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"Animal Farm" (G. Orwell)
Sammendrag og analyse av boka "Animal Farm" av George Orwell.
In the novel "Animal Farm", George Orwell write about a farm. The animals on Animal Farm are hungry, overworked, and very tired. All this changed when Old Major held a secret meeting in the barn. This meeting was to discuss a revolution against Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm. Unfortunately he is not a skilful one. He is often drunk, and from time to time he forgets to feed the animals. This fills the animals with anger.
After the revolution was planned Old Major soon died, leaving it up to the other animals to carry out the revolution. Sooner than they expected, the revolution started. All the animals kicked, bit, and did everything they could do to get Mr. Jones out of the farm, and it worked. After Mr. Jones was kicked out, all the animals were so happy they treated themselves to a feast. After the victory the animals sang the song which Old Major had thought them. It was a song to inspire them in the process of creating a better farm. It is called "Beast of England". All of the animals appreciate the song, especially the sheep. From now on, when the animals face some sort of difficulties, they always sing this song.
Now that the animals owns the farm, they believe it’s a fine idea and collects Old Major’s ideas into seven commandments:
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 3. No animal shall wear clothes. 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 7. All animals are equal.
At this stage the question concerning how to run the farm smoothly, is raised. But having driven away Snowball, Napoleon takes the politic offensive. First he comes up with an idea of instructing the pigs to supervise and control the farm. Second he settles an equality program which imply ordering the animals to go naked. "It is humanise to wear clothes", he argues. Afterwards he serves out a double ration of corn to all the animals which quickly turn out to like him.
Some time later Napoleon instructs the workers to undertake a great project: The building of a windmill. The first try is a failure. The second attempt is interrupted and afterwards destroyed by the humans during a war. But finally, in the third try, the windmill project is completed. It makes the daily work easier for the workers, and it stands as a symbol of the fruits of hard work. As time goes on, a great displeasurness grows among the animals. The pigs, which are the supervisors, take advantages of their sole power. They have expanded in force and are a burden to bear for the other working animals. In addition, the pigs ignore the opinions of the other animals. As a result the pigs became less and less popular as leaders of the Animal Farm. One day they even redictate the laws stated in the Seven Commandments, making it not forbidden to kill other animals, wear clothes, sleep in bed and drink alcohol. However, there is no attempt to rebel. The pigs are too supreme and sovereign.
But one day, the pigs push the limit too far. They invite the humans from the neighbouring farms for a discussion with the pigs only. The other animals are excluded. The pigs are having a great time. They play cards with the humans and drink and eat. Napoleon has a preach about how respectfully and kindly he takes care of the working animals. Unfortunately for the pigs, the other animals listen from outside. They can hear and see what happens inside. Then, for the first time, they start thinking about how they are treated by the pigs. The angerness flourishes among the working animals. It ends in a new rebellion. And that is how "Animal Farm" ends, in rebellion, just as it starts…
"Animal Farm" is a novel based on the lives of the animals living on the Manor Farm. Although the title of the book make you think the book is mostly about animals, the story is a much more in depth analysis of the workings of society in Communist Russia. The animals are used as puppets to illustrate how the communist class system operated, and how Russian citizens responded to this, and how propaganda was used by early Russian leaders such as Stalin, and the effect this type of leadership had on the behaviour of the people of Russia. The three pigs Old Major, Snowball and Napoleon is the main characters in the book and they can all be compared to different leaders in the Russian Revolution.
Old Major: Starts the revolution with his idealistic thoughts of a society where all the animals are equal, this was in many ways the role Lenin played in the Russian Revolution.
Snowball & Napoleon: After Old Major’s death a battle of the leadership on Animal farm begins between Snowball and Napoleon, which does not end before Napoleon expels Snowball from the farm. This allowed him to make decisions without asking for the approval of another. The dictatorship also allowed Napoleon to lie to his people without the truth being dug up by an associate.
Stalin did the same thing in Russia. Trotsky, in fear of his life, fled to Mexico where he was hunted down and killed by Stalin’s secret police, creating a dictatorship. Without a voice against him, Stalin gained power and influence over his people. They believed everything he said and promised because they wanted to believe. Their goal of a better life was their weakness as Napoleon manipulated and used propaganda to get them to do what he wanted. The most awarding part about the dictatorship for Stalin was his ability to ignore the rules of communism without opposition and without question from his people. Anyone who did question him was sentenced to death as a tyrant to the leader.
A contributing factor to the confusion of the animals was that the pigs, which worked less, received more rations than the other animals. It was explained that the pigs needed more rations to stay healthy, as they were mandatory to the success of Animal Farm. This, to the animals, clarified why in an equal society one species was receiving more than another. The other animals respected this answer only because they trusted their leaders and were willing to sacrifice for a better life.
In Russia the situation was more or less the same, as greedy leaders took advantage of the desperate commoners who were willing to sacrifice anything. Instead of asking questions to support the basic principles of Communism the people of Russia honoured Stalin as their leader and superior instead as their equal. Stalin, in turn, used this to his advantage to impose a powerful Dictatorship.
"Animal Farm" and today’s society has got a lot in common, for instance the fact that the powerless people are subject to propaganda. In " Animal Farm" Squealer and Napoleon used propaganda by telling the animals that Snowball was a traitor, and convincing them that he was a criminal. They threatened that if Napoleon was not in leadership Jones may come back. This happens in our society during the election period, the opposing parties all warn the public of the consequences of voting the other party, and how bad it would be if they were in power. The horse Boxer represents how people are used for their skills and talents, and as soon as they are not needed anymore, they are disregarded. Boxer was the hardest worker on the farm; he contributed the most to the development of the windmill. As soon as Boxer was unable to continue working, Napoleon got rid of him. "Boxer’s face disappeared at the at the window. Boxer was never seen again." This scene illustrates that "Animal Farm" is a story about human nature, as it is a human tendency to use people to achieve certain means, but disregard them as soon as they are no longer needed.
Clover’s feelings for Boxer also illustrates how animal farm is about human nature and behaviour, Clover’s fondness for Boxer showed when Boxer confided in Clover admitting to her how much his split hoof hurt, Clover treated Boxer’s troubled hoof with poultices of herbs. After Boxer’s hoof had healed, he worked harder than ever, Clover tried to convince Boxer he shouldn’t be working so hard and he should be taking better care of his help, but Boxer paid no attention. When Boxer had his fall Clover was first to come to his aid, for the next two days Boxer had to stay in his stall, Clover would give Boxer medicine, In the evenings Clover would lay in his stall and talk to him. When the Knacker’s came to collect Boxer, Clover did all in her power to stop the knackers taking Boxer away. This example of behaviour indicates the human quality of love and compassion towards others.
In the end of the book when the Animals can’t see the difference between the pigs and the humans, shows us how the new leaders has become more and more like those they fought against in the beginning. Just like it happened in Russia.
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