In 1943 George Orwell started to work on Animal Farm, a “Fairy Story” that speaks against the political and social dangers of totalitarianism. Animal Farm incorporates the corruption of the bourgeoisie with the false consciousness of the proletariat to create a society that mirrors the one ruled by Joseph Stalin. Orwell replaces his real life inspirations for the book with animal characters, which fit in perfectly with his theme of the manipulation of language within society. Orwell’s Animal Farm gives its readers the perfect example of how corrupted a government can become, while the society its governing will not even notice.
Animal Farm begins with an inspiring speech by Major, one of the oldest and most respected animals on the farm. Major’s speech emulates the utopia that leaders like Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin dreamed of. He criticizes the workplace, where “nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings (7).” Marx believed that in order for the classes to all be truly free each person must be free to follow their own goals and desires, but it cannot come at the cost of harm to another person. Like Marx, Major agreed that one should not make a profit off of the labor of another. They believed that the profit must be shared equally between all of the people—or animals—who helped contribute to it. Major also went on to say that “no animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind (11).” Major’s statement falls in line with Lenin’s form of thinking. Lenin believed that in order for there to be a revolution, there must be a vanguard party to lead the proletariat to rebellion. This was not one person tyrannizing over his own kind but instead it was a group to introduce a revolution to the working class from the outside. This is the point in the ideology where the other animals begin to come into play and where not everyone agrees on how to properly govern the Animal Farm.
Following Major’s speech, and his death, a revolution does occur. The animal’s rebellion is actually contrary to what Marx believed a rebellion would be like. Marx believed that there would have to be a rebellion from the outside because the system was too damaged to be changed from the inside. The animal’s rebellion created a society where, at first, all of the animals are equal—the ideal society for most. Together the animals create their Seven Commandments that outlaw the things they hate most about their previous rulers—clothes, sleeping in beds, alcohol, the killing of other animals and the inequality presented by the farm’s previous owners. These commandments were the basis of Animalism, the new government for the animals. Animalism was similar to socialism, both prior to their corruption.
Following the rebellion two of the farm’s pigs rose to power, under the guise that they were best suited for the job because of their superior knowledge. Snowball was a pig who was a smart pig who had the cult of personality to win the loyalty of the...