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Animal Farm



Webmaster's Note, 5/10/2007 - We have been informed by the rights holder that this work is still copyrighted in our territory. So we have removed it. You may still read our original summary though to the left.

This is an allegorical dystopian novel by George Orwell, published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin ("un conte satirique contre Staline"), and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".

Time magazine chose this book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.

Plot summary: Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as parasites and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called Beasts of England. When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it "Animal Farm". They adopt Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, "All animals are equal."

Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health. Napoleon and Snowball struggle for preeminence. When Snowball announces his plans to build a windmill, Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and subsequently declares himself leader of Animal Farm.

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. When the animals take over the farm, they think it is the start of a better life. Their dreams is of a world where all animals are equal and all property is shared. But soon the pigs take control and one of them, Napoleon, becomes the leader of all the animals. One by one the principles of the revolution are abandoned, until the animals have even less freedom than before.--Submitted by Anonymous.

Animal Farm is a classic work by George Orwell and a noted piece of literature, which, of course, may help the reader to catapult the imagination beyond the horizons of dogmatic adherence to idealistic or Utopian thoughts. It however, represents human characteristics in an analogy of animal instincts, but it really gives insight into the Russian Revolution of 1917. It also mimics the doomsday of a precipitated change, brought by a modicum of bureaucratic class called as Bolsheviks.--Submitted by Rahimullah Baig Hunzai

In this book, written in 1943 and 1944 while Orwell was working as a journalist and commentator for (among others) the BBC Orwell vents his profound disdain for Stalinism and his disappointment with Marxism as political praxis. A particularly English brand of Socialist with a towering social conscience Orwell himself not only campaigned on behalf of the ILP but had the courage of his convictions to join the Poum in the fight against fascism in Spain in 1937. However, disappointed and endangered by the political machinations of Stalin's Russia in Spain and disgusted by the Molotov Ribbentrop non aggression pact of 1939 and early communist rhetoric against involvement in World War II as a capitalist war, Orwell turns his not inconsiderable facility for satire against totalitarian socialism. Not so much against the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 but against the hypocrisy, the repressiveness that that revolution descended into from the threat of Lenin. This is one of the best books in the English Language written by one of the most viscerally intelligent and humane geniuses of the pen to have lived. It comes highly recommended.--Submitted by Anonymous

ALL humans ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME humans ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. This is what happens in many country nowadays.--Submitted by Anonymous

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Recent Forum Posts on Animal Farm

Animal Farm- The government systems mentioned.

Hello, I'm reading Animal Farm for English 10 honors and am wondering what government system is being highlighted from this passage. This isn't apart of an assignment I was just hoping to memorize any content that could prove to be relevant to the story and class. I'm hoping some sort of answer can be derived from the context clues included. "Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others." We're studying democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism, tsarism autocracy, republic, and totalitarianism. My objective is to use this quote as an example of one of these forms of government. I see aspects of a couple forms in this quote but am wanting an answer that leans towards one form only.

Animal Farm Essay Help

Hello everyone, I am here because I need help on my essay. The problem I have is that I can't see where I am going and feel like my writing is horrible due to a result of it. Any feedback is welcomed thank you in advance. Animal Farm by George Orwell is a novel based on the lives of a society of animals. Animal Farm goes deeper than just talking about animals, it symbolizes the corruption of Communist Russia. During the story, most animals are manipulated into believing the exact opposite of what is true. Animal Farm Although the title of the book suggests the book is merely about animals, the story is a much more in depth analysis of the workings of society in Communist Russia. Animal Farm draws many parallels to the propaganda used after the Russian Revolution, the rise of Stalin to power during the Russian Revolution, and how the Russian Revolution started. The Russian Revolution is mainly associated with the February Revolution, the October revolution and the aftereffect. The February Revolution was when the people of Russia ousted the Tsar after his constant failure to lead. The October Revolution was when the government of Russia was reestablished and known as USSR. The aftereffect of the Russian Revolution was that instead of helping the people of Russia, it made it slightly worse. The rulers of the USSR asserted the same authority the Tsar had, but used more brutal methods, and example of this being the KGB. The treatment of Napoleon and the pigs in animal farm emulates how Stalin abused the trust of the people so that he and his allies could live in luxury. The main reason the pigs were treated superior was because the leader of Animal Farm (Napoleon) was a pig. Because Napoleon was a pig, he gave the pigs liberties that other animals were not given, such as sleeping in beds, wearing clothes, and drinking beer. All of this was strictly against the original Animal Farm rules, but by using propaganda they avoided any conflict that could have taken place. An example of this was when the pigs were sleeping on the beds. When the animals realized that the pigs were sleeping on the beds, they went to commandments, or “laws” of Animal Farm. Surprisingly, one of the laws was altered from “No animal shall sleep on a bed” to “No animal shall sleep on a bed with sheets, but instead of thinking about someone changing this, they blamed it on their faulty memories. Squealer (the character who symbolizes propaganda in the Soviet Union) says that only sheets are evil because they are an invention of man, but because every animal sleeps on a bed the pigs are doing nothing wrong. This whole encounter symbolizes how Stalin abused the power given to him by the trust of the people. The reason for the rebellion in the Russian Revolution and in Animal Farm was to overthrow the corrupt dictators, but as Stalin’s rule progresses, he becomes as corrupt as the Tsar. Orwell symbolizes this by portraying the pigs as slowly becoming humanlike, sleeping on the bed being one of the depictions of this. The political battles fought by Napoleon and Snowball symbolizes Stalin’s tyrannical power. In Animal Farm, after the revolution two animals strived for the title of leader, Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball was intellectual, passionate, and cared for the people living on the farm; similar to Trotsky. Napoleon was cunning, shrewd, and cared only about having absolute control of the farm, similar to Stalin. In chapter 5, Snowball proposes to build a windmill for the animals, in order to automate many tasks in the farmhouse. When Snowball was extremely close to winning the debate, Napoleon unleashed dogs upon him, forcing Snowball to abandon Animal Farm. He justified all to the animals with the help of Squealer, saying that Snowball “was a traitor, and plotted against all the animals”. By using this propaganda he was able to convince the people that Snowball was a traitor, and make them build a windmill. However, the windmill’s electricity was only used by the pigs. Similarly, in the Soviet Union, Stalin exiled and killed Trotsky. Trotsky’s exile illuminates Stalin’s power hungry motivations. The overthrowing of Jones in Manor farm is similar to the overthrowing of the Tsar in the Russian Revolution. Mr. Jones represents the Russian ruler Tsar Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor. During the time that Jones led the farm, the animals were given minimal food, and were neglected for days. Old major, the prize winning boar, recognized these problems, and was the fueled the animals toward the rebellion. The rebellion was extremely quick, the animals broke into the food storage building after not being fed for days, and eventually oust the farmhands and Mr. Jones. During the Tsar’s reign of Russia, the common population was witnessing a period of poverty and anger, the latter being fueled by the Bloody Sunday massacre. Similar to the uprising of the animals in animal farm, the Tsar was overthrown suddenly because of a food shortage. Old major symbolizes Lenin, the leader of the party that took control after the Tsar was overthrown. He recites a theory similar to Lenin’s, saying that the working class should unite against the ruling class to live in economic equality. Similar to Lenin, Old major dies without witnessing the fruits of his labor.

a research paper for last year in college

Hi ! I am 4th year student in college of arts/dept.of English I want to make a research paper on animal farm and relate it to the real events in Arab world -Arab spring- what do you think of this research? will be great topic to make a research about? and what the title of topic would be?I want an attractive title ! :D Finally, How can I start with this research??? note:my research should be more than 21 pages :( ...

What is it illegal to call a pig in France?

The Ask Jeeves (search engine) question of the day was What is it illegal to call a pig in France? Apparently Napolean. It was never removed the statute book. I wonder if that caused a problem with the French translation of Animal Farm.

Animal farm essay O.o

:piggy: Me, piggy rosebush and my fellow pig loving friend are TRYING to write an essay our topic is; 'Animal farm explores how communists behave under pressure :conehead: can anyone give us references or just help us out.... were really stuck in the muck... we will love you forever, almost as much as we love rusty spoons and pig slosh :ladysman: -Piggy rosebush & Miss Piggy "Oink, Oink"


I am reading 'Animal Farm' for fun. I am find it very interest the way Orwell writes 'Farm Animal', mainly at moment chapter 5 it in refer to russian re and bolsk That Snowball in visions about how to use the windmill and built it. Also that Napolean only kept Snowball on side just for cowshed fight with two legs. Napolean is very clever complex character is secretly turn the pigs in to only communists army. Squealer is like store pigeon just wait right time whisper in the ears of animal. Squealer is one suppose put Napolean side of thing of now everything hes doing for good of animals. Napolean is true communist, just out own purpose.

The confessions/executions of the animals

How do the confessions (perhaps, false confessions) and executions of some of the animals on Animal Farm show that the animals are naive and easily taken advantage of?

The danger of a naive working class

Hey there. I'm writing a research paper on Animal Farm right now, and my topic is: The vulnerability of a naive and uneducated working class. Is this a good topic to research? Would anyone be able to provide some links to articles I can read to use as sources on my paper? Also, any tips, suggestions or ideas about a better research topic or potential sub-topics would very much be appreciated. People here seem like a smart bunch and I'd like to learn from you to reach a better understanding of this novella, which is why I came here for help. Thank you.:)

I need help!

I have to answer this question: Discuss the way language is used to shape ideas and themes. Could anyone give me some help

Was Animal Farm funny?

I finished reading Animal Farm with knowing the background of Stalinist Russia, and I didn't find it funny at all. I probably wouldn't have found it funny even if I didn't know it's historical context. I did get a small grin at the very last line where it said the pigs and humans looked exactly the same though. Many tell me that this novel was written with satire. The definition of satire is using humour (which I did not see) to criticize something. (In this case, Stalin/Russia). Was it suppose to be humourous? Am I missing something? If it was, what did Orwell do to make it funny for you? (In other words how did he manipulate the text in order to bolster satirical content?) I feel I'm truly missing something here. ;(

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