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Animal Farm Essay

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Animal Farm Essay 'Animal Farm,' a novel by George Orwell, has a theme based around power; how it is abused and how it's used in a good way. 'Animal Farm' also explores how it is transferred between characters as the story progresses. It is also fair to say that every event that takes place on 'Animal Farm' has a political significance which mirror the events which took place in the Russian Revolution. The characters in the novel represent famous political figures from history. I think that George Orwell wrote 'Animal Farm' because he wanted to make people actually think about what the novel and the characters contained in it represent. Power on 'Animal Farm' ends up being totally abused - I think that George Orwell's theory is that when one person has absolute power, it corrupts completely, and that it will never work. At the beginning of 'Animal Farm' we see how Mr Jones is at the top of the power 'hierarchy;' he has the most power, although it's more of an authority that Jones has over the animals compared to him having power. ...read more.


Gradually, they both became greedier, and wanted more power. They kept wanting more power. More power was all that was in their minds. Eventually, one of them had to go and as a result, Snowball is evicted from 'Animal Farm.' The animals are persuaded, that since Jones' expulsion, they have more power and more of a say about what goes on on 'Animal Farm.' This is probably true to a certain extent, although Napoleon and Snowball, before his expulsion still have the most power. Snowball and Napoleon represent Stalin and Trotsky. All animals believed that they would all be equal once Jones had gone, but this had not happened yet. Therefore, there is still inequality amongst all the animals and 'Animal Farm' is still not totally 'communist.' Every animal is not totally equal with the same amount of power. The pigs start to abuse their power, and, especially after the departure of Snowball this becomes increasingly obvious. Now Napoleon has absolute power over the farm; maybe George Orwell's theory that power corrupts completely might be true to a certain extent. ...read more.


Throughout the novel, the amount of power that certain characters have continuously changes. In general, the pigs have the most power, followed by the horses. The dogs - with exception to Napoleon's secret police, are under the horses in the 'power hierarchy.' The dogs are followed by cows and sheep with the poultry at the bottom, with very little say about the day-to-day running of 'Animal Farm.' In conclusion, we can see that George Orwell explores the theme of power in 'Animal Farm' to a great depth; and one that is not apparent to the innocent reader. George Orwell describes how power is abused and used in a good way aswell as how it is transferred between characters throughout the novel. The way in which every event on 'Animal Farm' fits in with events that occurred during the Russian Revolution is particularly clever, again not obvious to the innocent reader. Orwell is very considerate and attentive to detail; the large quantity of historical context in the novel proves this. George Orwell wanted to show how power and dictatorship can affect people. ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

The candidate here pays a good level of understanding to the theme and social and historical congruents Orwell writes into his novel 'Animal Farm'. There is an excellent level of appreciation of the use of the symbolism of power and ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here pays a good level of understanding to the theme and social and historical congruents Orwell writes into his novel 'Animal Farm'. There is an excellent level of appreciation of the use of the symbolism of power and how it changes hands for the good and for the bad in the novel. The candidate's focus remains unbroken for most of the essay, with all of their analysis pinned down to having something to do with the presentation and struggle for power and how it reflects the real life occurrences during the Russian Revolution of 1917. This is excellent as it shows the candidate can really concentrate on forming analysis to suit the question. This is such a common pitfall for other candidates who can often write about something that bares little or no resemblance to what the question asks.

Level of analysis

The candidate's Level of Analysis is very good and indicates someone operating at a high B grade for GCSE. There is a good, continuous focus on the transition of power between the animal sand how the hierarchy is formed, and also how the power is abused. It should be made quite a bit clearer that Snowball is not Napoleon's equal in terms of power abuse - Snowball does in fact want to uphold the Seven Commandments of Animalism and help the farm progress financially and technologically (it was his idea to build the windmill) but he is driven out by Napoleon who, corrupted by his shared power, strives to have all the power, just as Stalin did with Leon Trotsky (as accurately identified in this essay).

Where I would recommend extra analysis is in how Napoleon uses his status to undertake a great level of fear-mongering amongst thew animals. Whilst some in power are required to be good speakers and working for the benefit of the community, Napoleon does the opposite, spreading fear and caution through the animals that the dogs will kill them if they betray him (it should also be noted that Napoleon's dogs represent the KGB - Stalin's secret police force).

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication (QWC) is good. There are as few moments where grammar and punctuation are used incorrectly - "the bare minimum's of food" - but these do not compromise the clarity of the essay or the overall mark. They do however have an effect on the QWC mark and should be ironed out before closing the exam booklet or handing in the final draft of coursework. It is absolutely imperative that candidate conducts these grammar checks, as even computers can miss these errors at times.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 20/08/2012

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