• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Animal Farm Critical - George Orwell has written his novel 'Animal Farm' on three levels.

Extracts from this document...


Animal Farm Critical George Orwell has written his novel 'Animal Farm' on three levels. It works not only as a fictional tale, which could be conceived as a children's story, but also as an allegory of the Russian Revolution and a political or social warning. 'Animal Farm' is set on 'Manor Farm,' an establishment run poorly by the lazy, drunken Mr Jones. The animals on the farm are badly treated; they are not fed, milked or shut in properly. Inspired by the last words of a wise and idealistic pig, 'Old Major,' the animals evict Mr Jones and his family and take over the running of the farm. At first the farm is run on the principle of 'Animalism,' with all animals having equal rights and all human-related objects and ideas being abolished. However, as time progresses the pigs (in particular the cruel and deceitful Napoleon) grow hungry for power and deceive the other animals on their way to taking total control of the farm. The novel could be regarded as a children's story for various reasons. The first and probably most obvious of these is the anthropomorphism used - giving animals the ability to talk. Many children's books centre on talking animals, and this is seldom found in an adult-aimed novel. The easy to follow, linear plot line is also typical of a children's story - adult books tend to be more complicatedly structured, and narration too is more complex. Another aspect typical of children's stories is the idea of 'Good versus Evil.' ...read more.


He deflects the animal's attention away from the milk, sending them to work in the harvest. While they are away working hard, he takes the milk and apples for himself. He takes a completely opposite attitude to Snowball, who is working in the harvest himself at this time. This is only the first of many deceiving steps Napoleon takes towards gaining complete control of the farm. The first major action he takes is to take Jessie the collie's puppies, and train them to be savages. They are primarily used to get rid of the opponent, Snowball, chasing him out of the farm. Napoleon then employs them throughout the book to scare and intimidate animals to do what he wants: "the dogs sitting around Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls and the pigs fell silent." He trains sheep, too, to bleat continuously to silence anyone who is complaining, and also, earlier in the book, during points made by Snowball in discussions and speeches: "It was noticed that they (the sheep) were especially liable to break into 'Four legs good, two legs bad' at the crucial moments in Snowball's speeches." Bleating sheep at this time distract the animals' attention away from the speech and they do not take in what Snowball is saying, therefore only remembering comments and arguments made by Napoleon. In contrast to Snowball, Napoleon does not make any attempt to tutor the less clever animals on the farm: "Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up." ...read more.


The last sentence is one of the most salient: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it is impossible to say which was which." Orwell is warning us about not letting greed get out of hand, and also about not letting one person take control of everything. He is warning us about dictatorship, and the consequences that occur when one person gains complete control of everything and no one else has a say in anything. He is teaching us to stand up for ourselves, not believe everything we hear and to make sure our opinions are heard. I think Orwell believes that this kind of situation could arise in the future, and is telling the readers to make sure it does not. Society today is reflected in the novel; in some countries dictatorship is still practised and one person has power over everyone. The system in Iraq, until recently, is an example of this. The social warning applies closer to home as well - there is an increasing wealth gap in Britain which is illustrated by the increasing inequality that developed between the pigs and other animals in 'Animal Farm.' In conclusion, I find the novel successful as an allegory and a social warning. It could never be just a children's novel; there is too much irony and political nature in the text. I think Orwell's message is clear and well presented, in a novel with a striking ending which serves to warn us of the corrupting influence of power, and clearly conveys what Orwell thinks could happen to society, should it be left to it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Animal Farm section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Animal Farm essays

  1. Summarization of animal farm chapters 1-10

    It is difficult for the animals to accept this explanation, and even Boxer questions it. Squealer, of course, quiets them with propaganda. One day Napoleon calls a meeting and emerges wearing medals, which he has awarded to himself. He arrives; escorted by his nine guard dogs.

  2. Animal Farm Bookreport - plot outline and its links to the Russian Revolution.

    When he collapses he is taken away and sold for glue. He is a loyal, hard working farm boy in the time of the Russian Revolution. Clover is the one who takes care of everybody. She is also took care of Boxer when he collapsed.

  1. Trace the course of rivalry between Snowball and Napoleon, and narrate the circumstances in ...

    Napoleon's vulgar act of rejection betrayed his vindictiveness towards Snowball. Snowball's plan also threatened Napoleon's position as a leader in the farm. If the majority of the votes from the animals go to Snowball, Napoleon would no longer be regarded as a good leader as he is incapable in taking care of the welfare of the animals.

  2. Animal Farm Book Report

    Snowball was the main pig that came up with the commandments so that these would bring peace to the farm, Snowball was expecting that these rules would never be broken and that "all animals are equal", would stop even the cleverest animals from taking advantage of their position and others.

  1. How does Napoleon become Leader of animal farm, what are the consequences and what ...

    no-one worrying about what he was planning, Napoleon was able to train the dogs to attack on his command and finally rids himself of his nearest rival at the unveiling of Snowball's plans for the windmill 'Nine enormous dogs dashed straight for Snowball......he put on extra spurt and, with a

  2. What is George Orwell's message in 'Animal Farm', and how does he use two ...

    When Napoleon started to rule the farm he set up seven commandments for all animals to abide by. No animal dared to break one of them, but then Napoleon could not even keep to them. He started to break them.

  1. How important is a knowledge of the Russian revolution to a solid understanding of ...

    The first parallel between 'Animal Farm' and the Russian revolution is important because they are the problem that stirs up the revolution. Tsar and Jones. Tsar was the leader of Russia in the times before the revolution. Russia was in a terrible state; there was poverty, very little money and poor living conditions.

  2. How did George Orwell present Napoleon in Animal Farm

    Eventually they would rub off every single commandment and write ?All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.? Which means that the pigs are more important than the other animals in the book and they should take priority.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work