Animal Farm - "Old Major's idea of Utopia would have been achieved if we were to combine the brains of Benjamin with the brawn of Boxer to oust Napoleon and bring back Snowball." To what extent would you agree with this statement?

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AF – literature essay Q7                

Q7: “Old Major’s idea of Utopia would have been achieved if we were to combine the brains of Benjamin with the brawn of Boxer to oust Napoleon and bring back Snowball.” To what extent would you agree with this statement?

Under Napoleon’s dictatorship, equality and freedom of speech were unheard of. Old Major’s dream of utopia was unfulfilled. The animals could not raise dissident voices as Napoleon had his powerful tools of suppression: the dogs. They were under the illusion that they were free and their labour was for their own benefits,. Their lives were miserable and laborious – parallel to or even worse than during Jones’ era. Yet the animals blindly accepted the twisted words and lies of Squealer.


Maybe life would have been better if Snowball had not been exiled. Maybe Benjamin and Boxer could oust Napoleon, and bring Snowball back. Would such a situation bring hope to Old Major’s dream of Utopia? Yes, to a certain extent, but the animals’ flaws may outweigh their strengths, bringing about downfall, and Utopia would still be unattainable.

Snowball was always doing something to further the aims of Animalism. He constantly came out with schemes and plans for improving the efficiency of the farm and also organizes endless committees for the animals. This shows his concern for the farm, which goes to show that his presence could bring about Utopia. Furthermore, Snowball was undoubtedly brave and courageous. He took the lead during the Battle of the Cowshed, and fought valiantly along with the animals.

However, Snowball had myopic vision. This factor has made him blind to the dangerous Napoleon and his quiet schemes. Snowball had not thought deeply enough about the consequences of his actions. This would mean that he probably lacked the vision to lead the animals. And he wasn’t exactly an angel either. He betrayed the principles of Animalism, an obvious example being the issue of the distribution of milk and apples. He did not make his stand even though he knew that it was obviously against the principals of Animalism. However, in comparison to Napoleon, Snowball is definitely far less corrupted.

Most importantly, Snowball was an animal of numerous innovations. As an idealist, he came up with the idea of building the windmill. However, he lacked foresight Napoleon possessed, and thus resulted in impracticality. He did not think of the machinery and labour needed. The windmill needs a dynamo to work, where will he get it from, if the animals were not allowed to handle with money and take part in trading with the humans?

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Snowball’s lack of foresight may cause the ultimate downfall of Animal Farm, should he possibly take charge. Therefore, Benjamin now comes to mind. Benjamin is portrayed as very pessimistic and cynical. Although he is intelligent and smart he does not put his talents to good use. He only does what he is instructed to do and had no initiative. Yet he followed the principles and rules of Animalism and did not betray it. However, he represents the human tendency toward cynicism, apathy, and the belief that "things will never change".


So how would Benjamin help the farm? Well, ...

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