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Animal Farm Theme Essay

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Theme Essay

If a seven year old read Animal Farm he/she would have thought that it is a sad story about a farm in England. If an older person reads it however, he/she realizes that this story has much more meaning to it. The story is filled with themes that help us understand the world around us. In this essay I am going to talk about four themes that Orwell discussed in this story. They are power, totemism, coercion, and violence. Power leads to absolute power, the job of totemism is to keep the people loyal, and after that doesn't work coercion comes in effect by using violence.

There is no definite message that Orwell is trying to point out about power, instead he lets us get a view of the negative effects of power. He also helps us realize what kinds of things are used to maintain power. Many people rise to power saying that they will do what the best for the people. But what happens is that a strong leader seizes absolute power. As the leader gains control he begins to abuse his powers to make his life better. The tyrant then uses his powers for his own good; whenever there is power there is money (luxury) involved and people will go a long way to have a good life.

In the story, Napoleon gains power saying he will do what best for the animals but he soon begins to do what is beneficial for himself. An example of his better life would be, «It was also more suited to the

dignity of the Leader (for of late he had taken to speaking of Napoleon

under the title of "Leader") to live in a house than in a mere sty.».(page 79) Also the quote, «And the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a

ration of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself,

which was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen.» (page 117)

Power can be a good thing at times but people cant handle power and do things or the good of every one. Then they begin to get addicted to power and when people start to doubt them they do everything they can to keep hold of it. Power ruins people, because the passion for power comes to people naturally. Orwell might also be trying to get the idea that if a person has absolute power and he becomes corrupt the whole nation is ruined because that tyrant controls everything.

Orwell also underlines the fact that totemism is usually used to keep people loyal and to keep them believing in the best. After the leader has gained absolute power people begin to doubt him, totemism comes in. a totem is "a natural object or animal believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and adopted by it as an emblem.» (Oxord American Dictionaries). This means that totemism is the worship of an object. The worshiping of an object gives the people hope and gives a symbol to their ideas. As a result they thrive for their goal and work harder. Dictators usually use that to gain power and to justify their actions.

In the novel, Napoleon and Snowball use the flag and Old Major's skull as totems. «First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball had found in the

harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones's and had painted on it

a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse

garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to

represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified

the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race

had been finally overthrown.»(page 48) After the Battle of the Cowshed the gun became a symbol of the victory over mr.Jones, «Mr. Jones's gun had been found lying in the mud,

and it was known that there was a supply of cartridges in the farmhouse.

It was decided to set the gun up at the foot of the Flagstaff, like a

piece of artillery, and to fire it twice a year--once on October the

twelfth, the anniversary of the Battle of the Cowshed, and once on

Midsummer Day, the anniversary of the Rebellion.» (page 60)

Another important totem I old major's skull. At first the animals passed it every Sunday and remebered Old Major. But years later when everyone forgot old Major it was put down so that the animals wouldn't remember the real teachings of Old Major. The



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