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Animal Farm

Essay by   •  December 8, 2010  •  4,627 Words (19 Pages)  •  1,603 Views

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Chapter 1(pgs.15-24) In first chapter, the reader is introduced to all of his wonderful animals. Obviously most of the chapter is intended to spark pity and a sense of sympathy for the poor, suffering farm animals, but the old Major's words are very telling. The wise old pig addresses the central conflict of the book, and of Orwell's intended meaning-- tyranny. The first (and seemingly only) dictatorship the animals must overcome is the rule of Mr. Jones and the other humans. The boar asserts, Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever. Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. The speech, as intended, is very inspiring and encouraging to the tired, troubled farm animals. They even sing the words to old Major's dream five times in succession before Mr. Jones blasts the side of the barn with a shotgun. Unfortunately for the animals, the old Major's naivety is not revealed. The ideal society he proposes is of course only an ideal-- but the animals don't know this. Perhaps even the old sow himself is too caught up in emotion to understand the complexities of the solution he submits. Old Major does know a few things though. He boldly warns all of them, Your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest....we must not come to resemble him...No animal must ever live in a house or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. Ironically, Napoleon isn't present to hear the words of this prophet. The future only seems optimistic; even old Major seems content. Little does he know, the foreshadowing of his comments seem almost too obvious to the mindful reader. Toward the end of the section the animals vote on whether wild animals, like rats and rabbits, are going to be considered their friends or foes. They overwhelmingly agree that the rats and rabbits are to be friends, although Orwell doesn't say why. Chapter 2 (pgs.25-34) The second chapter is drenched with metaphors-- most of which will not come to light until later in the novel. The first is old Major's death. This represents the end to the older regime, the initial revolution. Now someone else will have to step into authority. Secondly Orwell strangely describes a pig named Squealer. The name sounds fairly pig-like but his actions don't. Supposedly Squealer has a special ability to persuade others. Orwell boasts, ...he could turn black into white. Obviously a pig like this could be used by the right people (animals). Next, the author tells us about a peculiar raven named Moses, who is the especial pet of Mr. Jones. All the animals consider him a spy and hate him; they say he tells lies about Sugarcandy Mountain and does no work. Boxer and Clover, two cart horses, are described as the most faithful disciples of Snowball and Napoleon. Although they lack the intelligence of the pigs they serve, the horses can convince other animals to follow the cause using simple arguments. Orwell uses chapter 2 to really make Mr. Jones into a bad guy, although he admits that he was at one time a good master. Mr. Jones' main problem is that he drinks too much and neglects the farm. Even his men are idle and dishonest. Soon the animals are fed up with Jones (pardon the pun) after not being fed for over a day, so they organize and successfully carry out the long- awaited revolt. The animals rename Manor Farm Animal Farm yet agree not to live in the house. Yet some of the elite pigs have already adopted some of Man's ways; Snowball and Napoleon have suddenly taught themselves to read and write, and soon a list of 7 Commandments is written on the tarred wall. Unfortunately only a few of the animals can actually read the rules. This will come back to haunt them later. Orwell again closes with a eerie foreshadowing. After Snowball and Napoleon order the animals to work in the hay field, the milk which many of the lower animals asked to drink mysteriously disappears. Napoleon, however, dismisses the milk plea by proclaiming, The harvest is more important. Chapter 3 (pgs.35-43) Chapter 3 is uneventful for the most part although it does have a few more important metaphors. For one thing, the pigs are starting to emerge as the elite class of animals although all animals are supposed to be equal. Orwell narrates, The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. Of course the rational is classic and easy to see through. Orwell continues, With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. The not-so-hidden metaphor here is the evidence of a decline in standards. In other words, though you might think to yourself, Gee, who cares if the pigs supervise? It's only natural, like Squealer said, really that is exactly what Orwell wants you to think. One of his major messages is the idea that a few little white lies here and there do add up to a serious wrong. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Most of the rest of this chapter is optimistic. The animals do for the most part live in Orwell's ideal society of socialism. Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his rations, the quarreling and biting and jealousy which had been normal features of life in the old days had almost disappeared. Two more characters were described in detail. Boxer, the loyal horse is said to be the hardest worker. His answer to every problem, every setback, is 'I will work harder!' Old Benjamin, the donkey, is said to have changed his lifestyle little since the revolt. He seems indifferent to the whole thing. He says, Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey. Mollie is the only animal who doesn't seem to fit in. She's always thinking about how she looks, etc. She only learns the letters in her name, unlike the others, who energetically learn the whole alphabet. Of course some learn better than others. The dogs and pigs know the most. Some of them are even learning black smithing and other human trades. Snowball and Napoleon start to fight and argue over everything. Both pigs enjoy the apples and milk only given to them. Of course this is just in the farm's best interest. Really pigs don't like the taste of milk and apples, but force it down in order to stay healthy and help supervise (haha). Chapter 4 (pgs.44-50) The fourth chapter is a look into the outside world. This is really more or less a reality check after so much narrative about the utopian lifestyle of Animal Farm. The passage does clear up a few questions any inquisitive reader would have about the outside world. I mean, wouldn't you think

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