Allegory Used In Animal Farm Essay

1096 words - 4 pages

Written in the middle of World War II, it took two years for George Orwell’s Animal Farm to be published, finally, on the 17th of August 1945, into a post-war world. His novel contains themes of satire and the general characteristics of dystopian fiction, although its primary convention is allegory. George Orwell was an outspoken democratic socialist and his imposed his concerns and criticism of Soviet Russia into his book. On a literal level, Animal Farm can be interpreted as how ethics can easily be twisted into warped versions of the original and provides a good moral lesson for those who are reading, yet on a more symbolic level, it exhibits Orwell’s concerns on the use of education and knowledge as tools of oppression, the pitfalls of revolution and the corruptive qualities of power.

The manipulation of the intellectually inferior and the use knowledge as a tool to oppress is exhibited by Orwell to demonstrate the need to push past the boundaries of ignorance and stress the need for education. With the allegorical conventions of Animal Farm, Orwell exposes the way the pigs gained control of the farm, with their supposed ‘superior intellect’. Both the pigs and Stalin and the Bolsheviks were able to subtly come to power with their augmented knowledge and once in control, sought to maintain the ignorance of the general public. Furthermore, the manipulation of the sheep in Animal Farm to repeat the slogan ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ and later on ‘four legs good, but two legs better’ and Boxer, the hard working horse who maintained the mantra of ‘I will work harder’ and ‘Napoleon is always right’ was used to spread propaganda and a sense of ease to the farm animals and their historical mirrors, the working class of Russia. Orwell, being a well educated man, demonstrates his frustrations at the ignorance of the Russian public in his allegory of how blatantly ignorant the farm animals are to Napoleon’s level of control over them, by making it evident to the reader the issues of remaining uneducated. Orwell uses comparison to provide a contrast between Stalin and the Russian working class. The stark growing divergence of their ideals, and the difference between the carefully made plans of Stalin and Napoleon and the bling following of the farm animals and the working class, who don’t realize they’re being manipulated until it’s too late. Orwell writes a convincing argument in the favour of education and need for knowledge to gain the upper hand in this situation.

Revolutions that are born of the ideals of overthrowing their oppressors to create a utopian future often come full circle when their revolutionaries with theoretically high morals are corrupted by the possession of such power and regress to being no better than their predecessors. Orwell demonstrates his belief of this in the carefully constructed allegorical content of his novel. In the revolution that starts Animal Farm, Old Major, a well-respected pig of Manor Farm, has a dream....

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