Book report Animal Farm
By George Orwell
First published in 1945
Old Major calls all the other animals together and tells them that they are being oppressed and that there should be a revolution. The other animals are persuaded by his ideology, which is called animalism, and start following it. Old Major passes away not long after. A short while later the Mr. Jones’ employees forget to feed the animals. They think this unacceptable and execute the revolution they have been planning. With Snowball and Napoleon leading the revolution, it is a success and they take over the farm. Their first amendments are changing the name into animal farm, introduce a new flag, which is a green flag with a hoof and a horn, and introducing seven commandments, which are: “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 drink alcohol”, “No animal shall kill any other animal” and “All animals are equal”. After the animals have tried to run the farm by themselves for a few days, the humans try to take back the farm. Snowball fights at the frontline defending the farm. After the animals successfully fight off the humans, Napoleon makes up medals of honor and extends one to Snowball and one to himself. They animals then realize that there are responsibilities that need to be taken care of. Since the pigs are the smartest they take charge of the farm. Snowball and Napoleon get into disagreements about how the farm should be run, of which the biggest one is the building of a windmill. Snowball thinks that they should build a windmill to process the grain they farm. Napoleon is strongly against it. During a meeting about the issue, Napoleon enters with a pack of hounds, which he raised from when they were puppies, and ostracizes Snowball. He then tells the group that Snowball was a spy who was working for Mr. Jones. After that, Napoleon starts to favor the dogs and the pigs in multiple ways, like giving them more food than others. and uses the dogs to silence anyone. Napoleon then says that they should build the windmill and that he only told everyone that he was against it to get rid of Snowball. During the construction, which every animal works on with all their might, especially Boxer the horse, whose motto is ‘I shall work harder’, Snowball starts to sell products to farms nearby. When the windmill collapses during a storm because the walls are not thick enough, Napoleon gives Snowball the fault and tells the other animals that Snowball is sabotaging, which sets him in a bad daylight. Some don’t believe them, but Squealer keeps telling them that they are wrong and that Napoleon is right until they believe it. Napoleons next move is adding things to the seven commandments, which causes the pigs and dogs, the smarter animals, to be favored. When Napoleon lets the other animals work harder and longer, gives them less food while living in great luxury with the other pigs and with the dogs and when Napoleon openly executes animals that express that they are against what Napoleon is doing, it is becoming clear that animal farms starts to look more like a dictatorship every day. Boxer gets terribly sick because of his old age and because of the hard work he has been doing. Napoleon sells him to a glue factory and tells the animals that that Boxer was sent to a doctor in the city, but didn’t survive the operations. Short after, the pigs start walking on two legs and start oppressing the other animals even more, it is clear that the revolution has failed miserably and that they are off even worse than when they had to work for the humans. Napoleon changes the seven commands into one command: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
The story is an allegory. An allegory is a like a metaphor, but more complex and uses symbolic figures, actions, imagery and events. The book is a parody on Communism. A way to know that the book is an allegory is by noticing the events and the characters that are similar to the real events and persons. There are multiple things similar.
The first example is that the ground principle of both animalism and communism is equality. Secondly, the flag of animalism is one color, green, and has a hoof and a horn on it, which symbolizes the lower or working class. The communist flag is also one color, red, and has a hammer and sickle on it, which also symbolize working class. The third similarity is Boxer. Boxer symbolizes the working class that does most of the work. This is symbolized by his hard work, his slogan is even ‘I must work harder’. In Soviet Russia, the working people worked very hard for the Soviet Union and were very poor. This is just like Boxer, he works hard for Animal farm and gets treated horribly. In the end, he literally works himself to death. The fourth similarity which shows it is an allegory is the lies and censorship. Napoleon changes history to make himself look good and Snowball look bad. He censors the animals that say otherwise and has someone that constantly tells everyone that what he is saying is the truth. Stalin also told lies about Trotsky to make himself look good and Trotsky look bad. He sent people that spoke against him to Siberia or killed them and Stalin controlled and censored the complete media. There are many similarities throughout the book, but I can’t remember them all.
Old Major is the oldest and wisest pig on the farm. He is an inspiration for the other animals. He is the one that sees that they are all being oppressed and talks about a revolution and about a utopia where everybody is equal. He is thought to be an allegory for Karl Marx, but also an allegory for Lenin.
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