In his book Animal Farm, George Orwell wrote a satire about communism. It also dealt with the Russion Revolution of 1917. A satire is a literary work that makes fun of the stupidity or vices of individuals, groups, institutions, or society in general. The animals on Manor Farm developed Animalism. They came up with their own rules and regulations. Some of the animals in the story represent people from our past. Old Major, an old boar, represents both Carl Marx, the founder of Communism, and Nikoli Lenin, a philosopher of Communism. Napleon, a young boar, represents Joseph Stalin. Snowball, another young boar, represents Leon Trotsky.
Mr. Jones was the owner if Manor Farm. He was a drunken, incompetent man. Old major made an announcement to the other animals that he wanted to talk to them about a dream he had. He believed that man is bad and that animals are good. He talked how man takes what the animals produce such as eggs and milk. He sang a song called Beasts of England, in the song it described how the animals with take over and be free.
Several nights later Old Major died in his sleep. His ideas and teachings fell upon the pigs, who are smartest of all animals. Dominants among the pigs were two young boars named Napoleon and Snowball. They passed on ideas to the other animals, and gained disciples. The Rebellion came quicker than anybody expected it to. Out of being starved, the cows raided the feed bins. After seeing this, Mr. Jones, and some of his workers, went out there with whips. The cows could not take anymore, and chased them out. They had taken over Manor Farm. The pigs learned how to read, and they changed the name of Manor Farm to Animal Farm. They also came up with Seven Commandments of Animalism.
The animals worked hard and gave an endless effort. It was hard because the tools were made for man, and they could not stand on two legs for it would break one of the Seven Commandments. The pigs set aside the harness room as a headquarters for themselves. Here they would study blacksmithing, carpentering, and other arts. Snowball kept himself busy by forming animal committees, but many were failures. The reading and writing classes, however, were a great success. Some of the other animals were slightly literate, but many of them were not. The pigs were taking the apples and the cows’ milk. They would say that they had to have these things for themselves and it was necessary for their health. This was the beginning of their abusing of their power.
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The news of the animals taking over Manor Farm was spreading all across the country. Mr. Jones was complaining and trying to get people to listen. The other farmers felt sorry for him, but did not offer any help. Then one day Mr. Jones and his men came back to reclaim his farm. This had been expected, so the animals made preparations. The animals made their first attack, then a series of attacks. Only after five minutes of their invasion Mr. Jones and his men were forced to flee. The animals made a monument in honor of the Battle of the Cowshed.
Mollie, a mare, become very troublesome. She was late for work, and let a man stroke her nose and give her sugar. After being confronted by this, she ran away and was reported pulling a cart for a man. When winter came, the ground was hard and nothing could be done in the fields. It was decided that the pigs would decide all questions of farm policy. At meetings Snowball gave brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself. Snowball came up with an idea of a windmill, but Napoleon was against this. He thought it was a waste of time, and they should worry about getting food. They also talked about defense of the farm from Mr. Jones, and again they were disagreeing. Napoleon had dogs chase Snowball of the farm, and Napoleon called him a criminal. Later the animals were surprised to hear that Napoleon decided to build the windmill after all. He said he was the one who came up with the plans for the windmill, and that Snowball stole his ideas.
The animals worked like slaves all that year, but they were happy. Throughout the spring and summer, they worked a sixty-week hour week. Then in August Napoleon announced that would be work on Sunday afternoons now. The building of the windmill had some difficulties. They had plenty of cement and limestone, but they did not know how to break it up into usable pieces. They did find a way, but it was hard and slow. There was also a need for paraffin oil, nails, string, dog biscuits, and iron for the horse’s shoes. Napoleon said that they would start trading with other farms for needed supplies. A Mr. Whymper, a local solicitor, acted as the agent between Napoleon and the humans he traded with. Every Monday Mr. Whymper would visit the farm. The relation with the human beings was not the same anymore. Mr. Jones had left to live some where else in the country. The pigs decided to live in the farmhouse, instead of living in the sty. Not only did they use the house’s conveniences, they also slept in beds. The pigs had changed the fourth rule on the Seven Commandments saying it was okay to sleep in a bed without sheets. The animals found out that the windmill was destroyed and Napoleon said it was Snowball who did this.
It was a bitter winter and full of sleet and snow. The animals carried on as best as they could. The humans said that Snowball did not destroy the mill, but that the walls were thin. In January the food became low. The corn supply was reduced, and the potato ration would have to make up for it. Napoleon rarely came out of the farmhouse. One day, it was announced that the hens had to surrender their eggs. The chickens were against this, and raised an outcry, but this was futile. The chickens said this was murder. Napoleon said their rations were to be stopped. They finally gave up. Later it was found out that Snowball was secretly visiting the farm at night. The pigs said that Snowball was in cahoots with Mr. Jones. There were many animal executions after some of the animals confessed to crimes dealing with Snowball. The Beasts of England song was replaced and was not sung anymore.
The animals could not understand about the executions, because they thought it was against the Seven Commandments to kill. Throughout the year the animals worked harder than ever. They had to rebuild the windmill, and make it stronger. The animals were starting to be less content. They felt no better then when they had worked for Mr. Jones. Now Napoleon hardly ever appeared. He said he was to be called “Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon.” Also he was known as the Father of All Animals. There was a rumor that a farmer named Frederick was planning to attack the Animal Farm. When the attack came the men all had guns, and fired upon the animals. This forced the animals to retreat. Then the men started to knock down the windmill with explosives. They destroyed it and a cry of vengeance came from the animals. They charged but many were killed, and most were wounded. They finally chased the men out.
The animals started the rebuilding of the windmill. Life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one, and the food supply was even shorter. Napoleon announced that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips, worked for shorter hours, and had better water than when they had in Jones’s day. The farm had a successful year, but they were short of money and needed supplies. In April, Animal Farm was proclaimed a Republic and it needed to elect a President. There was only one candidate, Napoleon, of course. It was said that Snowball was the leader of the humans. Later Boxer worked himself so hard he hurt himself, and some men in a van came to take him away. It was found out that he died in Willington.
Years and seasons went by, many of the animals that were on the farm had died and were forgotten, including Mr. Jones. There were new animals on the farm now. The farm was now more prosperous, and better organized. The windmill was used to grind corn rather than for electricity, this was to make a profit. The animals worked hard to build another windmill. The animals dared not to sing Animal Farm aloud. Then one day they saw a pig walking on its hind legs. This was supposedly against the Seven Commandments. Napoleon was seen carrying a whip in his trotter. It was said that “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” One evening, loud laughter and bursts of singing came from the farmhouse. The animals tiptoed up to the house, and looked into a window. There sat a half a dozen farmers, and half a dozen pigs. Napoleon was at the head of the table. They had been playing a game of cards, and drinking beer. They called the other animals on the farm “lower animals.” Then Napoleon renamed Animal Farm to Manor Farm. The “lower animals” looked from pig to man and man to pig, but could not tell the difference.