Animal Farm by George Orwell

By , logan, OH
Humans have been dreaming of utopia for centuries. Countless stories have been written on the subject. Several groups throughout history have even tried to create a perfect society. In the end, these utopias usually collapsed. The Russians tried it during the Russian Revolution, using socialist ideals. George Orwell’s book Animal Farm shows how corruption of the elite society leads to the downfall of utopia.


Napoleon the pig was the ruler of Animal Farm. He took advantage of the other animals’ gullibility and set up an elite ruling society of pigs and dogs. Like Stalin in the Russian revolution, Napoleon used propaganda to hoodwink his subjects. From the beginning, the pig Squealer used his gift with words to convince the animals that Napoleon was right. The working class animals were trusting enough to believe that their lives were improving, even though they were really getting worse. While the animals suffered and labored under these delusions, the pigs and dogs lived comfortably in the farm house.


Napoleon was an excessively cruel and vicious leader. He savagely expelled his competitor Snowball from the farm and turned him into a scapegoat, just as Stalin did to Trotsky. Napoleon also had animals who had supposedly committed crimes against Animal Farm brutally slain. He was easily able to dictate and control the animals with fear, because they knew what would happen if they disobeyed him. Napoleon and Stalin greedily exploited the plebeians of their societies, knowing that there was no one brave enough to stop them.


In Russia, the ideals for socialism and communism were pure. The same goes for animalism in Animal Farm. But the leaders twisted and corrupted these ideals so that they only benefitted the privileged upper society. In both cases the working class members were simply brainwashed drones, unable to prevent the degeneration of their government. Power-hungry Napoleon was free to change any rules he wanted, without any consequences. The more depraved and immoral he and the ruling class became, the more they came to resemble the humans they had once rebelled against.


At the beginning of Animal Farm, all animals were supposed to be equal. In the end, all animals were equal. However, some were more equal than others, according to Napoleon’s Commandment. This is proof that socialist utopian societies will never work. In any group of people, there will always be a Napoleon who will rise up and seize power over others. There will always be a Stalin who will maliciously and ruthlessly abuse others. And, there will always be mindless masses to follow along blindly. Naïve people can always be manipulated into becoming sacrificial lambs. That is why utopia always fails.





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werdna0400 said...
Oct. 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm
It's a pretty good summary, however it does reveal a lot about the ending which may spoil the book for some readers.
 
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