in no time, Napoleon becomes the superpower of the farm. Still, the situation of the working class animals hasn’t changed. While the pigs enjoy good food and comfort, the animals toil in the field.

In the end, the pigs behave like animals taking total control over the farm. This shows how a totalitarian government takes ultimate control over ordinary people. This is what happened in Russia. The revolution which was supposed to bring happiness and freedom for the working-class people, turned out to be the opposite, making their life worse under the leadership of Stalin. Altogether, ‘Animal Farm’ is a well-thought representation of failed socialism.

Animal Farm Review 1

Oppression of the Working Class

Both in the story of ‘Animal Farm‘ and in the Russian Revolution the obvious sufferers were the working-class people. In ‘Animal Farm’, the animals suffer under Mr Jones’s before the revolution and after the revolution, they suffer under the Pigs, especially, Napoleon. Their hope for a better future with one of their animals leading them is shattered when he comes to power. Similarly, in the Russian Revolution, the working class people suffered under the rule of the Tsar. At the time, they felt the Soviet Union a promising source for a better future. But, the days that followed denoted no promising future for the working-class people.

 Not just in the ‘Animal Farm’ and in ‘Soviet Government’ throughout history and across the globe, whenever something goes wrong, it first affects the working class or the ordinary people. Willingly or unwillingly as Benjamin indicates in the novel the working class has to keep working. The suffering of the working class people never seems to cease.

Through the novel, Orwell quotes two major things as a cause of their suffering in spite of who their ruler is. The first is their lack of intelligence and knowledge. As one sees in the novel, except the pigs, no animals on the farm seem to curious about learning, including the smart animals like the dongs and donkey. The second is the ignorance of their strength. Comparatively, there are many powerful and strong animals on the farm, but they seem to be accustomed to go by the rules bestowed upon them than to question against them.

An Anti-Utopian Fiction

Animal Farm’ set in an imaginary world of animals. The novel portrays a world where the characters seek to create a utopian society as Old major has dreamed of. Sadly, they end up in a society where their situation turns worse than the world they wanted to change.

Old Major, shares his dream for a world where the animals will be free without any man to control and kindles the fire for it. He observed that the main source of all their problems is the man and that they must remove the man from their midst in order to create a world Utopia as he had dreamt. Likewise, the animals’ revolt against Mr Jones, under the guidance and Snowball and napoleon.   

Little by little, the pigs assume more power for themselves under the pretext of doing for the welfare of all animals and to keep Mr Jones from returning to the farm. Soon, they become dominant, corrupt, and power-hungry like their predecessors, the humans. Particularly, Napoleon, like a dictator, with the brute power of the dogs, treats the other animals in the same way as humans.

Thus, the original purpose of creating a world of utopia goes the opposite way, as the animals yield to greed and power. As obvious as one can see, the constant desire for power and control, ruined the Utopian ideals, making the novel an anti-utopian fiction.

The Conclusion

The conclusion of ‘Animal Farm‘ is not a happy ending as expected at the beginning of the novel. The animals haven’t formed a socialist government as the old major dreamt of. As the reader reaches the concluding pages of the novel, they get to see how the animals act more human than animals. The pigs, who are on the leading now treat their fellow animals worse than their human masters. The ultimate atrocity of the pigs is revealed in the concluding chapter where they revise the 7th commandment as “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” from the initial ideology “All animals are equal.” In the end, the pigs walk in two legs, which metaphorically denotes the dictatorship they have formed, which is even more oppressive and heartless than that of their former human masters.

Animal Farm Review
  • Story
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Writing Style
  • Dialogue
  • Conclusion
  • Lasting Impact on Reader
4.6

Animal Farm Review: A Socio-Political Work

George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, in a broader sense is the socio-political work of all time. Still, it can be read as a simple story of animals. The novel (novella) highlights the human weaknesses jealousy, greed, laziness, and cruelty through different animal characters present in it. It depicts failed communism/socialism at its peak. As one reads the novel, they can draw parallels to the historical figures Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, or Stalin. On the whole, this short, simple, and moving story is a warning from history to history to come. It is not only criticism of the Russian Revolution but also of any totalitarian government that treats its people like animals.

Pros

  • A simple plot with a deeper meaning
  • Vivid characterization make the characters seem more humane than animals
  • Simple and Elegant use of diction

Cons

  • Snowball’s unknown status 
  • An indefinite conclusion which requires the reader’s  smartness
About Miz Alb
Miz Alb is a passionate reader of literature. She loves to look deep through the nuances of a literary work. She has secured her post-graduation in English Literature. With her learning as a background, she is analyzing the literary works down the ages.

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