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Animal Farm

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Animal Farm "Animal Farm" is a novel written by George Orwell in 1945. The story takes place on a farm in England. The owner of the farm, Mr. Jones, comes into conflict with the animals. The animals rebel, and finally scare him away. Two of the animals, Napoleon and Snowball (two pigs), assume control of the farm. George Orwell saw himself as a political writer and used the characters in this book to represent important people of the time. Napoleon represents Stalin who was the leader of the USSR after the Russian revolution. Snowball represents Trotsky who was the planner and strategist who was eventually exiled after a struggle for leadership. Squealer is the Propaganda Machine as he is the pig who tells the animals the things they want to hear and often covers the truth as was done by the Communists. All the other characters represent other important figures also. Napoleon, could be seen as a strong powerful character in 'Animal Farm' but has also been described as a "classic example of a modern day dictator corrupted by power". I agree that Napoleon was corrupted by power. From the very beginning of the story there are features within Napoleon's character which suggest that he is crooked. ...read more.


Napoleon tightens his power further, again, through the use of the dogs. "When they had finished their confession the dogs promptly tore their throats out" (p56) Napoleon uses the dogs to kill several animals which have supposedly committed crimes involving the escape of the traitor Squealer. This then scares the rest of the animals into sub ordinance and assures his place in sole power. Once in sole power Napoleon continues to reveal his selfishness and cruelty to the animals. He increases the workload to include a Sunday afternoon, "This work was strictly voluntary, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half." (p40) This is ironic because if something is voluntary it is done freely and without pressure but here the animals are being persuaded to do extra work because otherwise they will have their rations reduced. The work is not voluntary but mandatory as Orwell is obviously implying the consequences for any animal not working would ultimately be starvation. Through his use of heavy irony Orwell shows the way in which Napoleon wants to increase his power more and more. Orwell's irony underpins the whole satire of the text. ...read more.


The fate of Boxer symbolises the fate of all the animals as when they are no longer useful they will be killed. The mentality of most animals on the farm is very similar to that of Boxer. "I will work harder" and "Napoleon is always right" (p49/41) These mottos of Boxer show his loyalty and commitment to Napoleon. Boxer represents the uneducated workers during Stalin's reign. These workers, like Boxer and the other animals on the farm, were exploited in the same way Boxer is because they want to believe in their leader and do not have the sense to question the authority of their totalitarian leader. Napoleon's evil is made to seem even more despicable as it is set against the simple trust of these naive animals. In conclusion it would seem that Napoleon is "a classic example of a modern day dictator corrupted by absolute power". By the end of the novel the reader has no sympathy whatsoever for his corrupt techniques. Although Napoleon was written to represent Stalin, the communist leader of Russia, he could also represent any modern day tyrant, even those that have emerged after the book was written. The behaviour of Napoleon and the other pigs is easily comparable to that of other totalitarian leaders, such as Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Related GCSE Animal Farm essays

  1. Compare and contrast the themes of revolution in Animal Farm by George Orwell and ...

    Jones was not prepared for the animals to rebel against him as it was very spontaneous. Jones does not understand the possibility of the revolution. He sees his animals as his property that are there to provide for his needs.

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  1. The main elements of Napoleon's character.

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    Of course the actual time of the revolt is unsaid. It could be the next day or several generations yet. But Old Major's philosophy is only an ideal. It's interesting that Orwell does not mention Napoleon or Snowball anytime during the great speech of old Major.

  1. Compare and contrast Napoleon and Snowball. What methods do they use in their struggle ...

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  1. What are the most important messages Orwell conveys to the reader in Animal Farm, ...

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  2. Explore the ways that the writers use contrast within a character or between characters ...

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