Reviews, opinions, recommendations and other literary ramblings.
Quote of the week:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep." - William Shakespeare.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Animal Farm- An allegorical way to the truth.
"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."
1945, George Orwell managed to successfully bring to life one of the
direst and most shattering indictments of Russian communism. Animal Farm
is a powerful and insightful novel, a worthy introduction to his
upcoming dystopian masterpiece (1984) that would entail from the message
that Orwell was trying to spread at first, with this book; namely:
Russia was not the prosperous land of freedom and opportunity as the
rest of the world thought it was at the time.
means of symbolism and a simple but direct prose, Animal Farm brings a
clear light into the outbreak and denouement of the Russian revolution.
Throughout this allegorical novel, the reader can easily witness the
naive rising of what started as a noble and wholesome society, striving
for equality and common welfare that eventually decayed into a new
despotism full of cruelty and exploitation of the non ruling class.
main concern while writing the novel, was warning the global population
into being always aware of the insidious methods by means of which a
ruling class can acquire immeasurable power and turn any society into a
totalitarian and despotic State.
That warning is epitomized by certain powerful themes contained in Animal Farm, such as:
a) Propaganda: It
takes a very important role in the novel as it represents, at first,
the catalyzer of the revolution, the vessel through which the “present
and future generations” could maintain intact the ideals and beliefs of
the movement; it helps the indignant and fed up animals to channel their
frustration and eventually vent it against their oppressors.
Nevertheless, it eventually turns against the population, as it is used
as a method of mind control, a way to keep the animals from realizing
the poor conditions in which they now live in and the reigning
inequality of their farm.
One of the main reasons power and despotism are perpetuated in the
novel, is the ever present, ever growing ignorance of the rest of the
animals. Despite the fact that certain rules have been created and
written in plain sight in order to ensure the peaceful existence in the
farm, most of the animals can´t read and those than can, easily forget
what was written before, remaining ignorant of the convenient overnight
changes applied to the rules that condone the atrocities committed by
the ruling oppressors. The main message is this: if people do not take
it upon themselves to think and learn freely, they will always depend
and be forever enslaved to the agenda of those who tell them what to
think and what allegedly is true.
c) Military power:
The way Napoleon, the leader of the farm´s ruling class, literally
“gets away with murder” is by procuring himself a private military force
in the form of huge, vicious dogs. It is thus that he is able to get
rid of his potential rivals and enemies, impose his own perfidious
agenda and keep the rest of the animals in check. In this case, Orwell
denounces perhaps the most powerful tool a despot has over his subjects:
the military force; it exemplifies the infallible method by which
Napoleon suppresses any form of resistance, forces compliance over the
rest of the animals and guarantees his place as a ruler in the farm.
d) A common and never-ending threat: The
way Napoleon unifies the animals and abates any trace of
dissatisfaction from their part, is by keeping them in a constant state
of fear, utilizing hate as a common banner against a chimerical enemy.
Whenever a certain faction of the animal population raises a complaint
against the status quo, suddenly there arises an attack from the
evil Snowball, a former leader of the farm, vanquished for his devious
and treacherous convictions, or so Napoleon and his minions claim. And
not only that, but Snowball is also pointed as a direct cause for any
shortcoming the present ruling system might have; therefore, it is only
because of Snowball´s actions, and not the present social organization´s
own faults, that problems in the farm arise. It´s this way that the
ruling stratum shakes off any type of responsibility and merely busies
itself with denouncing Snowball´s infamous actions as the farm´s main
is merely a summary of the vast number of topics the novel approaches,
thus rendering us a clear view of what Orwell saw in the Russian
revolution and the country´s eventual social organization.
I turn this review into an essay, I will conclude here by saying that
in Animal Farm we have a mesmerizing novel, poignant in its portrayal of
a highly ideal gone wrong and whose vast depth shines through the pages
directly at us. The story itself is utterly engrossing; the characters
are at times strikingly and touchingly human and its chief message only
enriches even more this must read classic. Absolutely wonderful!