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"Animal Farm" (G. Orwell)
Bokanalyse av George Orwells "Animal Farm" med drøfting av kommunisme.
Book-report of Animal Farm
Author of the book: George Orwell
This book is an allegorical novel; the author uses a metaphorical
technique throughout the whole book.
In the beginning you may think that this book a basically about some animals on a farm, this is revealed not true after you have read a couple of pages. We can draw a parallel line between the content of the book and the things that happened during the Russian revolution.
The book is mainly about the great revolution that went wrong, but also about how humans act in society – how leaders often can abuse their powers to gain advantages to gain advantages for themselves.
George Orwell is in this book both directly and indirectly against everything that has to do with totalitarianism, he explains how communism will work when practised.
Everything happens on a farm somewhere in England. We hear about other farms in the book, but are only told about what is going on at animal farm.
The specific date is never given, but I will assume that it starts in 1917, the same year the Russian revolution took place – but it is impossible to say when the timeline ends (but the book is written long before the fall of the communism).
Old Major is an old respected pig on the farm; he is looked upon as a leader among all the animals. He starts the whole rebellion against Farmer Jones, which is the owner of the farm. Before he dies (early in the book) – he gathers all the animals outside the barn to tell them about his great visionary dream. Old Major can easily be compared to Karl Marx, the great philosopher that spoke so highly about the ideology where all humans are equal; the father of communism.
He becomes one of the early leaders in the revolution, a brilliant and idealistic pig with grand and far-reaching ideas that nobody else could think about.
He is a true leader type with unique and strong sides, but his ideas were not always that practical. He faced many problems while cooperating with Napoleon, and he was later expelled from the farm and called a traitor by him. This you can associate with what happened between Stalin and Lenin, where Snowball is Lenin in this case.
Along with Snowball he also becomes one of the leaders early in the revolution. Napoleon is not much of a talker, but has a reputation of getting his own way. He is more or less a contrast to Snowball, he is not especially great with speeches and inventions, but he has a greater depth of character than Snowball. Eventually he manages to get rid of Snowball, so that he can have all the power for himself.
It is not without reason that he is given this specific name: Napoleon Bonaparte of France once turned a revolution into his own regime, which is exactly what Napoleon the pig is doing at Animal farm. Napoleon can be compared to Stalin in real life.
He is among Napoleon’s most trusted companions, and with his great craft of speech he always manages to make the other animals accept Napoleon’s latest infringements. Squealer draws a good picture of how the propaganda worked in former Russia.
As you are closing up the last pages of the book, you really get sympathy for this character. He works harder than any other animals on the farm, as to thank for the great leadership that he thought Animal Farm had. He trust and obeys Napoleon all the way to his death, where the death of Boxer is arranged by Napoleon himself. Boxer worked harder and harder all the way until his retirement, and not long after he was retired – Napoleon sold him to the butcher.
Boxer symbolizes all the “blinded” people that were mistreated by the political figures in former Russia.
This character ran away from the farm because she could not accept the loss of her precious sugar lumps and coloured ribbons after the revolution. She ran away so that she could get these things other places, she betrayed the animalism (the ideology that Old Major formed) so that she could satisfy her ego.
During the communistic time, many peoples fled Russia – and many immigrants came to the United States in hope of getting a better life.
Moses the raven is a free character; he can come and leave whenever he wants. He often tells the other animals about Sugercandy Mountain, which is a place where all animals end up when they die. Napoleon and the other leaders do not like the story about Sugercandy Mountain, but there is nothing that they can do to prevent it.
This can be associated with the organized religion, which was strictly forbidden in the former Russia. The leaders did not find religion useful, this because it hold development back and made society inefficient.
He was the owner of the farm until the rebellion started; the animals regard him and often humans their greatest enemies. When all comes to all – Farmer Jones is the main reason for the revolution, he and the ideology “animalism” put together starts the revolution.
Some say that Russia was even worse when the Tsar ruled the country, and the people desired a change in the system; a revolution would therefore have come sooner or later.
As mentioned before, George Orwell disliked totalitarian regimes, and this is also something that he wants to pass on through the book. He describes Marxism as a great theory, but that it actually does not work when practised. Humans have an innate tendency towards a desire for power, and leaders will abuse the specific system to control everyone and everything. He also describes the power of propaganda, how easily we humans believe in what our leaders tell us, and how cruel policy really can be.
George Orwell does not give any conclusion, but what he writes affects us when we are supposed to make up our own conclusions. In one way or another he encourages us to be more critical to higher powers; the book can therefore be read in a wide perspective.
I am amazed about the construction in this book; George Orwell gives the reader a chance to see the Russian revolution from different points of views. We have always been told that communism is a bad thing, but then again – communism has never really existed. We think of communism as a political chaos that happened in former Russia, but that was not the communism that Karl Marx came up with. Communism would have been a perfect policy if we were not “humans” (or animals – as some would say). The strongest one will always survive, it has been like that and it always will be, so communism will never work when practised.
George Orwell mentions in the book that: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Since we humans are so different, equality among us will never be possible – that will cause problems in the long run. Some have greater abilities than others, and some are always able to work harder. The only way we humans can develop ourselves is when competing with each other, competition is something that we are born with – and that is something we can not change. Objectively speaking – all human lives would be equal, but from the subjective point of view – some human lives would be worth more than others.
The opposite of communism is liberalism, and this policy is not too good for humans either. In the USA today we see great differences, and money has too much power these days. Liberalism says that all humans are born with equal opportunities, but how can this be true when money controls almost everything?
An average human being is greedy and self-centred, and it will always do what pays most off (own advantage). We speak so highly about standing together, but this belongs in a Utopia we humans cannot imagine ourselves. Napoleon the pig fought against humans in the beginning, but inn the end he became one himself.
Our greatest enemy is ourselves; we will contribute to our own extermination some day.
Facts about George Orwell
George Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in Moitihari, India, not being an Indian native himself, he went to school in England. After six years, however, he became discouraged and decided to return to England and take up writing for a living. Having spent a significant portion of his life watching and even participating in the oppressive influence of the declining British Empire, he began to develop a unique world-view that would later serve him well as a writer and political essayist and critic.
Surprisingly, Orwell was a socialist. The reason he hated communism so much was because it was not pure socialism – he distrusted the leaders who lived in great mansions while the common folk slaved in the fields. Communism, he thought, was just another way for the elite to control the majority of peasants.
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