Animal Farm is a short political fable by George Orwell based on Joseph Stalin's betrayal of the Russian Revolution. Orwell wrote it because he wished to destroy what he called the "Soviet myth". Like Nineteen Eighty-Four, the story is one of the most famous political allegories in the world. It is about a group of animals who rebel against the humans from the farm they live on and run it themselves with hopes of being equal, free, and happy. In the end, however, the new rule becomes a cruel tyranny of its own led by the pigs. Written during World War II and published in 1945, it was not well received at first, but is widely accepted as a classic today.
Plot summary [change]
The animals of the Manor Farm live bad condition because their farmer Mr. Jones, a bad and always drunken man, exploites them. One day the Old Major, an old pig, called a meeting of all the animals and told them about a dream that he had had the previous night. He had dreamed about an old song 'Beasts of England' that started a resistance against the human beings. Everyone was very excited. But the pig had died at the end of the meeting and two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, started leading the preaperance of the Rebellion. About three months later they revolted against Mr. Jones and they took possession of the farm. The purpose of the revolution was to create a fair society made only by animals and based on seven commandments like “Four legs good, two legs bad” and most important one: "All animals are equal". They also changed the name of the farm to "Animal Farm". Snowball, an inventive and vivacious pig and Napoleon, a big and cruely-looking pig, started to fight for leadership. In the meantime Mr. Jones wanted to get the farm back but the animals succeeded in the battle and Mr. Jones was forced to run away. One day, when Snowball announced his plans to build windmill, Napoleon arrived in the farm with nine big and cruel dogs that made Snowball run away bleeding. From that day Napoleon was the real dictator of the farm, if someone was not agreed with him, he was eaten up by his dogs and if something did not work, like the building of the windmill, it was all Snowball’s fault. When Boxer, the strongest horse in the farm, lost his power because of the old age and fell while he was building a windmill, this unexpectedly led him to slaughter. Now Napoleon had pity on nobody. He and the pigs were like Mr. Jones, they exploited the other animals, they took advantage of the foolishness of some animals and they came into contact with human beings for business although they established it was forbidden. In the end they became like human beings, they started to walk on their hind legs and they changed the old maxim with a new one: “Four legs good, two legs better”. Nothing was changed and their resistance seemed to be useless.
Orwell, who was a socialist, wrote in the introduction of the 1947 Ukranian translation of Animal Farm that he got the idea from seeing a young boy whipping a large cart horse. He explained, "It struck me that if only such animals became aware of (knew) their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit (badly use) animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat (poor)".
Characters in the book [change]
- Old Major He is a positive image and the inspiration of the rest of the book.
- Napoleon He is the pig who becomes the leader of animal farm. He cements his power through fear.
- Snowball He is the pig who fights Napoleon for control after the rebellion. He easily wins the loyalty of most of the animals.
- Squealer He serves as a public speaker. He twists and abuses language to excuse and justify Napoleon's actions.
- Minimus He is a poet, who writes a song about Napoleon.
- Mr.Jones, the farmer of Manor Farm (which was later changed to Animal Farm)
- Mrs. Jones, wife of the Mr.Jones, the farmer
- Mr. Pilkington, the farmer of Foxwood
- Mr. Frederick, the farmer of Pinchfield
Other animals [change]
- Benjamin, the donkey
- Moses, the tame raven
- The Cat
- Murial, the goat
- The Cows
- The dogs, Bluebell, Jessie and Pincher
Animalism is a system of beliefs shared by the farm animals of Manor Farm. The purpose is to ensure the farm animals behave like actual animals and not follow the footsteps of humans beings. Therefore, any human behavior is considered contrary to the spirit of Animalism.
Beasts of England [change]
In the story, this song was sung by animals of England once upon a time. It is named "Beasts of England", with a stirring tune, a cross between Clementine and Cucuracha. This song became popular among the animals of England after Old Major recited it to the farm animals of Manor Farm. It serves as the 1st national anthem of Animal Farm.
Original beliefs [change]
"Four legs good, two legs bad."
The Seven Commandments [change]
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
- "Animal Farm (novel by Orwell) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/25714/Animal-Farm. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "BBC - History - Historic Figures: George Orwell (1903 - 1950)". bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/orwell_george.shtml. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "George Orwell: Preface to the Ukrainian Edition of 'Animal Farm: A Fairy Story'". orwell.ru. http://www.orwell.ru/library/novels/Animal_Farm/english/epfc_go. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "Literary Encyclopedia: Animal Farm". litencyc.com. http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6595. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "Preface to the Ukrainian Edition of Animal Farm - Written by George Orwell - Charles' George Orwell Links". netcharles.com. http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/articles/ukrainian-af-pref.htm. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "Ideas and Trends - Orwell's 2-Legged Message - NYTimes.com". query.nytimes.com. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9507E2D7133FF935A1575AC0A96F958260. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
Other websites [change]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Animal Farm|
- "Animal Farm by George Orwell". http://www.george-orwell.org/Animal_Farm/index.html. Retrieved 2008-05-22.