Just a disclaimer, this is a partial analysis of the book, so there will be some spoilers.
Animal Farm was a book focused on political matters; personally, I am not one for such matters. I read the book, examined certain ideas and grasped certain concepts with tremendous ease, however, I found that I could enjoy the book more by finding things that I could better relate to. So, I did.
I am aware that the actual intention of his book, Animal Farm, according to Orwell himself, was to help destroy the “Soviet Myth” in order to revive the Socialist movement at the time. However, during the process of rendering the novella, I observed an additional message in the bottle.
Sure, this book evoked the thought of how deceitful and manipulative politicians and government officials can be, but it also poetically mentioned how cruel people are in general. Whether you’re a careless farmer, a studios lawyer, or a power-hungry pig, you have the capacity to do wrong. We’ve all done wrong, but this is not my argument.
The animals and people alike are meant to serve as a metaphor to assist the intentions Orwell had for his book Animal Farm, but I peered beyond this metaphor.
The humans mistreated and looked down on the animals. They cheated them, overworked them, and even starved them. This exact situation happens every day in the real world between heartless man and helpless animal. When Napoleon, the literal pig, gained control of his own kind, he took advantage of their ignorance and targeted their weaknesses in order to get them to do the things he wanted. His manipulations, lies, and cunning, yet despicable ways had earned him power, money, and fear. This same situation also happens on a daily basis. Humans turn against one another all the time; we take advantage of the ignorant, the poor, and the disabled. We study one another’s weaknesses and strike when we see fit.
Of course, there are individuals out there that will avoid wrong at all costs. A quote from Russell Baker exposes Orwell when it shares, “He was that political figure all politicians fear: the moralist who cannot bear to let any wrong deed go undenounced.”
I am learning that power is a natural craving for organisms, specifically those who may feel threatened in their current position. Humans believe that power ensures their social ranks, their comfortable lifestyle, and their survival. Power, in much of the known world, is equivalent to money; more money means more power.
We all would like attention, recognition, or just a moment in the limelight, but sometimes we yearn for one thing to the point of no return. We may be drawn to do things that neglect others, or even ourselves. Maybe your little brother wants the last bowl of Cookie Crisps, and that means he has to rat you out to Mom to get it. Maybe your dad’s coworker planted some false evidence on him to get his position. No matter the size of the incident, deception is deception; thing is thing.
It is easy to see where the connection with the political world comes into play, specifically within the parts where Napoleon, yet again, twists his words or rewrites the rules to make them legal for him to act upon. Napoleon formed numerous broken promises, rewrote rules he had broken to avoid any consequences the animals might force upon him, and he created the illusion of a model society to gain the trust of everyone. His leadership was valued by those who knew not how to lead themselves.
Many of these animals knew nothing more than the basic English language and hard work necessary for survival. Does this not resemble many in the United States? Immigrants, for instance, are not always sure of our currency system, our alphabet, our slang, our political universe, or our cultural norms and values. They will do almost anything they are told if they do not yet have the knowledge needed to survive in their new environment. Being the devious creatures we are, we would most likely make a joke out of their ignorance, or take advantage of them one way or another.
Going back to Animal Farm…
In the end, the conniving pigs were spotted drinking and playing a game of cards with the local farmers who had once (actually twice) tried to kill them, destroy their farm, spread rumors of their downfall and savage ways, and cheated them out of a lot of money. Yet, there they were, unified and gay.
The last thing that caught my eye before the closing of this tale was when I read the lines, “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”