BY GEORGE ORWELL
Eric Arthur Blair, known b y his pen name George O rwell, was an English nov elist and journalist. His w ork is marked by clarity, i ntelligence and wit, awar eness of social injustice, opposition to totalitariani sm, and commitment to democratic socialism.
World War II and Animal
Farm was published on the heels of World War II, in England in 1945 and in the United States in
George Orwell wrote the book during the war as a cautionary fable in order to expose the serious ness of the dangers posed by Stalinism and total itarian government.
Mr. Jones--The former owner of the farm, Jones is a very he avy drinker. The animals revolt against him after he drinks so much that he does not feed or take care of them.
Old Major--An aged prize Middle white boar provides the in spiration that fuels the Rebellion in the book.
Napoleon--A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a rep utation for getting his own way"
Snowball--Napoleon's rival and original head of the farm aft er Jones' overthrow.
Squealer--A small white fat porker who serves as Napoleo n's right hand pig and minister of propaganda, holding a positi on similar to that of Molotov.
Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Far m, calls the animals on the farm togethe r for a meeting, during which he compare s the humans to parasites and teaches the animals a revol utionary song, '
Beasts of England'. When Major dies, two young pigs,
Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. Th e animals revolt and drive the drunken a
The original commandments 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 sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.
The changed commandments are as follows, with the change s bolded:
No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
Snowball attempts to teach the animals readi ng and writing; food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves t o positions of leadership and set aside specia l food items, ostensibly for their personal hea lth. Napoleon takes the pups from the farm d ogs and trains them privately. Napoleon and
Snowball struggle for leadership. When Snow ball announces his plans to build a windmill,
Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and declares himself leader.
Napoleon changes structure of the farm, replacing meeting s with a committee of pigs, who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for th e windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squ ealer convince the animals that Snowball destroyed it. Onc e Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins purging the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consor ting with his old rival. 'Beasts of England' is replaced by an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting t he lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that t hey are better off than they were when under Mr. Jones.
Years pass, and the pigs learn to walk upright, carry whi ps, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are re duced to a single phrase: "All animals are equal, but so me animals are more equal than others". Napoleon hold s a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with who m he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes practice o f the revolutionary traditions and renames the farm "Th e Manor Farm". The animals, overhearing the conversati on, notice