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George Orwell's Animal Farm

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Introduction

George Orwell's Animal Farm, the classic satire of the Russian Revolution, protests the brutality of totalitarianism. Animal Farm is a story about farm animals that revolt against their human masters in order to create an ideal society based on the principle that all animals are created equal. Like many revolutions in modern society, the animals' success is ephemeral; a new totalitarian regime soon takes power and assumes the place of the humans. Orwell exposes what really happens to the victims of failed revolutions and why these revolutions cannot succeed. He targets the methods dictators use to obtain and hold power, the gradual corruption of government, and the ignorance of people who allow these dictators to take control. Orwell describes the cruel, iniquitous, and greedy techniques dictators use to obtain and hold power. For example, he writes, "Suddenly the dogs sitting around Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again," to demonstrate that Napoleon uses fear of his dogs to keep the animals under control. ...read more.

Middle

Orwell reveals the corruption of totalitarianism because he utterly detests the injustice of dictatorships. For example, Orwell writes, "The mystery of where the milk went was soon cleared up. It was mixed every day into the pigs' mash..." to show the first in a long list of betrayals that grow steadily worse. This represents how Lenin and his men first moved in to the Czar's palace, and then started giving themselves more and more privileges. Orwell shows that power is a dangerous thing that can corrupt even the most moral and good men like Lenin. An example of the ungratefulness of totalitarian government is when Benjamin cries, "They are taking Boxer to the knacker's!" because Napoleon was so greedy that he sold Boxer, his most loyal and hardest worker, for a case of whiskey. This symbolizes Stalin's purges that killed millions of innocent people: some were to make a point, and others were because he was paranoid. ...read more.

Conclusion

If people are tractable enough to accept a dictator then maybe they deserve the harshness of it. Orwell identifies and attacks the slow but sure corruption of government, the unawareness of the populace who permit these tyrants to take control, and the means dictators utilize to seize and cling to power. He does this because he cares about society and he is a great humanitarian. The message he is trying to convey is that people who try to achieve democracy need to be aware of the temptations of power. At the end of the American Revolution, George Washington was asked by his captains to become the king of America. He said no to power; Stalin said yes. The only difference between the success of the American Revolution and the failure of the Russian Revolution is the man the people put their trust in and gave power to. Orwell is warning future generations to be wary of those who would seek to gain and abuse power; people like Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, who repress their people. ...read more.

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