Animal Farm at a Glance
Book Summary:Animal Farm is George Orwell's satire on equality, where all barnyard animals live free from their human masters' tyranny. Inspired to rebel by Major, an old boar, animals on Mr. Jones' Manor Farm embrace Animalism and stage a revolution to achieve an idealistic state of justice and progress. A power-hungry pig, Napoleon, becomes a totalitarian dictator who leads the Animal Farm into "All Animals Are Equal / But Some Are More Equal Than Others" oppression.
Written by: George Orwell
Type of Work: novel
Genres: political satire; allegory
First Published: August 17, 1945
Setting: Mr. Jones' Manor Farm
Main Characters: Old Major; Snowball; Napoleon; Squealer; Boxer; Mollie; Benjamin; Moses; Jones; Frederick; Pilkington
Major Thematic Topics: animalism; mob rule; virtue; religion as a drug; distortion of reality; death; false allegiance; political corruption
Motifs: rebellion; power; communism
Major Symbols: Cold War; the barn; the windmill
The three most important aspects of Animal Farm:
• Animal Farm is an allegory, which is a story in which concrete and specific characters and situations stand for other characters and situations so as to make a point about them. The main action of Animal Farm stands for the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the early years of the Soviet Union. Animalism is really communism. Manor Farm is allegorical of Russia, and the farmer Mr. Jones is the Russian Czar. Old Major stands for either Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin, and the pig named Snowball represents the intellectual revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Napoleon stands for Stalin, while the dogs are his secret police. The horse Boxer stands in for the proletariat, or working class.
• far worse than our own, as opposed to a utopia, which is an ideal place or state. Other dystopian novels include Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Orwell's own 1984.
• The most famous line from the book is "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." This line is emblematic of the changes that George Orwell believed followed the 1917 Communist Revolution in Russia. Rather than eliminating the capitalist class system it was intended to overthrow, the revolution merely replaced it with another hierarchy. The line is also typical of Orwell's belief that those in power usually manipulate language to their own benefit.
• Who are the main characters of the story?
• What are the main events of the story?
• What roles do the main characters play in the main events of the story?
• Is there a moral to the story? If yes, what do you think it is?
• What did you learn from the story?
My storyWhat is the main idea of Orwell’s story? I know the answer to this question because I was born when socialism was occurring within my country.
All of the characters within this novel are recognizable people from my country (Russia). And, I am not going to describe the history of previous centuries in Russia only in “black colors.” No, I grew up in that kind of society, and we believed in equity.
Now, I understand that there is only one way for societal development to occur, which is in the form of democracy. But, the opposite of that kind of authoritative leadership, including dictatorship, possibly can be used in certain kinds of situations. For example, during the Cold War, natural cataclysms, and injustice did occur. Furthermore, the last statement I made can be referred to as the “Occupy Wall-Street” movement.
But, coming back to Orwell’s story, I do understand his use of satiric humor. I love the way he described some of the heroes within his fictitious world. His choice to use animal characters is a great writing method because it allows us to laugh. at ourselves. Just imagine a dog as being a secret service officer. Or, a horse as being a presenter of the proletariat, etc. He did a wonderful and profound job of creating a work, which can be used by everyone who cares about the future of mankind.