Animal Farm, a Tale of Ignorance and Communism

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell is a classic masterpiece of dystopian literature that demonstrates how power corrupts even the most devoted individuals.  A violent revolution, an ancient and decrepit monarch overthrown, and a power on the rise, for the fate of Manor Farm, is in the hands of two warring rulers; this is what compromises the fragile world of Animal Farm. A tyrant repeats the benefits from the suppressed animals, yet a violent revolution institutes a new form of government which sets animal rights above anything; however, Napoleon and Snowball, the leaders of the cue, are now clashing for control. A society that is incapable of free thought is the wounded prey that any scavenging dictator seeks to torture and taunt. Those who will blindly align themselves with a cause; no questions asked, no prior thoughts, are bound on a path of self-destruction. Animal Farm is a brutal, yet fascinating, allegory of the Russian Revolution which depicts the rise of a potentially beneficial government and the poisonous power which corrupts all it touches. 

We all live in a society, like it or not, we are bound by its’ norms and rules which we are taught from birth or forced to learn over the years, for our tiny blue planet harbours countless cultures and societies with different values and ideals. Some cultures emphasise religious fanaticism, some encourage free thought and progressive thinking, other societies emphasis ignorance and conformism with the status quo, and such is the case with Animal Farm. The leader, Napoleon, emphasise blind loyalty, ignorance, and conformism, for this will, like in any other dystopia, allow him to govern un-restricted over his subjects. Furthermore, another common trait amongst dystopians is the lack of or twisted version of happiness that the citizens of a nation or community adopt. Those in power re-dine happiness as something rather simple, the lack of human control, and thus once more the animals will never know what true happiness is or what it should be like. As the animals are further subjected by those in power they adopt a hive-like mind, the ideas of one are the ideas of everyone. It is not the restriction of individuality or intimacy that is the issue, the true nature of the problem is that the animals are simply not intelligent or capable of forming their own ideas and opinions without someone telling them what to think.  To reinforce the previous, literacy on the farm are nearly zero with only the leading bigs being able to write and read in a coherent manner. The formation of a dystopian world rely’s on two  fundamental pillars, a mindless mob of citizens who do not question or think for themselves, and a government willing to exploit the latter for their benefit, and thus as rights are repealed and complaints swiftly erased a new and twisted society rises. 

Every rebellion, revolution, or protest boils down to a single moment or ideal that sparked something far great, the destruction of society as known at the moment. These key moments are known as catalysts and often they are tied to a violent or gruesome event, and once again Animal Farm is no stranger to these. As Mr.Jones, the original owner of Animal Farm, lashes out at cows and other animals those who are tired of his abuse retaliate, they fight back, it culminates with Mr.Jones and all other humans overthrown by the animals. While after a time of strife a time of peace most often ensues where a society may rebuild and redevelop it self, and some may appear to continue on forever. Like many other communities which rose from the fires of violence Animal Farm will burn down due to a insatiable lust for power. Those in power, Napoleon and Snowball, are slowly loosing track of the perfect society that they wanted to create, for this will lead to the down fall of Animal Farm as power will ultimately corrupt  all those who are not willing to renounce it. Animal Farm will not continue forever, it can’t, society must set aside violence and hate to flourish. By founding their society on the hatred towards humans and our habits the Animals have made a fatal flaw, and blindly following those who promise to avenge them will undoubtedly contribute too. A society based on hate, strife, and ignorance will never succeed or thrive for long periods of time as other dystopias depict too. Readers might note that countries have risen beyond initial stages of violence, but on rare whims of hopes and luck is that this occurs, our ,modern society has developed due to the acts of brave men and woman who fought against tyrants and other oppressors, we have risen past our moments of futile violence, we shed our ancient foundations based of hate, and many will notice that the parallels between our world and Animal Farm will interweave and they become remarkably similar.

A essential for the development of any dystopia is the ruling government or figure of authority within a society or community, though do bare in mind some dystopias are base in world with NO government. Some governments divide their subjects into castes or class systems, something less apparent in Animal Farm, but present. The pigs become and rise to be the ones in power, and those below are seen as less than par for the pigs. With a ruling class having complete control over every aspect of the society how will they treat freedom, well, they will mold it to their benefit. Once, directly after the revolution, the animals created rules to avoid animals to fall under the spell of human vices. Now, all has changed, the animals may wonder the fields, they may talk, but some may drink alcohol, reside in human homes, and even kill other animals without repercussion. Freedom in Animal Farm is the ability where to walk, but never to question, and never to disobey the pigs. As individuality never rises as a trait amongst the animals and freedom has been corrupted, expression of one’s thoughts are heavily censored and silenced through violent techniques. Nothing unique may rise amongst the common animals as something such as thing would pave the road to free though and rebellion against a dictatorial government.  As some speak up against the rule of Napoleon they shall quickly be silenced by his lackeys, but something must be done to reprimand free thought. The use of propaganda and slogans is rampant in Animal Farm something akin to George Orwell’s other novel 1984. Squealer, a pig determined to keep Napoleon in power will speak before all the Animals, erasing any though that may contract dict him, and most often he will utilise the following slogan “Two legs bad, four legs good.”  Dystopian governments rely on propaganda to diminish and influence the minds of those who they govern  and may this tactic ever fail, and the downfall of any dystopian government will commence. While propaganda seeks to protect the image of the government it might be history which is extremely dangerous to those who wish to forget it. However, the pigs are able to change history according to what would be beneficial to them and they quickly dismiss any other claims. The past is viewed as a tool by the pigs to control the lesser minded animals, and all original memories are all but fiction. As the past is destroyed, propaganda and rhetoric are implemented, and freedom is trampled how will stability be defined? Stability is a fragile thing, the lack of humans signified stability in Animal Farm as the lack of control by a human is the ideal life for any animal. This simple dream is dangerous as no one  will seek no better life. The government in dystopian novels are often time the antagonists, power corrupts, and Animal Farm demonstrates this extensively.

Every dystopia has a certain meaning or message that the author wishes to transmit to the audience. Animal Farm, a novel wishing to demonstrate just how power truly corrupts. Power corrupts, the pigs have lost sight of the world they wanted to create, and they have become a new the tyrants they have replaced. A dystopian novel seeks to make light of very dangerous topics which might influence our world. The author demonstrates how those in power will always be poised by power itself due to how it destroys even the bravest. If specific details are removed from the story he message of the work is still clear. As power corrupts knowledge becomes dangerous and ignorance becomes extremely valuable. To encourage ignorance is to secure security for the continuation of the government of any dystopian novel. However, there are those who do not fit in with the governments dynamic. Snowball, a supporter of individuality and an individual who seeks to uphold their original ideals. Regardless what is being done by Snowball the dominant pigs do everything in their power to subvert those who strive for a better world. A dystopian novel is a warning about what the future might for tell for us and our society.

 

   Animal Farm is a most read for every young adult reader as it will explore the crumbling society that our world can transform into. It is the allegory to such as violent and horrible time of our past that gives context and understanding to the situation which is presented to young readers across the globe. It is in the hands of the young readers which are presented with this warning to heed it and fight to protect themselves from the sweet poison that power delivers. We are all responsible for shielding those to come from dangers that the world such as the one in Animal Farm presents, for we don’t only control our future but that of the next generation as we determine the world we will hand over. Animal Farm has been one of the most amazing novels I have read and any literate individual should seek this novel as it will change their view of our past and concept of olden and modern politics. I would rate this novel a strong ten out of ten on any scale.

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