Animal Farm


Animal Farm is the story of a group of barnyard animals that stage a revolution against their vicious owner to try and create their own perfect society. A farm for animals run by animals. The story takes place on Manor Farm in England. The book tells of their triumphs and struggles in trying to build their animal utopia. It is based loosely on the Russian Revolution, and gets many of its political ideology ideas from the rise of communism. It demonstrates that there is no such thing as a perfect society, and trying to establish one may lead only to downfall. It gives the reader the understanding that we as people posses and are forced to deal with the possible consequences of our social and political actions.

Prior to the revolution, the farm is set up in a fascist type of system. The animals do all of the work, and produce food, but get very little in return for all their hard work. Mr. Jones then turns around and sells off the food produced by the animal’s hard work, only to keep of the profits for himself. Mr. Jones represents the leader of a totalitarianism-type society. He attempts to take total control of the farm, control of its entire social, cultural, and economic institutions. He does this to fulfill an ideological vision of how the society of the farm ought to be organized and life ought to be lived. (PI 187) This was the system the animals were born into and they did not know that there was any other way of life. Major had a dream one night, and called a meeting of all the animals to explain what his dream was. He told the other animals of how “man was the only creature that consumes without producing.”(AF 4) He explained of how the farm could support great numbers of animals, and all the animals could be rich and free. The only
thing in the way of this plan was Mr. Jones. “Only get rid of man, and the produce of our labor would be our own”(AF 5) explained Major. Major taught the animals an old song called “Beasts of England” that the older animals on the farm used to sing years ago. “Beasts of England” sang of freedom and a great future for the farm. The animals sang the song over and over dreaming of an “Animal Farm.” The seeds of revolution had now been sewn.

Before the revolution, the farm still remained in a fascist system. The agent was the farm, set up as a nation-state for the animals by the farmer. In fascism the only true freedom that exist is the freedom to serve and empower the state. There is nothing more gratifying than to do one’s part to serve the farm, no matter the role. The small jobs were just as important as the big ones, because the jobs all went to making the farm better. The obstacle was individualism, independent groups, and class divisions. These kept the animals from working as hard, and took away from overall production. The goal was the power and glory of the farm. The more that the animals produced the more profit was made for Mr. Jones. In the eyes of Mr. Jones the animals were servants of the farm and himself. The harder they worked, the better it made his farm look in the eyes of the other farmers. That is the basic philosophy of Fascism, glory to the state at all costs.

After Major’s speech, there was much indecision between the animals on the farm. Some argued that things were fine the way they were, so why change? “If this rebellion is
going to happen anyway, what difference does it make whether we work for it or not?”(AF 10), asked some of the other animals. The three pigs put the teachings of Major into a system the animals could understand, and did their best to persuade the other animals to revolt. They argued that freedom was worth any price, and anything is better than the conditions they lived in at the time. Moses, a raven that was a pet of Mr. Jones, tried at the same time to tell the animals the revolution would never work. He told of Sugarcandy Mountain,