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Critical Essays Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution

One of Orwell's goals in writing Animal Farm was to portray the Russian (or Bolshevik) Revolution of 1917 as one that resulted in a government more oppressive, totalitarian, and deadly than the one it overthrew. Many of the characters and events of Orwell's novel parallel those of the Russian Revolution: In short, Manor Farm is a model of Russia, and Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon represent the dominant figures of the Russian Revolution. Mr. Jones is modeled on Tsar Nicholas II (18681918), the last Russian emperor. His rule (18941917) was marked by his insistence that he was the uncontestable ruler of the nation. During his reign, the Russian people experienced terrible poverty and upheaval, marked by the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1905 when unarmed protesters demanding social reforms were shot down by the army near Nicholas' palace. As the animals under Jones lead lives of hunger and want, the lives of millions of Russians worsened during Nicholas' reign. When Russia entered World War I and subsequently lost more men than any country in any previous war, the outraged and desperate people began a series of strikes and mutinies that signaled the end of Tsarist control. When his own generals withdrew their support of him, Nicholas abdicated his throne in the hopes of avoiding an all-out civil war but the civil war arrived in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution, when Nicholas, like Jones, was removed from his place of rule and then died shortly thereaf ter. Old Major is the animal version of V. I. Lenin (18701924), the leader of the Bolshevik Party that seized control in the 1917 Revolution. As old Major outlines the principles of Animalism, a theory holding that all animals are equal and must revolt against their oppressors, Lenin was inspired by Karl Marx's theory of Communism, which urges the "workers of the world" to unite against their economic oppressors. As Animalism imagines a world where all animals share in the prosperity of the farm, Communism argues that a "communal" way of life will allow all people to live lives of economic equality. Old Major dies before he can see the final results of the revolution, as Lenin did before witnessing the ways in which his disciples carried on the work of reform. Old Major is absolute in his hatred of Man, as Lenin was uncompromising in his views: He is widely believed to have been responsible for giving the order to kill Nicholas and his family after the Bolsheviks had gained control. Lenin was responsible for changing Russia into the U.S.S.R., as old Major is responsible for transforming Manor Farm into Animal Farm. The U.S.S.R.'s flag depicted a hammer and sickle the tools of the rebelling workers so the flag of Animal Farm features a horn and hoof. One of Lenin's allies was Leon Trotsky (18791940), another Marxist thinker who participated in a number of revolutionary demonstrations and uprisings. His counterpart in Animal Farm is Snowball, who, like Trotsky, felt that a worldwide series of rebellions was necessary to achieve the revolution's ultimate aims.

Snowball's plans for the windmill and programs reflect Trotsky's intellectual character and ideas about the best ways to transform Marx's theories into practice. Trotsky was also the leader of Lenin's R ed Army, as Snowball directs the army of animals that repel Jones. Eventually, Trotsky was exiled from the U.S.S.R. and killed by the agents of Joseph Stalin (1979 1953), as Snowball is chased off of the farm by Napoleon Orwell's stand-in for Stalin. Like Napoleon, Stalin was unconcerned with debates and ideas. Instead, he valued power for its own sake and by 1927 had assumed complete control of the Communist Party through acts of terror and brutality. Napoleon's dogs are like Stalin's KGB, his secret police that he used to eliminate all opposition. As Napoleon gains control under the guise of improving the animals' lives, Stalin used a great deal of propaganda symbolized by Squealer in the novel to present himself as an idealist working for change. His plan to build the windmill reflects Stalin's Five Year Plan for revitalizing the nation's industry and agriculture. Stalin's ordering Lenin's body to be placed in the shrine-like Lenin's Tomb parallels Napoleon's unearthing of old Major's skull, and his creation of the Order of the Green Banner parallels Stalin's creation of the Order of Lenin. Thanks, in part, to animals like Boxer (who swallow whole all of their leader's lies), Stalin became one of the world's most feared and brutal dictators. Numerous events in the novel are based on ones that occurred during Stalin's rule. The Battle of the Cowshed parallels the Civil War that occurred after the 1917 Revolution. Frederick represents Adolf Hitler (1889 1945), who forged an alliance with Stalin in 1939 but who then found himself fighting Stalin's army in 1941. Frederick seems like an ally of Napoleon's, but his forged banknotes reveal his true character. The confessions and executions of the animals reflect the various purges and "show trials" that Stal in conducted to rid himself of any possible threat of dissention. In 1921, the sailors at the Kronshdadt military base unsuccessfully rebelled against Communist rule, as the hens attempt to rebel against Napoleon. The Battle of the Windmill reflects the U.S.S.R.'s involvement in World War II specifically the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943, when Stalin's forces defeated Hitler's (as Napoleon's defeat Frederick). Finally, the card game at the novel's end parallels the Tehran Conference (November 28December 1, 1943), where Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt met to discuss the ways to forge a lasting peace after the war a peace that Orwell mocks by having Napoleon and Pilkington flatter each other and then betray their duplicitous natures by cheating in the card game.

Character Analysis Old Major A wise and persuasive pig, old Major inspires the rebellion with his rhetorical skill and ability to get the other animals to share his indignation. When he announces that he wishes to share the contents of his strange dream with his companions, all the animals comply, demonstrating the great respect they have

for such an important (that is, "major") figure. His speech about the tyranny of man is notable for its methodical enumeration of man's wrongs against the animals. Listing all of man's crimes, old Major rouses the other animals into planning the rebellion. His leading them in singing "Beasts of England" is another demonstration of his rhetorical skills, for after he teaches the animals the song about a world untainted by human hands, the animals sing it five times in succession.
The flaw in old Major's thinking is that he places total blame on man for all the animals' ills. According to him, once they "Remove Man from the scene," then "the root cause of hunger and overwork" will be abolished forever. Clearly, old Major believes that Man is capable only of doing harm and that animals are capable only of doing good. Such one-dimensional thinking that ignores the desire for power inherent in all living things can only result in its being disproved. Also ironic is old Major's admonition to the animals: "Remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him." This warning is ignored by Napoleon and the other pigs, who, by the novel's end, completely resemble their human masters.

Snowball is the animal most clearly attuned to old Major's thinking, and he devotes himself to bettering the animals in intellectual, moral, and physical ways. He brings literacy to the farm so that the animals can better grasp the principles of Animalism by reading the Seven Commandments he paints on the barn wall. He also reduces the Commandments to a singl e precept ("Four legs good, two legs bad") so that even the least intelligent animals can understand the farm's new philosophy. The "thinker" of the rebellion, Snowball shows a great understanding of strategy during the Battle of the Cowshed, and while his various committees may fail, the fact that he attempts to form them reveals the degree to which he wants to better the animals' lives. His plan for the windmill is similarly noble, since its construction would give the animals more leisure time. His expulsion at the hands of Napoleon, however, suggests that force not good intentions governs the farm.

While Jones' tyranny can be somewhat excused due to the fact that he is a dull -witted drunkard, Napoleon's can only be ascribed to his blatant lust for power. The very first description of Napoleon presents him as a "fierce-looking" boar "with a reputation for getting his own way." Throughout the novel, Napoleon's method of "getting his own way" involves a combination of propaganda and terror that none of the animals can resist. Note that as soon as the revolution is won, Napoleon's first action is to steal the cows' milk for the pigs. Clearly, the words of old Major inspired Napoleon not to fight against tyranny, but to seize the opportunity to e stablish himself as a dictator. The many crimes he commits against his own comrades range from seizing nine puppies to "educate" them as his band of killer guard dogs to forcing confessions from innocent animals and then having them killed before all the animals' eyes.

Napoleon's greatest crime, however, is his complete transformation into Jones although Napoleon is a much more harsh and stern master than the reader is led to believe Jones ever was. By the end of the novel, Napoleon is sleeping in Jones' bed, eating from Jones' plate, drinking alcohol, wearing a derby hat, walking on two legs, trading with humans, and sharing a toast with Mr. Pilkington. His final act of propaganda changing the Seventh Commandment to "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL / BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" reflects his unchallenged belief that he belongs in complete control of the farm. His restoration of the name Manor Farm shows just how much Napoleon has wholly disregarded the words of old Major.

Napoleon: Napoleon is Orwell's chief villain in Animal Farm. The name Napoleon is very coincidental
since Napoleon, the dictator of France, was thought by many to be the Anti-Christ. Napoleon, the pig, is really the central character on the farm. Obviously a metaphor for Stalin, Comrade Napoleon represents the human frailties of any revolution. Orwell believed that although socialism is good as an ideal, it can never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. For example, although Napoleon seems as first to be a good leader, he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Of course Stalin did too in Russia, leaving the original equality of socialism behind, giving himself all the power and living in luxury while the common peasant suffered. Thus, while his national and international status blossomed, the welfare of Russia remained unchanged. Orwell explains, "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer--except, of course for the pigs and the dogs." The true side of Napoleon becomes evident after he slaughters so many animals for plotting against him. He even hires a pig to sample his food for him to make certain that no one is trying to poison him. Stalin, too, was a cruel dictator in Russia. After suspecting many people in his empire to be supporters of Trotsky (Orwell's Snowball), Stalin systematically murders many. By the end of the book, Napoleon doesn't even pretend to lead a socialist state. After renaming it a Republic and instituting his own version of the commandments and the Beasts of England, Comrade Napoleon, he quickly becomes more or less a dictator who of course has never even been elected by the animals.

Every tyrant has his sycophants, and Napoleon has one in Squealer, a clever pig who (as the animals say) "could turn black into white." Throughout the novel, he serves as Napoleon's mouthpiece and Minister of Propaganda. Every time an act of Napoleon's is questioned by the other animals regardless of how selfish or severe it may seem Squealer is able to convince the animals that Napoleon is only acting in their best interests and that Napoleon himself has made great sacrifices for Animal Farm. For examp le, after Squealer is questioned about Napoleon's stealing the milk and windfallen apples, he explains that Napoleon and his fellow pigs must take the milk and apples because they "contain substances absolutely necessary to the well being of a pig." He further explains that many pigs "actually dislike milk and apples" and tells the questioning animals, "It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." His physical "skipping from side to side" during such explanations parallels his "skippin g" words, which are never direct and always skirt the obvious truth of the matter at hand. As the novel proceeds, he excuses Napoleon's tyranny and sullies

Snowball's reputation, just as Napoleon desires. The most outrageous demonstration of his "skipping" is when he convinces the animals that Boxer was taken to a veterinary hospital instead of the knacker's.

Horses are universally prized for their strength, and Boxer is no exception: Standing almost six feet tall, Boxer is a devoted citizen of the farm whose incredible strength is a great asset to the rebellion and the farm. As soon as he learns about Animalism, Boxer throws himself into the rebellion's cause. At the Battle of the Cowshed, Boxer proves to be a valuable soldier, knocking a stable-boy unconscious with his mighty hoof. (Note that Boxer, however, is not bloodthirsty and feels great remorse when he thinks he has killed the boy.) His rising early to work on the farm and his personal maxim "I will work harder" reveal his devotion to the animals' cause. He also proves himself to be the most valuable member of the windmill -building team. Boxer's great strength, however, is matched by his equally stunning innocence and naivet. He is not an intelligent animal (recall his inability to learn any of the alphabet past the letter D) and therefore can only think in simple slogans, the second of which ("Napoleon is always right") reveals his childlike dependence on an all-knowing leader. Even when he collapses while rebuilding the windmill, his first thoughts are not of himself but of the work: "It is my lung It does not matter. I think you will be able to finish the windmill without me." His hopes of retiring with Benjamin after his collapse display the extent of his innocence, since the reader knows that Napoleon has no intention of providing for an old, infirm horse. Even when he is being led to his death at the knacker's, Boxer needs to be told of his terrible fate by Benjamin and Clover. He becomes wise to Napoleon's ways too late, and his death is another example of Napoleon's tyranny.

Unlike Boxer, who always thinks of others, Mollie is a shallow materialist who cares nothing for the struggles of her fellow animals. Her first appearance in the novel suggests her personality when she enters the meeting at the last moment, chewing sugar and sitting in the front so that the others will be able to admire the red ribbons she wears in her mane. Her only concerns about the revolution are ones prompted by her ego: When she asks Snowball if th ey will still have sugar and ribbons after the rebellion, she betrays the thoughts of old Major and reveals her vanity. She is lulled off the farm by the prospect of more material possessions than she could enjoy in an animal-governed world, marking her as one to whom politics and struggle mean nothing.


As horses are known for their strength, donkeys are known for their stubbornness, and Benjamin stubbornly refuses to become enthusiastic about the rebellion. While all of his comrades delight in the prospect of a new, animal-governed world, Benjamin only remarks, "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey." While this reply puzzles the animals, the reader understands Benjamin's cynical yet not-unfounded point: In the initial moments of the rebellion, Animal Farm may seem a paradise, but in time it may come to be another form of the same tyranny at which they rebelled. Of course, Benjamin is proven right by the novel's end, and the only thing that he knows for sure "Life would go on as it had always gone on that is, badly" proves to be a definitive remark about the animals' lives. Although pessimistic, he is a realist.

With his tales of the "promised land" to which all animals retire after death, Moses is the novel's "religious" figure. Like his biblical counterpart, Moses offers his listeners descriptions of a place Sugarcandy Mountain where they can live free from oppression and hunger. At first, the pigs find him irksome, since they want the animals to believe that Animal Farm is a paradis e and fear that the animals will be prompted by Moses' tales to seek a better place. However, as conditions on the farm worsen, the pigs allow Moses to stay because his tales offer the animals the promise of rest after a weary, toilsome life. As Karl Marx famously stated, "Religion is the opium of the people," and Moses' tales of Sugarcandy Mountain likewise serve as an opiate to the animals' misery

Like George III to the American colonists or Czar Nicholas II to the Russian revolutionaries, Jones is the embodiment of the tyranny against which the animals rebel and with good reason. An inept farmer and slovenly drunkard, Jones cares little for his Manor Farm and the animals who live there. The novel's first paragraph describes Jones forgetting (out o f drunkenness) to shut the popholes for the hen-houses but remembering to draw himself a glass of beer before "lumbering" off to a drunken sleep. The fact that the rebellion is sparked by Jones' forgetting to feed the animals adds to the overall impression of him as an uncaring master. For the remainder of the novel, he is portrayed as an impotent has-been, unable to reclaim his own farm and idling in a pub until his eventual death in an inebriates' home. Long after Jones has been driven from the farm, the pigs invoke his name to scare the other animals into submission. Squealer's question, "Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?" elicits a knee-jerk reaction in the animals, who fail to realize that the spirit of Jones has returned, despite the farmer's physical absence.

The crafty owner of Pinchfield, a neighboring farm, Frederick is "perpetually involved in lawsuits" and reveals himself to be a cutthroat businessman. Despite his offers of sympathy to Jones about the rebellion at his farm, Frederick inwardly hopes that he can "somehow turn Jones' misfortune to his own advantage." He attempts this by offering to buy a load of timber from N apoleon but paying for it with counterfeit notes. His subsequent attempt to take Animal Farm by force reveals him to be a man who always takes what he wants in short, exactly the kind of man against which the animals initially wanted to rebel. By the novel's end, however, Napoleon has proven himself to be more greedy and double-dealing than Frederick at his worst.

The owner of Foxwood, a neighboring farm in "disgraceful" condition, Pilkington becomes an ally to Napoleon. This alliance, however, has a rocky start, when Napoleon changes the pigeons' message of "Death to Frederick" to "Death to Pilkington" and Pilkington refuses to help when the farm is attacked by Frederick. However, Napoleon and Pilkington eventually reconcile since they are, in essence, made of the same moral fiber and need each other to prosper (as seen when Pilkington sells part of his land to Napoleon). In the novel's last scene, Pilkington praises what Napoleon has done with Animal Farm, getting more work out of the animals w ith less food and likening the "lower animals" to humanity's "lower classes." The final moments of the novel, when Pilkington and Napoleon each attempt to cheat the other at cards, shows that their "friendship" is simply a facade each is using in order to better swindle the other.

Metaphor Analysis
Beasts of England: The Beasts of England Song
Soon and late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown, And the fruitful fields of England Shall be trod by beasts alone. Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust forever, Cruel whips no more shall crack. Riches more than mind can picture, Wheat and barley, oats and hay, Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels Shall be ours upon that day.

Bright will shine the fields of England, Purer shall its waters be, Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes On the day that sets us free. For that day we all must labour, Though we die before it break; Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, All must toil for freedom's sake. Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken well and spread my tidings Of the golden future time.

Comrade Napoleon: Comrade Napoleon

Friend of fatherless! Fountain of happiness! Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on Fire when I gaze at thy Calm and commanding eye, Like the sun in the sky, Comrade Napoleon! 7 Rules: The 7 Rules of the Farm 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 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 with sheets. No animal shall drink alcohol in excess. No animal shall kill any other animal without cause. All animals are equal.

Farmhouse: The Jones' farmhouse represents in many ways the very place where greed and lust
dominate. Unlike the barn, which is the fortress of the common man, the genuine concept of socialism , the farmhouse, where Napoleon and the pigs take over, symbolizes the Kremlin . Even today the Kremlin is an important place to Russian leaders, who, instead of embracing Marxism, have created their own distorted view of communism and have shoved it down their peoples' (animals') throats.

Animalism: The vague yet often referred to concept of animalism is used by Orwell to signify the
generic view of socialism. This view was first expounded by Karl Marx (old Major), who, in Orwell's opinion was naive in thinking that his philosophy would actually work. Orwell, although agreeing with the overall concept of equality though socialism, was critical of Marx because he didn't take into account the greed and jealousy which would eventually undermine the entire cause. This idea was shown through Napoleon and the other pigs, who, through persuasion and force became the dominant authority on the farm.

Gun/Flag: Probably the most profound metaphor in Orwell's Animal Farm is the idea of the gun and
flag. The nationalism the animals' feel is demonstrated through their daily processions and rituals where they practically worship the flag (their institution of the state and obviously not God). These processions and parades grow more dramatic with the fall of socialism and the rise of Napoleon's dictatorship. In this

way, Orwell points out that unlike Marx's (old Major's) original concept of freedom through equality, Stalin believes that inequality between nations is the key to success. This sounds surprisingly like capitalism, the very system communism is meant to combat. The gun represents the triumphant yet violence-ridden overthrow of Mr. Jones in the Battle of Cowshed. Again, opposing Marx's ideal that rebellion is to be accomplish through honesty, innocence, and passive determination, Napoleon and even Snowball (Trotsky) rise to power prematurely by using death and destruction, the very system Jones used on them. Thus they prove themselves no better than Jones and the previous administration. The fact that Napoleon outlaws Beasts of England demonstrates the formal power of the state. No longer is socialism just a generic belief in equality made by everyday common animals, but now it is a money-hungry powerhouse of oppression run by the government.

Battle of Cowshed: The Battle of Cowshed is a clear metaphor for the overthrow of the old Russian
government based on czars (Mr. Jones). In Russia, this change took the Soviet Union out of World War I and eventually led to the rise of Lenin and Stalin. The violence used in the battle, however was not condoned by Marx (old Major) or Orwell, who both believed in pacifism. Snowball and Napoleon, though, were too greedy and were required to use force in order to establish their corrupt government. More on this in the Gun/Flag section.

Sugarcandy Mountain: Orwell uses Sugarcandy Mountain to symbolize the Christian concept of
Heaven. Really the Church is criticized in Animal Farm because it is the institution that inspires the animals to work using "lies" and manipulation. Moses, the especial raven of Mr. Jones, and later Napoleon, is the vehicle from which the working class hears about this land where clover and sugar is unmeasured and free to everyone. It's troubling to many that Orwell thought of the Church in such a cynical way. But once again this shows that Orwell wasn't loyal or afraid of any system.

Ribbons & Sugar: Orwell's use of ribbons and sugar symbolizes the luxuries of life enjoyed by the
old middle class under the old government. Mollie, the symbol for the capitalist, is particularly fond of ribbons and sugar so much so that she leaves the farm for them.

Milk: Orwell uses milk to represent the care and love that mothers give to their children. When
Napoleon takes the milk for himself and the other pigs, he is, in essence, stealing the very core of the people. Now he can raise the children (other farm animals) as a tool of the state. No longer is the power in the family; now the cornerstone of civilization is in the totalitarian government of Napoleon (Stalin).

Alcohol: Orwell uses beer to represent the "Old" Russia. He first notes that the reason Jones lost
control of the farm and began being cruel to the animals was because of alcohol. It symbolizes, more than anything, a corrupt government a government drunk on prosperity (a prosperity which never trickles down to the common animal). But it's eventually this drunkenness which ruins and leads to the inevitable collapse of this system. Jones lost power over the animals when he became drunk and lazy; even Napoleon will eventually be overthrown because of the alcohol he intakes. Orwell alludes to this near the end of the book when he says that in generations to come there will be still more uprisings. "Some day it was coming: it might not be soon, it might not be within the lifetime of any animal now living, but still it was coming." Alcohol was originally seen as a grave evil of the new regime. Old Major repeatedly warns the animals against taking on Man's ways, but his concerns are not heeded. Really it was the issue of alcohol that made many of the animals suspicious of the pigs. Thus, Napoleon had Squealer change the commandments. It's interesting that even today many of the Russian leaders have a drinking habit.

Windmill: The windmill is used by Orwell to symbolize Soviet industry. If you'll notice in the book, the
windmill was destroyed several times before it finally was complete. This represents the trials the communists in Russia went through to establish their armament-production industry. Eventually, however,

Russian industry did stabilize, despite the lack of safety precautions and trivial concern for the people's well being. This allowed them to put the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into space before the United States. Despite their early success, Soviet industry fell behind the Western world, led by the United States. Russian industry stalled from the lack of initiative and morale. The average middle-class worker received no special treatment and was treated as a "person of the state." Established laws could be broken by any important member of the Communist regime. The original ideology of Marxism was innocent enough, but it was twisted and convoluted by Lenin and Stalin. Russian communism was a hypocritical system which would inevitably falter and collapse, thus proving Orwell's point that Marx was naive. Ironically, Orwell didn't write a final collapse of the windmill, which would perhaps have symbolized the U.S.S.R.'s failure in the cold war. In 1990, the Russian Communist government collapsed due to lack of funds. Of course Orwell could not have known this, although he did forecast a future rebellion on Animal Farm and in Russia.

Animal Satire in Animal Farm

Animal Farm is an animal satire through which Orwell indirectly attacks on the Russian Communism, on Stalinism. Through a humorous and effective animal allegory, Orwell directs his satiric attack on the events of the Russian Revolution and on the totalitarian regime. Orwell combines political purpose with artistic purpose to voice his pessimistic belief, which stems from various experiences he had of the revolution in Spain and the results of the Russian Revolution, that people can only change the tyrants through revolutions but the systems remain the same. He believes that it is only a dream, an ideal to assume that people can achieve a classless society through revolutions. Moreover, he thinks this ideal that begins as utopia is doomed to failure since human nature is corrupt. It is very likely that the lust for power felt by those who are cleverer and more skilful than the others turn revolutionary enthusiasm into the opposite. In a society where people have no voice, if the ruling body with privileges such as special education, luxury and titles, has absolute power, this will lead to total corruption and disintegration of values. Thus, in the novel, the dream, the ideal shatters since what happens in the end turns out to be in sharp contrast with what the Revolution was all about. The dream was a classless society where everybody would be equal and free, enjoying a perfect democracy; the reality is the terror and poverty of dictatorship in which some individuals are "more equal" (Orwell, 1955, p.114) than the others (Hollis, 1962, p. 225). However, although the structure of the novel is suggestive of the Marxist Revolution due to apparent parellels on the level of plot, it could resemble any class of idealistic principles which is mainly based on propaganda but which is not a workable system. Christopher Hollis puts it this way: "The lesson of Animal Farm is clearly not merely the corrupting effect of power when exercised by Communists, but the corrupting effect of power when exercised by anybody."(1962, p.227) The first chapter of the book introduces old Major, the prize Middle White boar, telling the animals about his dream. He says he dreams of a new life for the animals and encourages them to take action against the cruel owner of the Manor Farm, Mr Jones. Shortly afterwards old Major dies and the animals rebel. They expel Jones and rename the farm as Animal Farm. All the animals participate in the rebellion. The pigs, who consider themselves the cleverest of all, assume the administration of the farm. They write the principles of their new system called Animalism on the wall. The principles are reduced to Seven Commandments for the animals to keep in mind easily. According to these principles no animal will be in association with or will get in touch with human beings. Napoleon and Snowball, the two boars, compete for the leadership but when Jones and the other farmers assault on the animals, they unite. After this war, while Snowball is busy with improving life in the farm by building a windmill, Napoleon prefers to educate the young. Although Napoleon seems to oppose the idea of the windmill, soon afterwards he drives Snowball out of the farm by force and takes over the project as his own. After Snowball has left, life gets worse in the farm. The pigs and the dogs are cruel and at the same time unproductive. They are ready to consume whatever is produced and to justify their actions. They are the ruling class: The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs alone. (Orwell, 1955, p. 33)

Then they begin to use Snowball as a scape-goat who, they claim, comes and goes secretly to give the animals harm. Later on, he is accused of having destroyed the windmill. The pigs use him as a tool to frighten the animals since "there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back" (p. 33). In time, the pigs start to transact business with human beings. As they adopt human behavior and comfort gradually, the nature of the Seven Commandments are changed in such a way as to justify what the pigs do. Although some of the animals happen to remember the true nature of the Commandments, they are threatened by the fact that Jones, in cooperation with Snowball, may come back to the farm at any time. Several years pass by and during this time the windmill collapses three times. The pigs put the blame on Snowball and execute some of the animals for being in cooperation with him. During this time, Napoleon turns out to be the national hero, a legend. He is called "father of all animals, Terror of Mankind" (p.79). Now he is appearing only on rare occasions. As the animals sell their products to their neighboring farmers, the farm prospers. However, only the pigs and the dogs benefit. At this point, the final transformation of the pigs starts. They are now walking erect, carrying whips. By this time the Commandments have already been altered. The pigs have started to live in the farm, wearing human clothes, using a radio and a telephone. In the final scene, the pigs invite the farmers to dinner. In his brief speech Napoleon says that "their sole wish, now and in the past, was to live at peace and in normal business relations with their neighbors." He adds that the animals' foolish customs will be "suppressed" and that "the name 'Animal Farm' will be "abolished." From then on the farm will be "known as 'The Manor Farm'" (p.119). The other animals watching the pigs from outside realize that they cannot distinguish the pigs from the men: "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which" (p.120). The final transformation takes place and the criticism is directed towards the fact that through revolutions only the tyrants are changed. As Hollis (1962, p. 226) puts it, "It was the Orwellian thesis, right or wrong, that power inevitably corrupts and that revolutions therefore inevitably fail their purpose." In order to comprehend the satire and criticism brought by the author, it is necessary to consider the form of the novel, analyzing the methods he makes use of. First thing to deal with is point of view. Orwell tells the story from the viewpoint of the animals so that the human beings are not characterized fully. He uses a simple language to reflect the nave perception of the poor animals. Although the reader is made to observe the way the animals are deceived, s/he is never allowed to penetrate the minds of the characters. Orwell's skilful management of the point of view enables him to make the reader like the animals but at the same time realize that their ideals are doomed to failure. Hence, this viewpoint creates ironic distance because of which the reader sees and understands the plots of the pigs which the animals miss. The reader feels sympathy for the beasts subsequently. In addition, the author creates frustration and anger on he part of the readers and confusion on the part of the animals. The ironic distance, furthermore, emphasizes the corruption in human nature. Though old Major starts with good intentions, irony goes hand in hand with satire to reveal that these good intentions are certain to change into evil intentions. For in this advice lies the possibility for just the opposite of the "promised land." The second device Orwell uses is characterization. Orwell attributes human traits to the animals, still letting them appear as animals; for this reason "we almost nowhere feel that we are in an animal world." (Leyburn, 1962, p. 220). Besides, "since the whole point of animal satire is to show up humanity by revealing human traits in nonhuman characters" (1962, pp. 215-216), the men in the novel are kept in the background. In the story, the animals display goodwill and eagerness to attain a better life promised by their leaders. Although they were hopeful in the beginning, this hope is gradually destroyed by the selfishness of the pigs. These animals display one human trait at a time. For instance, Snowball is imaginative and tries his best to establish a democratic system with committees and meetings. Napoleon on the other hand, is the absolute dictator who destroys hope for a better world and abuses their goodwill. While Boxer is the very image of a strong, determined and faithful worker, Benjamin remains as the perpetual sceptic. These descriptions prove that although they do not have fully developed characters, they are character types. They have easily recognized character traits. Since they have combined both the human and animal characteristics, they are believable. By giving these animals only one human characteristic at a time, the writer avoids complex characterization. Thus, he prefers "concentrated singleness of attack" which "might almost be laid down as a second law of the genre . that the animals shall stay both animal and human. It removes the possibility of very complex characterization." Therefore, "the force of the tale" lies in the "singleness and simplicity on the human level" (1962, p. 216). The third method Orwell uses to direct his satiric attack on his object is irony. To begin with, just before his death, old Major warns the animals against mankind: "Man serves the interests of no creature except himself. All men are enemies.And remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to

resemble him. Do not adopt his vices. And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannize over his own kind . All animals are equal" (Orwell, 1952, pp. 10-12). However, the reader observes that the pigs undergo a gradual change. They start to live in the farmhouse, adopting human vices. They start to walk with whips in their hands. Napoleon's insistence on the fact that the windmill should be built and re-built several times is suggestive of the establishment of his tyranny. His sole aim is to keep the masses busy so that he can easily rise to absolute power to terrorize his own kind. As time passes, Napoleon starts to lead a pleasant life while the working class is suffering. His ruling body turns out to exploit the animals more than Jones and the others did. In the end, irony reaches its peak. Old Major's doctrines are totally reversed. For, it is impossible now to distinguish between the pigs and the men. The animals that played the leading role during the revolution replace the human masters under whose oppression the animals suffered a great deal. This final transformation of Napoleon, who is in cooperation with the farmers, confirms what Leyburn says: "The revealing light of the allegorical satire is turned most searchingly upon the villainous hero himself: and when he is allowed to go off triumphant in the end, the feeling is that the wicked ways of the world have been convincingly displayed" (1962, p. 219). Since the newcomers will definitely be corrupted by the newly gained power, the revolution fails its purpose. In the second place, the way the Seven Commandments have gradually been altered displays another kind of irony. When Squealer, the propaganda agent, changes the Commandments one by one, he, in fact, changes the meaning underlying the revolution completely. The Commandments come to mean just the opposite of what old Major intended to mean in the beginning: 1. 2. 3. 4. "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy." "Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings is a friend" changes into: "Four legs good, two legs better." "No animal shall wear clothes." "No animal shall sleep in a bed" changes into: "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." "No animal shall drink alcohol" changes into: "No animal drink alcohol to excess." "No animal shall kill other animal" changes into: "No animal shall kill other animal without cause." 7. "All animals are equal" changes into: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."



These Commandments have been changed in order to justify what Napoleon and the other pigs do. However, none of the animals but Benjamin discusses much about the change. For they do not clearly remember the true nature of them. They prefer to depend on what Squealer tells them and to believe in his propaganda since they are incapable of sorting the truth from the lie. They readily accept the Commandments as they are written on the wall of the barn. They never realize the fact that they are no more than slaves and they remain, as Boxer does, dedicated to their cause. But Benjamin has always been sceptical of the outcome. And he is the only one who realizes that Boxer is taken to the knacker's. In the third place, the use of the farmhouse and the destruction of the windmill have ironical effect on the level of the plot structure. The farmhouse represents the evil old Major warns the animals against. The farmhouse means luxury that men of power enjoy. When Napoleon and the pigs decide to live in luxury, this action suggests Napoleon's ambition for power leading to his cooperation with human beings. It is the very place where the total transformation from pigs to human beings takes place. On the other hand, the windmill represents the spirit of Revolution since it is associated with progress. However, the project of the windmill takes on a new dimension when Napoleon becomes the omnipotent leader. He uses it as a means through which he keeps the working animals engaged all the time. Moreover, he uses the windmill for another purpose. He blames Snowball for destroying the windmill. Therefore, he creates a scape-goat through which he is able to control the masses. The existence of the scape-goat is the reason why the animals become more determined and more faithful to their causes. Since they have experienced freedom, they do not want to work under the tyranny of Jones who is supposedly in league with Snowball. In this way, Napoleon is made the omnipotent leader who is the only one who can save the animals from human beings. It is ironical enough that

the animals choose to suffer under the dictatorship of the pigs. The leader, ambitious enough to rule the animals who are deprived of democracy, isolates himself from the working class. He knows that so long as he keeps the illusion going, he will be able to maintain his individualism while reducing the others to the level of ignorant and voiceless masses who are no more than extensions of him. Since the aim of satire is to criticise the object of attack, teaching a moral indirectly with a humorous tone, in the animal satire, the author uses animals instead of human beings and places his animals in human situations. Hence Orwell is able to attack on the political ideas he is contemptuous of and entertain the reader at the same time. In the novel, Orwell comments on society rather than on individual human characteristics. His characters are disguised as animals and the human characters are not fully developed. The animals display "a single dominant trait" (Leyburn, 1962, p. 219) at a time. Thus, he aims at a social satire "couched in animal terms as for the story whose object is simply laughter at a human foible" (1962, p. 219). His skilful manipulation of point of view creates a convincing atmosphere. For "imaginative scheme of the animal allegory" (1962, p. 221) reflects the illusion of those who are deceived into working for the tyrants of a totalitarian system. In the end, the reader gets a message of a lesson full of despair since Orwell aims to convey that revolutions take place in a vicious circle in the end of which new dictators betray the cause, giving rise to the same beginning.

It is through Squealer that Orwell is at his strongest in constructing how language can reflect power. Squealer's function in controlling the printed word and the spoken word is powerfully important. Napoleon is not able to wield the power he is unless Squealer is able to construct the truth that validates his authority. It is through language and political rhetoric that credibility is conferred upon the government. When Squealer rewrites history, he does so to ensure that it reflects the Pigs' rule as a benevolent one in favor of the animals on the farm. In a very metaphysical manner, Squealer's vision of truth is the only vision of truth that is able to be articulated on the farm. This means that if Squealer writes it, there has to be an acceptance, forced or not, of truth. This enhances the idea that language is power, especially in a state controlled setting where what is said has no other competition. When Squealer rewrites the past so that Snowball never receives the award of "Animal Hero, First Class," there is no other conception of truth because there is no other alternate history to be articulated or other rhetorical conception of truth allowed. In this light, Orwell suggests that if authority possesses control of rhetoric and is not questioned at each turn because of it, there is a greater chance it will use the power is gains to consolidate and buttress its own credibility, and not work for the larger conception of the good.