Symbolism and Metaphor in Orwell's "Animal Farm"

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Symbolism and Metaphor in Orwell's "Animal Farm"

Old Major, wants to tell them Animals are enslaved by Man, "the only creature that consumes without producing." There is only one solution: Man must be removed. And animals must be perfectly united for their common goal: Rebellion. Major declares: All animals are friends, Man is the enemy. Animals must avoid Man's habits: no houses, beds, clothes, alcohol, money, trade. Above all, "we are brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal."

" But he does teach them an old animal song, "Beasts of England," which came back to him in his dream. The work of teaching and organizing the others falls on the pigs, thought to be the cleverest animals. Snowball and Napoleon are the smartest; and then there is Squealer, good talker.

Unexpectedly, the Rebellion has been accomplished and the animals take over the farm; Manor Farm belongs to the animals. They're surprised and happy when the pigs, which have taught themselves to read and write, change the sign MANOR FARM to ANIMAL FARM, and paint the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the barn wall:

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.

On Sundays they hold ceremonies to celebrate the Rebellion, and meetings to plan work. The animals are taught to read, but the sheep can't even learn the Seven Commandments, so Snowball comes up with, FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD. Napoleon concerned with the education of the young, and takes two litters of puppies and says he will teach them. It is decided that the milk goes to the pigs, as do the new apples. Squealer explains that this is absolutely necessary because the pigs do all the brainwork. If they don’t have it Jones will come back and no one wants that to happen.

Napoleon and Snowball can come to agreement on any subject. Snowball comes up with the idea of building a windmill; Napoleon does believe it will work. Each are allowed to give a speech on why it should be built and why it should. After Snowball finishes he speech, he attacked by nine dogs. Those were the pups Napoleon had raised and Snowball barely escapes from the farm with his life.

Napoleon, surrounded by his fierce dogs, announces that there will be no more time-wasting debates: a special Committee of pigs, chaired by himself, will simply give the animals their work orders each week. Some animals protest but they are silenced by the dogs, and the sheep bleat FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD over and over, preventing discussion. The pigs eventually command the animals cannot sing the song “Beasts of England” because that is a song that inspires rebellion. The pigs then have moved into the farmhouse, where they sleep in beds. This is absolutely necessary, says Squealer. But isn't it contrary to the Fourth Commandment? The animal’s check: "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets," it says.

They then start building the windmill after Snowball left. A storm comes and destroys the half built windmill. Napoleon calls all the animals to field and blames the destruction on Snowball and calls for anyone who was working for snowball to come forth. The dogs killed all the animals that came forth. Some of the animals think they remember that these killings violate the Sixth Commandment. But on the barn wall they read: "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." Later, still more animals are executed for conspiring to kill Napoleon. Dogs now constantly surround him.

One night the animals heard a lot of excitement coming from the farmhouse. They next day the announced that Napoleon was dying. Later Napoleon recovered and the animals notice there's another commandment they had remembered wrong: it read, "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.

Years pass. The animals work hard and often go hungry. There are many new buildings and machines on the farm, and also many new dogs and pigs. Maybe this is why the animals have no more to eat than before. But many animals remind themselves that it is still their farm and it better than having humans.

The animals see something strange and frightening: a pig walking on its hind legs. Napoleon himself appears. He is carrying a whip in his trotter. Then all the start shouting FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER! The pigs then disappear into the Farmhouse Clover the mare asks Benjamin to read the Commandments to her, and he does. All that's left on the wall is one slogan:


From then on, the pigs all carry whips; they buy a radio, dress in Jones' clothes. In the end the pigs manipulated every situation to fit their needs. Napoleon and Squealer manipulated every commandment that was made.

The pigs had to ability to create what ever they wanted. So in social constructivist theory the pigs were successful except they were pigs not humans.

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