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The book ”Animal farm” is a novel written by George Orwell. It is published in 1945 but was written some years earlier. The plot of the book is an allegory of the Russian revolution in 1917 and Russian communism.
The book starts mainly when an old pig named Major tells a long lost dream he had about equality of all the animals. He is an old well respected pig that held a speech for the other animals in the farm during one of their secret meetings. He teaches the animals on the farm the song “Beasts of England”, and with that he gives birth to Animalism, and sparks the Revolution at Manor Farm.
The Revolution happened when farmer Jones walked home from the pub one night drunk and forgot to feed the animals. Jones had a severe drinking problem that neglected the animals often. The animals that were starving desperate broke through the cage walls and freed themselves to eat. Farmer Jones woke up from the fuss and went to punish the animals, but was thrown off the farm by the enraged animals, and the Revolution was born.
Animalism is a parody in the book about communism. Later in the book right after the animalistic revolution the animals holds a great feast as a celebration of them throwing out the owner of the farm, mister Jones and making the “Manor Farm” into “Animal Farm”. The animals in the farm even make seven commandments that they must obey out of old Major ideas, Major himself passed away after he laid plans with the animals about the revolution.
The seven commandments are:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 3. No animal shall wear clothes. 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 7. All animals are equal.
The leader figures Napoleon and Snowball immediately stood out from the rest of the animals. They take control of the farm, and start to make their and the other pigs rights higher. The pigs have the milk and apples to eat and drink in addition to the other rations, because they are “brain-workers” that needs extra food. Or they say that to the other animals, the truth here is that the pigs abuse their power to give themselves an egoistic treat.
At first, the animals were proud over what they could do without the humans which “are the only animal that consumes, but does not produce” as they often quote in the book.
The harvests were going great, they had lot supplies of the food, and Snowball on of the pigs was starting to plan an expansion of the farm by building a windmill. Napoleon opposed and after a while he had Snowball thrown out of the farm, and made the other animals believe that he was a traitor.
After this Napoleon started killing those who opposed him with the guard dogs he used previously in throwing out Snowball, another allegory to the secret Soviet police KGB. He gain fear and respect, making the other animals too frightened to say a word against him and the other pigs.
In the end of the book the other animals forget their original ideology of animalism and can’t see the difference of pigs and humans. The pigs change the original seven commandments during the book to their own benefits, and ends up wearing clothes and drinking alcohol along with the humans.
This book has a wide range of different characters, but mostly all of the main ones are metaphoric to the Soviet leaders and other people with influence. I picked out some of the characters that I found interesting to analyze.
Mister Jones: Mister Jones is the previous owner of the “Animal Farm”, he is a heavy drinker and can’t run the farm properly. He is an allegory to the last Russian tsar Nikolai the second, as he also didn’t run the Russia properly and led the country to financial difficulties. Later on in the book Jones tries to take back the farm from the animals (the battle of the cowshed) and that can be compared to the Russian civil war.
Napoleon: Napoleon is one of the pigs, in the beginning he shares the leadership of the farm with Snowball but eventually he throws Snowball out to get the power himself. He abuses his power and get what he wants by manipulating himself around the farm. It is also he who changes the original seven commandments to his own benefits. He has a tyrannical character that can be compared to the great Soviet leader Stalin.
Boxer: Boxer is a hard working horse on the farm, he represents the Soviet people, hard working, naïve for the government and loyal to the leaders. He never asks questions and when something needs to be done on the farm he always works the hardest. His usual maxim is “I will work harder”. When Boxer gets injured and can no longer work, Napoleon lies to the animals by telling them that he is retiring in a comfortable place. Boxer is really sent away to be killed to the profit of Napoleon.
I think this was an enjoyable book to read, and I would recommend it to young adults+ who have an interest in history and likes to read heavier English literature than Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga. A clear 8/10 point for this touching and humoristic book about ideologies that is doomed to never work.