View Full Version : animal farm- a review

rahul c raju
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
Animal Farm is a satrical allegery of Russian Revolution particularly directed against Stalins Russia. This political satire authored by George Orwel was first published in 1945. The book was originally rejected for publication by T S Elliot in 1944 but has gained the status of a classic since its appearance in 1945. <br> Before entering into the review, let's have a glance at the brief biography of George Orwel.<br> 25th June, 1903 marked the birth of Eric Arthur Blair, who will be better known if called by the pen name George Orwel. He was born in a remote village named Motihari in Bengal. Both of his parents were ICS servents. He did his graduation from the famous Eton College. In 1922 he joined Indian Imperial Police in Burma.He published his first book "Down and out in Paris and London" in 1933. Later he wrote many novels,stories,essays,criticisms and he even directed documentaries which are equally famous as the author. He achieved prominance in 1940's as the author of two brilliant satires attacking totaliterianism. The first one is Animal Farm and the other is 1984 published in 1949 which is a dystopian novel setting from his fear of an intrusively beaurocratized state in the future. It reflects his lifelong distrust of autocratic government. Orwels reputation rests not only on his political shrewdness and his sharp satire but also on his marvellously clear style and on his superb essays which rank with the best ever written.He died in21st January,1950.<br><br><br><br>TYPE OF WORK : NOVEL<br>AUTHOR : GEORGE ORWEL<br>TYPE OF PLOT : POLITICAL SATIRE<br>TIME OF PLOT : 1900's<br>LOCALE : RUSSIA <br>FIRST PUBLISHED : 1945<br><br>PRINCIPAL CHARECTERS;<br>Mr JONES, the farmer<br>OLD MAJOR, the pig<br>NEPOLIAN, the pig<br>SNOWBALL, the pig<br>SQUEALER, the pig<br>BOXER and CLOVER, the horses<br>MOLLY, the white mare<br>MOSSES, the tame raven<br><br><br>CRITIQUE<br> <br> In this biting satire upon dictatorship Orwel presents communism as a system full of lies. He never bothers to point out any of the positive impacts that the revolution made. Although what he was trying to prove was individuals can be corruptible, after reading the book we feels that system itself is bad.<br><br><br>THE STORY<br> <br> "Animal Farm" is the story of a farm where the animals expelled their master and started ruling themselves. The story takes place in Manor Farm owned by Mr Jones. Inspired by the principle of Animalism proposed by Old Major, animals made a rebellion which resulted in expulsion of Mr Jones and they started their own reign. Pigs who were considered most inteeligent took the controll. As Old Major passed away, Snowball and Nepolian, the prominant ones took the leadership. In the beginning the system run smoothely. Eventually, Nepolian, who was thirsty for power expelled Snowball and started his dictatorship. The final betrayal was made when pigs engineer a rapproachment with Mr Jones.<br> George Orwell gives a very vivid and accurate picture of what happened in Russia after Czar Nicholas II in his book Animal Farm. Being an allegory, most of the characters have their counter parts in Stalinist Russia. Minor characters in the story also symbolize things that are very relevant to the history of Russia. <br> Mr. Jones is the embodiment of the old government, of the monarchy where the autocrat takes all without giving anything; he is the last of the Czars. Old Major may be Karl Marx because Czar Nicholas II lost control because the spark of reformation had been ignited by the publishing of Karl Marx’s book Communist Manifesto, which led to the successful February Revolution. Nepolian represents Stalin and Snowball, Trotsky, the idealist. Even the minor charecters like Mosses, Boxer and Clover, Mollie also have their counter parts in Russia.Boxer and Clover represents the uneducated unskilled hardworking labour class who were the easiest to convince. They were the most obiedient followers of Nepolian and they never doubted the system. Mollie on the other hand represents the middle class who were never satisfied under the new system. Mosses represent the religion.mosses was not present for the Old Majors meeting which was the fuel for religion.Similarly, religion in Russia was caught asleep by the communism. Further he resembles religion because he proposes the idea of Sugarcandy Mountain; an Utopia, were all animals will reach after death, which is Orwels version of Heaven. Squealer, who was always assigned the job of convincing animals represents Stalins propoganda machine, the Pravda.<br> Author says "...in the past years Mr Jones, although a hard master, was a capable farmer, but of late he had fallen on evil days..." Same was the condition in Russia. Czar's were capable earlier and as their rule became untolerable, it lead to rebellion. In Animal Farm, Snowball and Nepolian took leadership after rebellion. In Russia, Trotsky and Stalin fought for power, but Stalin eventually expelled Trotsky in 1929. In the same manner, Snowball and Napoleon constantly disputed; Napoleon was already hungry for power and soon after the Rebellion, had plans of getting rid of his opponent. In the midst of an eloquent speech about the plans for making a windmill by Snowball, Napoleon directed the dogs he had raised to attack Snowball. Thus, he had eliminated his only rival and was free to control the farm. <br> Here the windmills represent the five year plans put forward by Trotsky in Russia. Dogs represent Stalins body guards who came to the scene only after Trotskys murder in 1940.In the story too dogs first appeared to expel Snowball. <br> Upon the expulsion of Snowball, Napoleon’s first decision was to eradicate the Sunday Morning Meetings. “...they were unnecessary, he said, and wasted time. In the future all questions relating to the work of the farm would be settled by a special committee of the pigs and, presided over by himself...” This is also very much like the Command Economy that Stalin had made, in which the government made all economic decisions. His next decision was to build the windmill that he had been so opposed to when proposed by Snowball. Similarly in Russia after Trotsky was gone, Stalin had no economic ideas of his own. So he adopted the same idea of Trotsky.<br> As the main enemy was out of the way Nepolians next target was the disloyal. Four pigs, three hens, a goose and three sheeps were forced to confess publicly and they were executed immediately.Similarly Stalin made people to confess publicly and they were executed.<br> Pinchfield, one of the farms bordering Animal Farm, symbolizes Germany. Stalin made the Non- Aggressive Pact with Hitler, to keep Germany from attacking Russia during World War II. Germany attacked Russia, breaking the pact . Napoleon had made a deal to sell a pile of lumber to Fredrick of Pinchfield; Napoleon had trusted him, but in turn Fredrick had given him fake bank notes and was coming to attack them. He, like Hitler, had ignored the deal, swindled Napoleon and attacked Animal Farm. The other neighbouring farm, Foxwood represented United Kingdom.<br> At the end of the book, the pigs become indiscernible from the humans. Orwell has made humans represent the people who exploit those weaker than them. The pigs had become corrupters of their own. “ Somehow it seemed as thought the farm had grown richer without making the animals richer themselves- except, of course, for the pigs and he dogs.” (Orwell 129) Manor Farm is the tyrannical nation; Animal Farm is the Communist or Animalist one. When Napoleon states that the name if the farm is once again Manor, he is affirmatively stating that the totalitarianism is installed once more<br> Animal Farm ends with the animals being exploited by the pigs; it is a dark ending, but it is brutally true. The idea of Socialism, or Animalism, is good as ideal. Human nature will not allow the leaders, who are always necessary, to be fair. Orwell did an excellent job of weaving the history of Stalinist Russia with the fairy idea of speaking and thinking animals. <br>