Animal a symbolic representation for the freedom

Animal Farm is a satirical allegorical
novella written by George Orwell. The book, first published in 1944 is widely
regarded as one of the finest literary creation of the 20th century.
Orwell, being a democratic socialist was strongly against the Authoritarian
rule of Stalin and this book seems to be an outlet of his strong despise
towards Stalin. The book is a dystopic take on the Russian revolution and early
years of Stalinist era.  The satire being
a critique of the Communist regime, was banned in many Communist countries
including Cuba, North Korea and Burma.

The book is set in a Farm in England –
Mayor Farm. The owner of the farm, a certain alcoholic Mr. Jones, had reduced the
farm to poverty, leaving the animals in hunger while he himself indulged in drinking
and gambling. Old Major, a prize-winning boar, gathers the animals and instills
the spirit of rebellion in them by highlighting the atrocities committed by Mr
Jones and human species as whole. He teaches the song “Beast of England” to the
animals, which becomes a symbolic representation for the freedom of animals
from the tyranny of Man. Although, Old Major dies, two of his disciple pigs-
Napoleon and Snowball takes over the responsibility of the rebellion and
successfully overthrows Mr Jones from the farm and renames it as “Animal Farm”.
In the meantime – Seven Commandments of the Animal Farm are painted on the barn
wall, the rules to which all animals must adhere to. Although, the rebellion
was initially a success, soon Napoleon becomes power-hungry. He appoints
Squealar to convince the other animals of the superiority of the pigs and
establish the pigs’ authority in formulating policies of the farm. After
thwarting the repeated attacks of Jones to take over farm, Napoleon, to
establish his sole dominion over the farm, chases Snowball away from the farm and
makes him the scapegoat for all the ill-happenings in the farm. He starts
murdering innocent animals who speaks against him, living in the farm manor
like humans, drinking and eating in excess and animals start to starve.  Animals, such as Boxer, the workhorse, starts
putting in extra effort, to meet the growing demands of food to extent that he
pays the price with his life. Meanwhile, Napoleon obscures himself from the
animal view and indulges himself with deals with humans of neighboring farm.
His rule-making committee starts modifying the commandments in favor of the
pigs to the extent that the animals starts forgetting the initial cause of the
rebellion. The pigs and the humans become all the same in the end.

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The characters of the novel can be easily
identified with the main characters of the Russian revolution. Mr. Jones can be
paralled with Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, who was overthrown during Bolshevik
revolution. Old Major can be compared with Lenin, the force behind the initial
Russian revolution. Napoleon, the protagonist/villain can be seen as Stalin,
who to amass the power of the Soviet, sent Leon Trotsky (Snowball) to
exile. Boxer can be compared with The Stakhanovite movement, whose ideologies
lay in over-working themselves for the greater prosperity of the nation. The
author beautifully fuses in animalism and symbolism into the context of Russian
revolution through this novella. This book sets a mark in the field of
political satire and have influenced future generation of authors. It has been
included in several lists of greatest books in English literature.

A mere 112 pages read, the book portrays
how the people in power modifies the rules and language for their own benefit
overlooking the interest of the common folks.   The
final commandment of the Animal farm was modified from “All animals are equal”
to “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”, one of the
most famous lines of the book, is emblematic of the changes that followed the
Russian revolution. Rather than overthrowing the capitalist class system, it
reinstated another hierarchy. Although some critics may argue that rather than portraying
a clear picture of the Russian revolution, the book displays the prejudices the
author had towards the system, the beautiful imagery, animalism, symbolism and
allegory makes this book a must read. I would rate this book a solid 4.5/5 


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