20 June 2012 A Misuse of Intelligence George Orwell’s allegory, Animal Farm, chronicles the rebellion of the animals from the Manor Farm. This rebellion is sparked by a final speech from Old Major, a very wise and respected boar who is living the last few days of his life. In his speech Major stresses to the animals how all of their suffering is caused by their unscrupulous human master, Mr. Jones, and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England”. Three days later, Old Major dies and two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, turn his idea into a philosophy. After many secret meetings and careful plotting, the animals revolt and overthrow their drunken master Mr. Jones, taking over the farm and renaming it Animal Farm. They set out to create a perfect community for all animals under the Seven Commandments of Animalism, with most important commandment being the seventh one, which states that “all animals are equal”; however, the pigs’ intentions do not involve equality among all animals. Through the pigs in Animal Farm, Orwell articulates his message that intelligence is never beneficial for everyone when it is paired with feelings of superiority, hunger for power and corruption.
Following the Rebellion, Orwell portrays the pigs putting themselves in a leadership position, claiming that they are the most intelligent animals on the farm. They run all the meetings, make all the final decisions and do no actual physical work. The simpler animals trust the pigs however, and do not question or refute them much. The pigs decide to allot the milk and apples to themselves, claiming that these products are necessary to the brainwork that “the whole management and organization of [the] farm [depends] on” and that failure to do this would result in Mr. Jones coming back (Orwell 52). With their intelligence, the pigs take advantage of their less intellectual comrades “who [have] great difficulty thinking for themselves” (Orwell 37). Here, Orwell shows the pigs begin to use their intelligence as a quality that makes them superior to all other animals and therefore able to have luxuries for themselves, such as the apples and the milk. He also shows the pigs using the prospect of Jones coming back if they fail to do their duty as a tool to lure the ingenuous animals into agreeing to all of their ideas. Even though the pigs are intelligent, the fact that they feel superior because they are intelligent impairs their ability to make decisions that are beneficial to all animals in the farm.
Snowball and Napoleon are the most prominent amongst the pigs. These two are never in agreement and often quarrel for dominance. Their biggest disagreement comes when Snowball proposes to build a windmill and Napoleon strongly disagrees. As Snowball passionately advocates for the building of the windmill, Napoleon makes a strange sound and “nine enormous dogs...dashed straight for Snowball” who is chased away from the farm forever (Orwell 67). Henceforth, Napoleon declares himself the only ruler of Animal Farm. He uses his intelligence along with the intelligence of the other pigs to lie and deceit the other animals and gain control of them. The simpler animals, once again, trust the pigs and even adopt mottos such as “if Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right” and “Napoleon is always right” (Orwell 70). Orwell articulates how Napoleon gradually becomes more and more power hungry, raising himself and all other pigs on a pedestal above all other animals. Under Napoleon’s rule equality among all animals is diminished and the principles of Animalism are corrupted. The abuse of power by Napoleon and other pigs yields the rest of the animals in the farm speechless and once again reduces them to the slaves they were under Mr. Jones. Here, Orwell presents irony since many times throughout the book he shows the pigs quiet any little sound of protest with the prospect of Mr. Jones coming…