Animal Farm, George Orwell

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Hilary Platt 10L1                                                Mrs. Nelson

                      Animal Farm

In writing Animal Farm, George Orwell had two main goals in mind. His first goal was to write this novel as an attack on what he perceived as Soviet Communism. His other goal was to write it, as a satire on those who yearn for a utopian society, which he felt, was difficult, if not impossible to reach. He saw that Communism was an attempt on creating somewhat of a utopia. The reason why it failed was because if a government is in the hands of one main ruler the ruler will become corrupt and therefore it isn’t a utopia anymore. Throughout the book Orwell manages to achieve these two goals and to teach his readers a very important lesson, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"(Lord Acton).

Despite the fact that Orwell wrote his book to parallel Soviet communism, his intention was not only to produce a satire on Russia, but to also teach humanity a lesson about human nature. Power should never be in the hands of one singular person or group of persons. Notwithstanding anyone’s good intentions when they take over the reins of society and are prepared to govern it; if power is unchecked, the one person who has absolute power will eventually be corrupted absolutely, and according to Locke, the purpose of the government will have been defeated. Locke believed that if a government is oppressive or corrupt, the people have the right to rebel. Through this book, Orwell demonstrates that violence and the Machiavellian attitude of "the ends justifies the means" are deplorable. Rather he believes in the ideas of Montesquie in which there should be checks and balances and not one main ruler, whose decisions are final (Smyer).

 Animal Farm is a political satire of a totalitarian society ruled by a mighty dictatorship. The Animals of “Manor Farm”, inspired by Old Major, their pig mentor, overthrow their human masters after a long history of mistreatment. Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue to do their work, only with more pride, knowing that they are working for themselves as opposed to working for humans. Little by little, the pigs become dominant, gaining more power and advantage over the other animals, so much so that they gradually become more and more corrupt until their maxim is “All animals are created equal but some are more equal then others”(Orwell, P. 133).  Soon they are as corrupt and power hungry as their predecessors, the humans. As stated earlier, despite their initial good intentions, eventually they deteriorate to as low a level as they had tried to change initially. The theme in Animal Farm maintains that in any society where there is a dictatorship or an attempt to create a utopia it will eventually fail because there are leaders who, if given the opportunity, will likely abuse their power.

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Animal Farm has usually been interpreted, as a satire on the betrayal of the Russian revolution and the rise of Stalin (Greenblatt). They have seen that Old Major, the older pig and mentor, clearly portrays Marx and Lenin. Napoleon, the dominant ruler after Old Majors death, is Stalin. Snowball, the opposing force of Napoleon, is Trotsky. Framer Jones, the oppressive owner of the farm, is Czar Nicholas II. Farmer Frederick, the neighboring farmer who the animals later do business with, is Hitler Germany and Farmer Pelkington, another neighboring farmer, is England (Smyer). Old Major was the main figure of the ...

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