Allegory in Animal Farm, by George Orwell Essay
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George Orwell wrote the novel Animal Farm. Orwell uses the genre of allegory to illustrate his satirical views of the Russian Revolution. As
Britain and Russia were allies during the War, Orwell was forbidden to straightforwardly express his opinion.
During the Second World War, George Orwell wrote the novel “Animal
Farm”. Orwell uses the genre of allegory to illustrate his satirical views of the Russian Revolution. As Britain and Russia were allies during the War, Orwell was forbidden to straightforwardly express his opinion of Stalin and the Russian Regime so he uses animals as their representatives, instead.
“Animal Farm” opens with the description of Jones’s neglectful attitude towards the farm and its inhabitants:…show more content…
The first thing the animals do to celebrate their newfound freedom is go to the harness-room. They collect the “nose-rings”, “dog-chains” and the “cruel knives” and through them “down the well”. The list of horrific items indicates that the animals are very frightened of Jones and they think that he is a tyrant. The fact that they spend the first ten minutes of their liberty “wiping out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign” implies that their triumph isn’t complete until everything belonging to him is gone.
By use of allegorical descriptions, Orwell introduces us to three pigs: Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer. Even this early in the novel
Napoleon emerges to be a representative of the sadistic tyrant Stalin:
“Napoleon wasn’t much of a talker but he had a reputation for getting his own way”. This suggests that he possesses a ruthless quality.
Snowball appears to be a representative of Trotsky: “Snowball was a much vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive”. Orwell’s description of Squealer causes us to think of him as being a potential spin-doctor: “the others said of squealer that he could turn black into white”. This is important as later on in the novel we discover that Squealer is very manipulative and has the power to brainwash the other animals into believing
Napoleon is one of the two pigs who profess to carry on Old Major’s dream. When Napoleon’s dogs drive Snowball off the farm, Napoleon becomes the new “ruler" and proceeds to break every rule of Animalism.
Napoleon, named after a non-Communist dictator, is obviously looking out only for himself. He even sells his most loyal worker, Boxer, to the glue maker, in order to get more money for himself. Like most dictators, he focuses on the young, represented by the pack of dogs Napoleon raises into vicious beasts, ready to harm or kill anyone who speaks out against him. He takes others’ ideas and claims them as his own, which is why he has to rearrange history in order to claim that the windmill was his idea, not Snowball’s.
Snowball, in contrast to Napoleon, has some strong and logical ideas. He sticks to the principles of Animalism, other than the fact that he also agrees in the superiority of the pigs. Nevertheless, he teaches the rest of the animals to read, develops the idea of the windmill to make the farm more self sufficient, and avoids violence. Although Orwell depicts Snowball in a more positive light than Napoleon, Snowball obviously looks down on the other animals and is attempting to gain more power than Napoleon throughout most of the book.
Boxer, the loyal workhorse, is the most sympathetic character in Animal Farm. He follows whatever his superiors say, replacing his early motto of “I will work harder" with “Napoleon is always right." He does anything in his power to help Animal Farm.
Although Orwell portrays him as intellectually slow, his physical power and extreme dedication make up for his lack of mental ability. As a symbol of the working class, Boxer eventually meets his downfall when Napoleon sells him to a glue maker, which shows how the loyalty of the working class is only matched by the leadership’s betrayal of that loyalty.