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Animal Farm

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Animal Farm

'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong -- and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine', wrote Orwell in the original blurb for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. His simple and tragic fable has become a world-famous classic of English prose.

The novel begins with a speech of Old Major (an old and wise pig on Manor Farm) who wants animals to revolt against their present, oppressive master. He is the main animal who got the rebellion started even though he died before it actually begun. Led by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, the animals overthrow Mr. Jones, master of Manor Farm. The pigs established themselves as the leaders of the farm. The society that they wanted to make was made up of 7 commandments. After some time, Napoleon and Snowball begin to compete for the top leadership position on Animal Farm. Eventually Napoleon would win, and over time would erase all memories of Snowball. Even though equality was a major motivating factor behind the revolt, the pigs on Animal Farm began to increase power over time, unchallenged by the other animals due to the lack of intelligence defining the rest of Animal Farm and exemplified by loyal Boxer.

Napoleon broke a commandment of talking to humans, and started making trades with them. The more and more the pigs interacted with the humans the more they became like them. They slowly started having two social classes, the pigs and the other animals. Napoleon started becoming greedy and wanted to make more money, so he made the animals work harder and gave them less food. The animals that did not obey Napoleon were executed by dogs. He did this to maintain his power. The pigs started drinking alcohol. Napoleon had been changing the commandments all the time, as soon as he breaks the original commandment he changes it to his own principles. The story ends with pigs and men talking and drinking together in the former house of Mr. Jones, breaking all of the former commandments, but the animals in the farm can not see any difference between the pigs and men.


In this political allegory each animal stands for some figure or representative type. The pigs, who can read and write and organize, are the Bolshevik intellectuals who came to dominate the vast Soviet bureaucracy. Napoleon secures his rule through an unpleasant mix of lies distortion and hypocrisy. He is hungry for power, and the cruelty and death it involves are presented. He stands for Joseph Stalin, and of course we can't omit the way the author skillfully creates this character. Everything from enforcement of communist ideology to the



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