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Research paper topic: 1984 Vs Animal Farm - 1262 words
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.. n with us. Animal Farm basically deals with how seeking totalitarian power can and will destroy any attempt at revolution and how power can corrupt even the most probable utopias. One night when Farmer Jones has gone to bed drunk, Old Major, the pig in charge of all, assembles all of the animals of Manor Farm to tell them of a dream he had concerning man's and animal's place in life. He points out how animals are literally worked to death by man, who consumes but does not produce, and thus must remove man by means of rebellion.
Shortly thereafter, he dies and the animals begin preparation for this Revolution, whenever it may come. When the hungry animals attack and drive off Jones one day for not feeding them, they realize their uprising has been a success. They then, in celebration, change the title of the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm, and write the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the barn: 1) 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 With the pigs' smarts, everyone's enthusiasm and hard work, especially Boxer, the big cart horse, all jobs are now performed easier and quicker than were by Farmer Jones. On Sundays, meetings and celebrations for the Rebellion are held, with all animals being taught to read, write, and memorize the commandments. Some could not memorize the seven, so Snowball reduced them to one maxim-Four legs good, two legs bad-much to the satisfaction of the sheep, who yell it for hours at a time. Slowly, conflicts arise, as the pigs start taking food for themselves, Farmer Jones' attack is held off by Boxer and Snowball, and Snowball and Napoleon increasingly disagree on everything. After Snowball excellently proposes committees and building a windmill, Napoleon ushers in nine huge dogs, whom he has raised since they were puppies, to drive off Snowball, never to be seen again. After a storm destroys their newly-made windmill, Napoleon claims Snowball did it, forcing a few animals soon-to-be-dead to confess to conspiring with Snowball.
Throughout this time, Napoleon is always protected by his dogs, and the animals of the farm barely reclaim it from an attack by neighbor Farmer Frederick, who blows up the windmill it took them two years to build. Napoleon claims to arrange having the loyal, collapsed Boxer treated at a hospital, only to take him away to be slaughtered, wherefrom they receive liquor money. After years of rule by pigs and dogs, one day all animals see them walking on two legs, to which the sheep, who have recently been taught by Squealer (Napoleon's assistant), reply Four legs good, two legs better. By this point, all of the commandments the animals thought they remembered are now different, qualified specifically by Squealer and the pigs. One night, when the animals hear noises coming from the house, they go and see the pigs dining with humans, only to see that they are the same-pigs are humans, humans are pigs.
The central theme Orwell is trying to get across is the failure of attempted revolution. Too many times it is tried, and too many times it fails. Furthermore, he thoroughly depicts power and its tributaries of corruption. As long as there as has been humans, there has always been power, with one person having more than another and one person wanting more than another. This is definitely the case as Snowball begins to accept more power in his campaign for the animals and Napoleon begins to grow jealous, forcing him to resort to violence. In contrast to Orwell's depiction of an anti-utopia in 1984, he gives us the impression of a possibility of utopia in Animal Farm with the animals taking over, only to shatter it with the introduction of a totalitarian dictatorship by the hands of Napoleon, proving it is possibly anywhere.
The concept of power rots the pigs' minds, as their longing for power grows; the more they get, the more they want. Another point to be made is that as long as human condition exists on this earth, power will always corrupt. These are made clear by the behavior of the pigs throughout the ordeal. As they got more food, they started denying the other animals it, instead saving it for themselves. Animal Farm is a story of a revolution gone bad, especially because of lust for power and rule.
Since Animal Farm is a satire over the Russian Revolution, it is full of meaningful symbolism. Old Major, the prize pig, represented Karl Marx and his motion for revolution, since it was he who actually started the idea of overthrowing corruptive man. One cannot help but notice the name choice for the villain. Napoleon's namesake was the dictator of France, who turned it into his own personal empire, much like Napoleon the pig. Napoleon, however, was undoubtedly, exclusively based on Joseph Stalin and his movement during the Russian Revolution, with his totalitarian and dictator beliefs.
This is highly obvious with Napoleon's lust for power and destruction of political opposition (Snowball). Squealer, who could turn black into white, served the same role as 1984's Ministry of Truth, representing the propaganda-making Pravda, the Russian newspaper of the 1930's, masking all the bad by the leaders, serving as the link between the top and the bottom. Snowball, without a doubt, symbolizes the scapegoat of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky. Both Trotsky and Stalin (Snowball and Napoleon) were in charge, until Stalin feared for his own power, exiling Trotsky to Mexico and being ruthless against any presumed to follow Trotsky. This bears an uncanny resemblance with Snowball's situation. Although he did appear corrupt at times (taking the apples and milk), Snowball characterized bravery, goodwill, and consideration. Boxer symbolizes the often confused -but overall loyal- blind followers of Stalin (Napoleon) during his tyrannic reign, much like the dogs were Stalin's most loyal followers, the KGB.
Boxer's statement Napoleon is always right is modeled after the famous statement Mussolini is always right. In many ways, I feel Old Benjamin, the old donkey, symbolizes Orwell himself, in the sense that he remained unchanged to the rebellion, warning of its consequences and claiming it would not be as momentous as they were making it out to be. He is one of the few animals on the farm who is generally aware of what is going on at all times. Finally, Orwell's seven commandments are a parody of the perverted ten commandments Tolstoy used in his writing. Animal Farm is a beast fable using animals to symbolize our faults and display our lack of efficiency, strategically sculpted so as to be understood and read by all.
Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY 1) FOWLER, ROGER. THE LANGUAGE OF GEORGE ORWELL (LANGUAGE OF LITERATURE). BOSTON: ST. MARTIN'S, 1996. 2) GEORGE ORWELL.
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