Animal Farm, a masterpiece novella by George Orwell was composed in 1945. It falls under novella as it’s shorter and contains a less intricate plot unlike a publication. The crux thing of Animal Farm is all about how Czarist Russia evolved to communist Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917. Orwell used the animal farm because the backdrop representing Russia and the critters that dwelled in the farm as the who’s who in the Russian Revolution. The Animal Farm is an allegory-a narrative that uses literary devices to unveil hidden messages and meanings.
The Oxford Dictionary defines allegory for a story, poem, or picture which could be interpreted to show a hidden significance, typically a moral or political one. In addition to that, Animal farm is also a satire. The exact same Oxford Dictionary defines a satire as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to mock, expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of modern politics and other social issues. Animal farm fits into both these categories aptly.
At the time once the book was published, it wasn’t that popular, did not control a widespread reading since Russia was an ally of the West in their struggle against German aggression under Hitler in World War II. In a clear sign of belittling the Russians and its communist leaders, the western world saw it as an act of non-goodwill if they popularized the book in droves.
The author himself wasn’t an anti-communist. In fact George Orwell is supposedly a socialist who supported the belief that businesses should be under the control of the working class (employees ) for the good of everyone, not just benefitting the elites, who controlled these industries. However, he witnessed the tainted revolution of the communist in Russia, eventually causing a change of perception.
Orwell was perplexed on how the communist had diverted, departed from their initial noble goals of seeking a classless society.
He was adamant to demonstrate another side of communism when it was taken too far without a check and balance and how the leaders of the cause succumbed to worldly pleasures, the same class bound pleasures they despised on other ideologies; hence the world got to witness the birth of Animal Farm. Orwell had used allegory to the best of influence, to criticize the hypocrisy of communism, especially its overzealous leaders, their actions and their thirst for merciless murders and mass killings to maintain their status quo.
The use of pigs, of all creatures, was the acme of the novella. In the notion of a layman, pigs are lazy animals, non-productive and gleefully end as meat in many taste buds. He used pigs because his protagonists and antagonists in Animal Farm for the same reasons of how modern science had revealed quite surprisingly however, about these creatures. Scientists want people to think of legumes as more than just meat. Among other abilities, pigs are known to have excellent long-term memories and they’re proficient at completing mazes and recognizing symbols, just like our near cousins-chimpanzees. They also have empathy and can learn from each other in classes.
Besides that, Orwell had used pigs as an irony, debunking all of the myths surrounding these fleshy animals as lazy but shrewd, gluttonous but conniving, immobile but strategist who’s lively in ideas, plotting and scheming a plan discreetly. Pigs are fleshy, sized creatures known for their slobs. Orwell was quick in equating some world leaders particularly from the communist ideology states to pigs probably due to the state of hypocrisy that they lived their lives; floating in the wealth made by the proletariat who for a major portion of their miserable lives remained poor and desolate, where else the leaders were fat, ugly and precariously healthy.
The Old Major in Animal Farm was a pig, depicted as old and wise, experienced and well-respected. This was relayed to the animals, who rejoiced in the prospect of preventing themselves from the clutches of the elites – the people. Orwell used Old Important to signify Karl Marx, the founder of Communism and the Communist Party, which is based on Marxism.
The utterance also highlighted on the idealistic world of communism. Thereby, the Russian Revolution in 1917 was motivated by people who believed big in the doctrines of communism. In Marxist methodology, it originally used economic and sociopolitical inquiry to analyze and review the evolution of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change.
According to Marxist doctrines, class conflict within capitalism arises due to escalating contradictions between highly productive mechanized and socialized production performed by the proletariat (workers), and private ownership and appropriation of the surplus product in the form of surplus value (profit) by a small minority of private owners called the bourgeoisie. In the Orlando Wildlife Removal, the bourgeoisie were represented by Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the people who owned the animals, often ill-treating them. Mr. and Mrs. Jones can also be equated in direct reference to the last Czar of Russia – Nicholas II and his consort Alexandria who were cheered by the Russians at that time for unnecessarily dragging Russia into World War I. Apparently, the animals exhausted their patience, began to rebel, finally booting the humans from the farm and took control of their own destiny.
Besides Old major, another pig character was Snowball. Snowball rose as one of the leaders in Animal Farm. Snowball was depicted as a lively and an ingenious character. He was given the task of spreading the attained glory of Animal Farm throughout the area.
However, fate had it differently when both Snowball and Trotsky were expunged by ruthless and corrupt people who lacked for power more than anything else.
Napoleon was another pig personality who climbed as a pioneer in the novella. As opposed to influencing different animals and working through consensus, he secretly raised nine puppies into ferocious man-eating animals. These nine puppies were his personal army of bodyguards which he used and manipulated to accomplish his objectives, no matter how treacherous and brutal they were. Napoleon represents Josef Stalin-the General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party from 1922 until his death in 1952.
The KGB carried out all of Stalin’s commands religiously without fear or favour.
The false confessions of disloyalty in Animal Farm, and the subsequent executions were modeled at Stalin’s great purge in the 1930s in which anyone who’s seen as a counter-revolutionist was killed mercilessly.
Squealer, another character in Animal Farm is a pig who always spread persuasive messages encouraging the leader’s goals and objectives. Squealer is an embodiment of hypocrisy and propaganda. He reinvents the rules and history in order to confuse the other animals in the farm. He could also signify Pravda- the communist paper in Russia that was the official propaganda mouthpiece of the party in the 1930s. Together with his wizardry like words and manipulative articulation, Squealer kept the public (the animals) calm and under control with his often misleading and jagged messages and announcements.
Animal Farm serves as a reminder of how people crave for unlimited power to rule the lives of innocent people through’divide and rule’ and’manage by fear’ approaches to accomplish their personal targets. Along that line, some made it to the history books as either being exemplary or loathed.
Students won’t only learn the English Language, but also the many literary devices – allegory, satire, irony, metaphor and personification which include it. The novella contains lots of humour from which the author mocks the actions of the leader and students will also have the ability to apply their thoughts out of the box to identify some individuals had managed to receive power, how some claimed this power whatsoever, how some misused the power entrusted on them for their personal gains and schedule, how some abused their power using violence and threats, and how some had dropped to the people-power insurgencies.
Aside from that, the historical events representing this novella will provide an insight of Communism and Russian history. Marxism subsequently gained support across much of Europe, and under the control of the Bolshevik Party, a communist government seized power during the Russian revolution, causing the production of the Soviet Union, the world’s first Marxist state, in the early 20th century.