Allegory Used In Animal Farm Essay
Written in the middle of World War II, it took two years for George Orwell’s Animal Farm to be published, finally, on the 17th of August 1945, into a post-war world. His novel contains themes of satire and the general characteristics of dystopian fiction, although its primary convention is allegory. George Orwell was an outspoken democratic socialist and his imposed his concerns and criticism of Soviet Russia into his book. On a literal level, Animal Farm can be interpreted as how ethics can easily be twisted into warped versions of the original and provides a good moral lesson for those who are reading, yet on a more symbolic level, it exhibits Orwell’s concerns on the use of education and knowledge as tools of oppression, the pitfalls of revolution and the corruptive qualities of power.
The manipulation of the intellectually inferior and the use knowledge as a tool to oppress is exhibited by Orwell to demonstrate the need to push past the boundaries of ignorance and stress the need for education. With the allegorical conventions of Animal Farm, Orwell exposes the way the pigs gained control of the farm, with their supposed ‘superior intellect’. Both the pigs and Stalin and the Bolsheviks were able to subtly come to power with their augmented knowledge and once in control, sought to maintain the ignorance of the general public. Furthermore, the manipulation of the sheep in Animal Farm to repeat the slogan ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ and later on ‘four legs good, but two legs better’ and Boxer, the hard working horse who maintained the mantra of ‘I will work harder’ and ‘Napoleon is always right’ was used to spread propaganda and a sense of ease to the farm animals and their historical mirrors, the working class of Russia. Orwell, being a well educated man, demonstrates his frustrations at the ignorance of the Russian public in his allegory of how blatantly ignorant the farm animals are to Napoleon’s level of control over them, by making it evident to the reader the issues of remaining uneducated. Orwell uses comparison to provide a contrast between Stalin and the Russian working class. The stark growing divergence of their ideals, and the difference between the carefully made plans of Stalin and Napoleon and the bling following of the farm animals and the working class, who don’t realize they’re being manipulated until it’s too late. Orwell writes a convincing argument in the favour of education and need for knowledge to gain the upper hand in this situation.
Revolutions that are born of the ideals of overthrowing their oppressors to create a utopian future often come full circle when their revolutionaries with theoretically high morals are corrupted by the possession of such power and regress to being no better than their predecessors. Orwell demonstrates his belief of this in the carefully constructed allegorical content of his novel. In the revolution that starts Animal Farm, Old Major, a well-respected pig of Manor Farm, has a dream....
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Allegory In Animal Farm, By George Orwell
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
“Animal Farm” opens with the description of Jones’s neglectful
attitude towards the farm and its inhabitants: “he was too drunk to
remember to shut the pop-holes”. Jones can immediately be seen as a
representative of Tsar Nicholas the second whose selfishness and lack
of consideration towards the needs of his people led to Lenin’s
When Old Major summons the other farm animals to the barn, he gives
them hope of a happier, more worthwhile future. His ideology is:
“remove man from the scene and the root cause of hunger and overwork
is abolished forever”. He then tells them they must abide by “Seven
commandments” and must refer to one another as “comrade”. The pigs
later title this system “Animalism”. Old Major’s behaviour is symbolic
of Lenin’s. When the Russian civilians stopped supporting Tsar
Nicholas the second, they turned to Lenin who provided them with hope.
Before Lenin died he established the USSR just as old Major
established “Animalism” before his death.
Orwell shows us just how callous Jones is when he doesn’t feed the
animals. The animals later break down the door of the store-shed
causing Jones to come to the barn with a whip and “lash out in all
direction”. It is at this point we can see that the animals are no
longer going to tolerate their hard lives and so rebel, scaring Jones
and his wife from the farm.
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...
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