One of the most unique works of English literature is a fairy tale allegory "Animal Farm» by George Orwell. The story of “Animal farm” is very simple and dramatic. The action of this story occurs at the farm “Manor”, the owners of which are Mr. and Mrs. Jones. The animals here, as in any fairy tale, endowed with human qualities. All exposition begins with that the old leader (Meyer) tells the other animals his dream, in which all people disappeared from the earth and the world is ruled only by animals, there is no oppression and all are equal. He speculates on what the cause of all the ills and eventually comes to the conclusion that a person is guilty “Man is our real enemy. If we remove the person, we’ll forever end hunger and overwork as man is their cause”. All these arguments he backed up with the old song “Beasts of England”, which later became the anthem of animals fighting against humanity. Already from the first chapter, it’s clear that the manor house and its owner Mr. Jones is Tsarist Russia, headed by Nicholas II.
Some time after his triumphant performance, the old boar died and three new pigs, which had communist views, become leaders. So, these three leaders develop doctrine of the old ringleader, calling it “animalism”. In our world we call it “communism”. Animals (like the Soviet people) largely didn’t understand its essence, but the revolution has finally happened, because they thought that will not be worse (Orwell 46). Jones with his employees and his wife were easily expelled from the farm. Another character, exiled from the farm, was a hand crafted raven Moses, which told stories about the corners, flowing with milk and honey. There is no doubt that it is the clergy and the church. Even his name confirms this. But we cannot say unequivocally that the party could not agree with the church. There was such fact that the church became one of the instruments of power.
Immediately animals destroyed all that was reminiscent of previous owners: the house of people was turned into a museum, and the manor house was renamed “Animal Farm”. Seven Commandments were established, by which all animals must have lived. At its core, they were correct and assumed humane and fair relations in the new society. Radical unilateralism was observed in them that prevented any abnormalities i.e. “why the two legs must be bad, only for the reason that it is not four” (Orwell 89)? But these rules were applied only to the “mere mortals”. Leadership shamelessly violated, and later garbled existing laws. Pigs created flag of newly-minted country: green cloth with the image of horns and hooves.
After successful victory the animals immediately asked the question: what should they do further? At this question “intelligent and well-read” pigs replied: work and work again! In fact, none of them had a clear plan for the country’s development. Just did not have it in the Soviet Union. Animals began to work “tirelessly to sweat”. The most ardent workers on the farm were horses - Boxer and Clover. Precisely in the form of dray horses Orwell portrayed the working class on shoulders of which lay all the hardships of building a new country. Boxer was ready to work despite of fatigue, broken hoof, hunger and cold. “I will work harder!” – He said at his every achievement. All believed that they live in a free country, where there is no oppression and slavery. According to EJ Wolber Wood, the life of animals is closely associated with the “doublethinking” namely that with the successful manipulation of human consciousness, a person doesn’t say opposite of what he thinks and thinks the opposite of the truth. Thus, for example, if a person has completely lost his independence, if he feels himself as a thing, part of the state, party or corporation, then two plus two – five, or Slavery is Freedom. He considers himself right, because he is no longer aware of the distinction between truth and falsehood.
The country was their own, but who ran it? Exactly not a simple working people, as intended before. The head of everything and everyone was party leadership. Certainly the pigs didn’t work physically; they were intellectual workers and did everything for the public good, even eat and rest. Otherwise Jones would return here. This intimidation was as the glue that held the country together. But not all among the leaders was agreed unanimously. From the first days of existence of farmyard, between its rulers appeared sharp contradictions, the cause of which was a struggle for a dominant position.
Napoleon and Snowball were close allies and sworn enemies. Snowball had a plan to build a mill that would bring “tremendous labor savings”. This mill was a symbol of industrialization, at carrying out of which were spent not only material but also human resources. But Napoleon was strongly against it. He was not an orator, nor even just a clever and resourceful character. Therefore, he didn’t invent special development plans to surpass the opponent, and applied low and despicable method – expulsion by force. Disgraceful and unlawful expulsion of Snowball from the country and the party in particular is only the first manifestation of the true face of the leader. With the development of events, he will yet show his “piggish” origin. Napoleon reached the goal – power was entirely in his hands, but he still continues the deal which was began by Snowball. And in fact, he was accused of adherence to “super-industrialization”.
An unprecedented creation of the cult of personality of Napoleon has begun. He became the father and leader of nations. He was raised to the level of the Divine. Napoleon declared that he played a decisive role in Battle of the cowshed and a windmill (though it was much later). Snowball caused harm because he was a foreign spy and that he destroyed the mill. Napoleon sentenced him to death, but for his capture was established a reward. For the elevation of his personality he was even awarded with medals: “Animal – Hero” I degree and “Animal – Hero” II degree. Other farms also had no single view of what is happening in this farmyard. There were various gossips, often of implausible character. Neighbors hated regime which was established in this farmyard. Napoleon at this time makes a decisive step. He starts contrary to the laws diplomatic relations with Mr. Snot of Willingdon – ostensibly neutral party. The leadership tries to show him that there are no problems, and food is in abundance. Pigs are trying to curry favor with Mr. Willingdon. They imitate his way of life: rise on hind legs, move to live in the house of Jones, eat at the table and sleep in their beds. This was contrary to the existing laws, but now they have been corrected and meanly paraphrased. And nobody was interested in the protests. After all, “Comrade Napoleon is always right”. Much of what was grown by animals was sold to Mr. Willingdon. Napoleon decides to enter into diplomatic relations with other neighbors - Mr. Kalmington of trickery and Mr. Peter of squabbles. He wants to sell the wood one of the farms, but cannot determine which one. He in turn slanders these farms, arguing that the recent are in cahoots with Snowball. Napoleon is torn between his neighbors but, finally, considering that he accepts a wise and far-sighted decision, chooses Mr. Peter as his ally. Mr. Peter easily deceives him and attacks Animal Farm, destroying the cherished mill.
Having won their own land, animals continued to live the same life: always not eat up, sleep on straw, go to the pond to drink water, work in the fields, and in winter suffer from the cold and in summer by the flies. With reports and summaries Squealer consistently proves that life on the farm is getting better. Animals are proud that they are not like everyone else: they live on the farm which belongs to them, where everyone is equal and free, where everyone works for his own benefit.
In this tale Orwell successfully emphasized the most important features and realities of totalitarianism, showed patterns of utopian communist theory, cruelty, brutality and absurdity of the communist paradise.
Orwell George. Animal Farm. New York: The New American Library, 1946
John Molyneux. Animal Farm revisited. 1989.
Animal Farm by George Orwell. http://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/a/animal-farm/critical-essays/major-themes
EJ WolberWood. Thematic Analysis of Animal Farm by George Orwel. 2013