This novel is conveying a message on how fraudulent and unprincipled the world can become and how all humans have the capacity to desire power over others. In the beginning, Animal Farm was dominated by Farmer Jones. For a while he was a good leader who looked after his community of animals, but later he turns out to be unreliable and cruel during times of hardship. This call for a discussion between the animals, who feel it is necessary to overthrow their old leader and produce a better and more suitable commander. Man is the only creature who consumes without producingâ€¦yet he is the lord of all animalsâ€¦What then must we do? Work night and day, body and soul for the overthrow of the human race! â€¦ Rebellion. ” Chapter 1 pg 4-5. This is Old Majors theory on creating a better society for the animals. This is a connection to the rebellion in Russia to end the Csarist rule and create a communist nation to help the civilians who suffered under Nicholas the Seconds dominion. This revolution, carried out by the animals was to mark the beginning of a new state; of equality, comradeship and prosperity.
In this novel, all of the animals that recreate the image of the proletariat, show their purity and naivety through their simple ideals of a new perfect society, filled with hope and optimism. This is because they feel liberated from Farmer Jones’ tyranny, yet they cannot see the underlying tension for power, that is made by the pigs. Throughout this struggle for power, all of the animals are compelled to dedicate their lives, willingly and wholeheartedly to the new Animal Farm. This initiates a strong sense of common purpose and each animal feels lifted up by the knowledge that they are free and will now live in an egalitarian community.
This is shown through the making of the Animal farm flag; a green and white version of the Russian hammer and sickle flag. Instead, theirs has “a hoof and horn which signifies the future Republic of the animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown” as well as the 7 commandments, that would govern the farm until powers was corrupted and idealism distorted by Napoleon and his followers. This elevation of power begins to unfold when the animals decide to work together to bring in the harvest. The pigs didn’t actually workâ€¦ with their superior knowledge it was natural that they assume the leadership. ” Chapter 3 pg. 11 During the novel, the pigs continue to gain more and more power. In the pigs uprise of power, the Seven Commandments are an effective structural device.
Their different alterations resemble the pigs” progressive rise to power. The pigs” gradual gain of privileges such mash with milk and the consuming of alcohol, leads to the final identification of pig and human, Communist and capitalist. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’ is a concept widely understood after having read Orwell’s satire. It is first shown when the pigs take the milk and apples, explaining to the rest of the animals that “everyone is equal, but some are just more “equal” than others. ” They also argue that the pigs do more thinking, and therefore need more energy to do so. It is in the later part of the book, that the concept of corruption gradually earns its meaning. When Napoleon forces Snowball to leave the farm, he becomes the leader.
Napoleon creates rumours that are twisted to befoul Snowballs name, so anything that goes wrong on the farm is simply Snowball’s fault. He insists that Snowball had always planned everything in order to harm the farm and ruin their newly made society. This manipulation of the animals hides the pigs blatant disregard for the rules and it helps them to control the other animals as well as convincing the animals that they are the ‘good guys’ and Snowball is the criminal. Napoleon and the pigs want a life of luxury and are quite happy for all of the other animals to do the work on the farm, for example the building of the windmill.
While the pigs draw up the 5 year plans and buy equipment, the other animals such as Boxer, have to do all the hard labour like dragging stones from the quarry. All of the animals are far too gullible to prevent themselves from being exploited and allow this to happen. This results in far more inequality than before, when the animals worked for Mr Jones. One of the ways in which power is maintained is by the carefully ‘spinning’ of information. The pigs cleverly use this to their advantage, behaving like corrupt politicians.
Throughout the novel, the greedy and cunning pigs hide behind a cover of lies and deception to cling to power. Napoleon makes use of Squealer”s abilities to ” turn black into white” in order to brainwash the farm animals into accepting his new rules. This makes the other animals question their own memories and increases self-doubt. By increasing this self-doubt, Squealer can give speech after speech telling as many lies as he likes. Squealer knows that he can get away with this because if the animals are unsure about the past, how can they be sure about the present. Only Benjamin the donkey, understands what the pigs are up to.
He isn’t drawn towards Napoleons propaganda and he sees through their words of feigned concern and friendship towards the simpler minded animals, yet he can only watch as the pigs become richer and fatter and the other animals become more fatigued and hungry. Towards the closing stages of the novel, “Animal Farm” has become a totalitarian state and there is a definite social hierarchy. The animals live in worse conditions than before and the pigs are more like humans every day, wearing Mr. Jones’ old clothes and standing on their hind legs while “carrying whips in their trotters”.
Orwell concludes that there can be no perfect utopian society. The perfect society would always end up with a leader, and there would never be a case where all of the citizens were happy. Animal Farm showed that, in the end the authority didn’t care for the people. It doesn’t matter who you set out to be, it is about what you become after you take power. In today’s society, actions of power are based on laws and principles. Without these, the government would crumble and there would be nothing but a disorganised rabble of people fighting for control. The collapse of the commandments brought chaos to Animal farm.
It symbolises the breakdown of a society without rules. If rules are not followed it is impossible to live. Power is said to be a dangerous thing. Once you have it you may not be able to give it back. This was the case for Napoleon in Animal Farm. He was so intent on securing his place as the ruler, that he let go of all his previous morals and beliefs for a better society and became a tyrant, exactly like his predecessor. “Animal Farm” is the story of a revolution gone wrong. It is a classic example of how easily power can corrupt the mind and show the many faults that all systems of governments have.