Animal Farm Essay Research Paper George Orwells

Animal Farm Essay, Research Paper

George Orwell?s Animal Farm is a satire on the Russian revolution, and

therefore the novel is full of symbolism. Orwell associates certain real

characters with the characters of the book. For example the two leaders of the

revolution are represented by snowball, who portrays Leon Trotsky and Napoleon

who portrays Joseph. Orwell uses the pigs to surround

and support Napoleon. They symbolize the communist party loyalists and the

friends of Stalin, as well as perhaps the Duma, or Russian parliament. The

pigs, unlike other animals, live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the

society they help to control. The inequality and true hypocrisy of communism is

expressed here by Orwell, who criticized Marx’s over-simplified view of a

socialist, "utopian" society. Obviously George Orwell doesn’t believe

such a society can exist. Toward the end of the book, George Orwell emphasizes,

"Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the

animals themselves any richer except, of course, the pigs and the dogs." Orwell very

cleverly uses the name Boxer as a metaphor for the Boxer Rebellion in China in

the early twentieth century. It was this rebellion which signaled the beginning

of communism in red China. This communism, much like the distorted Stalin view

of socialism, is still present today in the oppressive social government in

China. Boxer and Clover are used by Orwell to represent the proletariat, or

unskilled labor class in Russian society. This lower class is naturally drawn

to Stalin (Napoleon) because it seems as though they will benefit most from his

new system. Since Boxer and the other low animals are not accustomed to the

"good life," they can’t really compare Napoleon’s government to the

life they had before under the czars (Jones). Also, since usually the lowest

class has the lowest intelligence, it is not difficult to persuade them into

thinking they are getting a good deal. The proletariat is also quite good at

convincing each other that communism is a good idea. Orwell supports this

contention when he narrates, "Their most faithful disciples were the two

carthorses, Boxer and Clover. Those two had great difficulty in thinking

anything out for themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their

teachers, they absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the

other animals by simple arguments." Later, the importance of the

proletariat is shown when Boxer suddenly falls and there is suddenly a drastic

decrease in work productivity. But still he is taken for granted by the pigs,

who send him away in a glue truck. Old Benjamin, an elderly

donkey, is one of Orwell’s most elusive and intriguing characters on Animal

Farm. He is described as rather unchanged since the rebellion. He still does

his work the same way, never becoming too exited or too disappointed about

anything that has passed. Benjamin explains, "Donkeys live a long time.

None of you has ever seen a dead donkey." Although there is no clear

metaphoric relationship between Benjamin and Orwell’s critique of communism, it

makes sense that during any rebellion there or those who never totally embrace

the revolution those so cynical they no longer look to their leaders for help.

Benjamin symbolizes the older generation, the critics of any new rebellion.

Really this old donkey is the only animal who seems as though he couldn’t care

less about Napoleon and Animal Farm. It’s almost as if he can see into the

future, knowing that the revolt is only a temporary change, and will flop in

the end. Benjamin is the only animal who doesn’t seem to have expected anything

positive from the revolution. He almost seems on a whole different maturity

lever compared to the other animals. He is not tricked by Napoleon’s propaganda

like the others. The only time he seems to care about the others at all is when

Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. It’s almost as if the old donkey

finally comes out of his shell when he tries to warn the others of Boxer’s fate.

And the animals do try to rescue Boxer, but it’s too late. Benjamin seems to be

finally confronting Napoleon and revealing his knowledge of the pigs’

hypocrisy, although before he had been completely independent. After the

animals have forgotten Jones and their past lives, Benjamin still remembers

everything. Orwell states, "Only old Benjamin professed to remember every

detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could

be much better or much worse hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he

said, the unalterable law of life." Orwell uses the dogs to represent

the KGB or perhaps more accurately, the bodyguards of Stalin. The dogs are the

defenders of Napoleon and the pigs, and although they don’t speak, they are

definitely a force the other animals have to abide with. Orwell almost speaks

of the dogs as mindless robots, so dedicated to Napoleon that they can’t really

speak for themselves. This contention is supported as Orwell describes

Napoleon’s early and suspicious removal of six puppies from their mother. The

reader is left in the dark for a while, but later it is made clear when Orwell

describes the chase of Snowball. Napoleon uses his "secret dogs" for

the first time here; before Snowball has a chance to stand up and give a

counter-argument to Napoleon’s disapproval of the windmill, the dogs viciously

attack the pig, forcing him to flee, never to return again. Orwell narrates,

"Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a moment

the dogs came bounding back. At first no one had been able to imagine where

these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they were the

puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately.

Though not yet full-grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as

wolves. They kept close to Napoleon. It was noticed that they wagged their

tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr.

Jones." The use of the dogs begins the evil use of force, which helps

Napoleon maintain power. Later, the dogs do even more horrible things when they

are instructed to kill the animals labeled "disloyal." Stalin, too,

had his own special force of "helpers". Really there are followers

loyal to any politician or government leader, but Stalin in particular needed a

special police force to eliminate his opponents. This is how Trotsky was

killed. I think most types of human nature

is represented in the book ?Animal Farm? which draws attention to many

different aspects of life. I think I would most likely be a bit like Benjamin

the donkey, but not totally like him. I would probably understand a bit about

what?s going on but would be too scared to rebel against the pigs until it?s

too late.


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