Animal Farm by George Orwell– At first it seems like a children’s book, where animals are talking and meeting and creating small rebellious acts to get rid of humans but steadily it paces up and you realize that it is so much more than just a ‘Tom and Jerry’ tale. It is a political satire in its entirety.
- Animal Farm reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.
- It starts with animals of farm rebelling against humans and in the end being betrayed by their own fellow animals- PIGS. The dream of independent Democratic World is replaced by the dictatorship of Pigs.
Quick Summary of the Animal Farm
Animal Farm is an allegorical novel by George Orwell, which is set in a world where animals are much more capable than now. It is a story of a farm where overworked and mistreated animals establish a rebellion and take over it. All of them unite and set out to create a utopia of progress, justice, and equality with blazing idealism and provoking slogans.
When Animal Farm was published, it seemed to onslaught Stalinist Russia but it makes so much sense even today.
Animal Farm Detailed Book review
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The story begins with the animals of a farm uniting against humans and meeting over secret meetings, planning on how to get rid of the miseries inflicted upon them by humans. Old Major, who was a powerful orator headed all the meetings and using the song of ‘Beasts of England’, he got all the animals together against this revolution against Mr. Jones (Owner of the farm).
The meetings become regular until the ‘Battle of Cowshed’ in which the animals establish their supremacy over the farm and defeat and eliminate humans from the farm. For animals, this win was one step closer to an independent world, free of humans, they imagined.
After the successful ‘Battle of Cowshed’, the animals were on their own and they were free from any boundations.
The very first thing they did of their freedom was to write, “The seven Commandments” which was the constitution they set up and which everyone had to abide by.Now on, every Sunday morning witnessed Flag Hoisting and singing ‘Beasts of England’, in the new land of Animal Farm (previously known as Manor Farm).
Now getting the entire Animal Farm with so many animals to function as one unit wasn’t easy at all.
However, with impeccable administration of pigs and the unmatchable hard work by horses, the animal farm produces even higher yield than before. They worked in absolute harmony and even referred to each other as comrades.
They kept progressing and working out ways to keep the yield of harvest growing.
BUT…………………………..This simple democratic form of governance did not go well down with pigs and they started playing dirty politics. They convinced other animals of the farm that pigs deserved to eat up and drink most of the apples and milk and that this would prove to be in favor of the future of Animal farm.
Pigs started manipulating the Seven commandments to suit themselves. Taking unjust advantage of the poor literacy level of other animals, pigs started bending the commandments and interpreting it as and how they wanted.Eventually ‘All Animals are Equal’ turned out to be ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’.
Napolean- the self acclaimed king of the Animal Farm trained 9 ferocious dogs and they acted as his ultimate superpower- like someone tries to raise a voice, a simple growl of his dogs made the odds even. All protests, all disagreements of the animal farm went in vain.
And there goes the end- Animal farm ends up with Pigs being placed at a superior pedestal and the other animals could just do nothing.
“No question now what has happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”It does not have a happy ending, rather it ends with a hair raising warning to all its readers as to how devastating the state of affairs can be under a totalitarian government.
Relation between Animal Farm and Russian Revolution
I always conduct my research before going for any Book and when I researched about Animal Farm by George Orwell, lots of reviews suggested that it is an allegory for the Russian revolution.It shows the transition of a “Communist Utopia” into a “Dictatorial Dystopia”.
Being a democratic socialist himself and a rigid detractor of social-injustice, single-party rule, George Orwell, has brilliantly penned every thing in a few pages.
(I guess that’s the Superpower of being a writer)
Andddd, if you examine carefully, everything actually makes sense. You can easily foresee the parallelism between the characters of the book and of the Russian Revolution.
Here’s how-Q- Who does Mr. Jones represent in Animal farm?
“Mr. Jones” – the unceasingly wasted farm owner is the Czar Nikolas II, imitating Capitalism.Q- Who does Old Major represent in Animal farm?
“Old Major” – who dreams of an ideal world is either Lenin / Karl Marx. He instills revolution in people’s minds and leads them to overthrow Human rule named as “The Great Cowshed” (The Bolshevik Revolution), but soon dies.Q- What does the Seven Commandments represent in Animal farm?
“The Seven Commandments” – although not very clear, but can be said to mimic the “New Economic Policy” of Lenin.Q- Who does Napolean represent in Animal farm?
“Napolean” – the fundamental element in the farm is “Stalin” who eventually takes over the farm after Old Major.Q- Who does Snowball represent in Animal farm?
“Snowball” – is Leon Trotsky, who was also a close associate of Lenin and remained loyal to him but was ousted by Stalin when their views later clashed.Q- Who does Mr. Frederick represent in Animal farm?
“Mr. Frederick” – the owner of a neighbouring farm, who briefly enters into an alliance with the pigs eventually to betray them, represents Germany at best!!Q- Who does Moses represent in Animal farm?
“Moses” – a raven, who occasionally visits the farm and tells animals about a “Sugarcandy Mountain” (Heaven) where everyone goes after dying but only if they work hard, is a relevant representation of the Russian Church. Though Napoleon ignores Moses initially, he later leverages Moses’ teachings to his benefit, just like Stalin did with the Church.Q- Who does Squealer represent in Animal farm?
‘Squealer’ is Mikhail Molotov, a skillful orator, used his crack jacker speeches to manipulate the masses into believing Stalin’s propaganda.
The rest of the animals and their behavioral characteristics represent the attributes of the common masses-
Some people (Just like ‘ Boxer ’ in the story) worked hard yet were tossed aside.
Some people (Just like ‘ Benjamin ’ in the story), were literate and had proper understanding of the events yet chose to keep silent and were unwilling to protest.
Some people (Just like ‘ Molly ’ in the story) ran away from their nation at such a turbulent time.
Animal Farm & Russian Revolution Comparison Chart
|Mr. Jones||Czar Nikolas II|
|Old Major||Lenin / Karl Marx|
|Boxer, Benjamin, Mollie||Common masses|
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All revolution starts with “ everyone is equal ” but ends with “ everyone is equal but some are more equal than others “.
Moral of this novella is whether it is right wing or left wing, ruling class is always a ruling class-it exploits common people. A political satire where the author strips the left propaganda. A great read even the left ideologists will enjoy.
And Ta-daa, a Perfect Allegory is ready.
Animal Farm by George Orwell Youtube Video