Animal Farm Animal Farm by George Orwell expresses the idea of self-government through the animals in the story. Animal Farm is an allegory through which George Orwell demonstrates the psychological foundation of the Russian revolution. An allegory is defined as a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. In Animal Farm the animals decide to form a way of living called “ Animalism”.
The animals created seven commandments, which they lived by. The two basic principles of animalism are that all animals are to be treated as equals and no animal should acquire any human traits. After the revolution of the animals the pigs took the position of their leaders. Animalism turns into Communism throughout book. The life people lived after the Russian Revolution was horrible in the long run, such as the animals had to deal with in Animal Farm. Napoleon gradually builds up his power throughout the story.
His power is first shown when the pigs take the milk and apples, explaining to the rest of the animals that “ everyone is equal, but some animals are more equal than others. ” Jessie and Bluebells’ puppies were taken away from them to be raised as Napoleon’s secret police. The dogs were Napoleon’s bodyguards, and didn’t let any of the other animals come near him. Manipulating the other animals, Napoleon gains more power. All the animals worked like slaves except the pigs. The pigs were the supervisors who made sure all of the work was getting done around the farm.
Boxer lived by two mottos: “ I will work harder” and “ Napoleon is always right” Of all the animals on the farm, the sheep were the easiest to manipulate. The sheep couldn’t read, and they were also short minded. Throughout the story the sheep bleated “ four legs good, two legs bad”. Gradually modifying the commandments, Napoleon allows himself special privileges such as eating at a table and being able to sleep in a bed. For example, by the end of the story, Napoleon and the other pigs on the farm learned to walk upright and began to act as humans.
The pigs changed the original commandment which stated that “ no animal shall walk on two feet”. The sheep were manipulated into believing “ four legs good, two legs better”. George Orwell tries to convey that power can corrupt even those with good intentions. When the animals first took over animal farm, Napoleon and Snowball had the intentions of making it a great place for the animals where they wouldn’t endure the hardships they had when Mr. Jones was the owner. Using Napoleon and the other pigs, Orwell is conveying that power can corrupt anyone.
The animals take over the farm, and the pigs are looked upon as privileged. The hard-working animals provide the pigs with food and comfort. After Snowball was denounced as a traitor, Napoleon had absolute rule over the other animals on the farm. Finally the pigs and men can’t be told apart by the animals since the pigs have begun to take on the characteristics of humans and are now even negotiating with the owners of the other farms, which if the animals remembered correctly were supposed to be their enemies, not their comrades.
I believe that power can corrupt any government, even today in 2009. Thomas Jefferson stated in the Declaration of Independence, “ All men are created equal”. I believe that some people are “ more equal” than other people are. Modern politicians and bureaucrats have learned that it’s best not to draw any attention to the privileged lives that they enjoy at our expense. If you look back over the past few decades you’ll notice that some people are more equal than others.
Just the same as in Animal Farm, we find today that our governments’ employees get higher wages, have better benefits and more high paying retirement plans than the average worker does. The government plays a huge role in deciding who is equal or more equal. In my opinion, the statement “ the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is a valid one. In Animal Farm, the pigs were “ more equal” than the rest of the animals. The actions of our own government can show how power can in fact lead to corruption.
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