- Animal Farm

      It is the history of a revolution that went wrong  and of the
      excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of
      the original doctrine, wrote Orwell in the original blurb for the first
      edition of Animal Farm in 1945. His simple and tragic fable has become a
      world-famous classic of English prose.
            George Orwell is the pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair. The change of the
      name corresponded to a profound shift in Orwells life-style, in which he
      changed from a pillar of the British imperial establishment into a literary
      and political rebel.
            Orwell is famous for his novels Animal Farm and  Nineteen Eighty-four.
      In 1944 Orwell finished Animal Farm, a political fable based on the story
      of the Russian Revolution and its betrayal by Joseph Stalin. In this book
      the group of barnyard animals overthrow and chase off their exploitative
      human masters and set up an egalitarian society of their own. Eventually
      the animals intelligent and power-loving leaders, the pigs, subvert the
      revolution and form a dictatorship whose bondage is even more oppressive a
      heartless than that of their former masters.
            Orwell derived his inspiration from the mood of Britain in the 40s.
      Animal Farm confronted the unpalatable truth that the victory over Fascism
      would in some respects unwittingly aid the advance of totalitarianism ,
      while in Nineteen Eighty-four warns the dangers to the individual of
      enroaching collectivism. In these last, bleak fables Orwell attempted to
      make the art of political writing in the traditions of Swift and Defoe. The
      most world-known Gullivers Travels. This satire? First published in 1726,
      relates to the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon on a merchant ship,
      and it  shows the vices and defects of man and human institutions. So far
      as satire has become the subject of our research-work, it is necessary we
      look at the nature and sources of comic.
            What is comic? Similar considerations apply to the historically
      earlier forms and theories of the comic. In Aristotles view laughter was
      intimately related to ugliness and debasement. Cicero held that the
      province of the ridiculous lay in the certain baseness and deformity. In
      19th century Alexander Bain, an early experimental psychologist, thought
      alone these lines not in physical  effects alone, but in everything where
      a man can achieve a stroke of superiority, in surpassing or discomforting a
      rival is the disposition of laughter apparent. Sidney notes that while
      laughter comes from delight not all objects of delight cause laugh. We are
      ravished in delight to see a fair woman and yet are far from being moved to
      laughter. We laugh at deformed creatures, wherein certainly we can
      delight. Immanuel Kant realized that what causes laughter is the sudden
      transformation of a tense expectation into nothing. This can be achieved
      by incongruity between form and content, it is when two contradictory
      statements have been telescoped into a line whose homely, admonitory sound
      conveys the impression of a popular adage. In a similar way nonsense verse
      achieves its effect by pretending to make sense. It is interesting to note
      that the most memorable feature of Animal Farm  the final revision of the
      animals revolutionary commandments: All animals are equal but some animals
      are more equal than others, is based on that device.
            Other sources of innocent laughter are  situations in which the part
      and the home change roles and attention becomes focused on a detail torn
      out of the functional defect on which its meaning depends. A birds wing,
      comrades, is an organ of propulsion not of manipulation. Orwell displaces
      attention from meaning to spelling. One of the most popular comic devices
      is impersonation. The most aggressive form of impersonation is parody,
      designed to deflate hollow pretense, to destroy illusion and to undermine
      pathos by harping on the weaknesses of the victim. Orwell resorts to that
      device describing Squealer: The best known among them was a small fat pig
      named Squealer with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements and
      a shrill voice. He was a brilliant talker:
             A succession of writers from the ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes
      through Swift to George Orwell, have used this technique to focus attention
      on deformities of society that, blunted by habit , are taken for granted.
      Satire assumes standards against which professions and practices vicious,
      the ironic perception darkens and deepens. The element of the incongruous
      point in the direction of the grotesque which implies an admixture of
      elements that do not march. The ironic gaze eventually penetrates to a
      vision of the grotesque quality of experience, marked by the discontinuity
      of word and deed and the total lack of coherence between the appearance and
      reality. This suggests one of the extreme limits of comedy, the satiric
      extreme in which the sense of the discrepancy between things as they are
      and things they might be or ought to be has reached to the borders of the
            Early theories of humor, including even those of Bergson and Freud,
      treated it as an isolated phenomenon, without attempting to throw light on
      the intimate connections between the comic and tragic, between laughter and
      crying. Yet these two domains of creative activity form a continuum with no
      sharp boundaries between wit and ingenuity. The confrontation between
      diverse codes of behavior may yield comedy, tragedy or new psychological
      insights. Humor arouses malice and provides a harmless outlet for it.
      Comedy and tragedy, laughter and weeping yields further clues of this
      challenging problem. The detached malice of the comic impersonator that
      turns pathos into bathos, tragedy into travesty. Comedy is an imitation of
      common errors of our life, which representeth in the most ridiculous and
      scornful sorts that may be.
            Surely satire reflects changes in political and cultural climate and
      it had its ups and downs. George Orwells satire of the 20th century is
      much more savage than that of Jonathan Swift in 18th century. It is only in
      the mid 20th century that the savage and the irrational have come to be
      viewed as part of the normative condition of the humanity rather than as
      tragic aberration from it. The savage and irrational amount to grotesque
      parodies of human possibility, ideally conceived. Thus it is the 20th
      century novelists have recognized the tragicomic nature of the contemporary
      human image and predicament, and the principal mode of representing both is
      the grotesque. This may take various forms. In Animal Farm it takes a form
      of apocalyptic nightmare of tyranny and terror.
            The satire in Animal Farm has two important aims  both based on the
      related norms of limitation and moderation. First, Animal Farm exposes and
      criticizes extremist political attitudes as dangerous. On the one hand, it
      satirizes the mentality of the utopian revolutionary  the belief at
      through the conscious effort of a ruling elite a society can be suddenly
      severed from its past and fashioned into a new, rational system. Implicit
      in Snowballs vision of high technology modernization is the extirpation of
      the animals resent agricultural identity as domesticated creatures and 
      if Boxers goal of improving his mind is any indication , their eventual
      transformation into   Houyhnhnms. Instead, Snowballs futuristic
      incantations conjure up the power-hungry and pleasure-loving Napoleon.
            An allegorical view of reality  the thing said or displayed really
      meaning something elsesuited the Marxist-oriented social criticism of the
      1930s,which was indefatigable in pointing out an economically self-serving
      motives underlying  the surface features of modern bourgeois society. One
      form of allegory is the masque, a spectacle with masked participants.
            Analyzing  the novel we can hardly determine comedy from tragedy. We
      cant find those sharp boundaries which divide these two. Orwell can be
      called the true expert of mans psychology. Cause only a man who studied
      psychology of the crowd could create such a vivid image of characters,
      which we see in Animal Farm. Describing the characters Orwell attaches
      great significance to the direct remarks which help the reader to determine
      who is the victim and who is hunter in the novel. The features of the
      animals are : A white stripe down his nose gave him somewhat stupid
      appearance, Mollie , foolish, pretty white mare. Stupidity becomes a
      kind of leitmotif in the description of the animals. Pigs on the contrary
      are represented as very clever animals: the pigs were so clever that they
      could think of the way round every difficulty, with their superior
            The author creates the image of the crowd which plays a very important
      role in the novel. What is a crowd? This is not only mass of individuals
      if to look deeper from the psychological point of view  we shall find out
      that crowd is a gathering of people under the definite conditions which has
      its traits, which differ from that of single individual. The conscious
      person disappears , besides feelings and ideas of everyone who forms that
      gathering which is called crowd, receive united , indivisible direction.
      Orwell ridiculed that vice of the society. In this respect it takes the
      form of innocent laughter. Old Major found an answer to all problems of the
      animals and opened the thing on which the support and pleasure of their
      days depend on. It is summed up in a single word Man. Man is the only
      real enemy we have. That episode makes the reader laugh but at the same
      time this very moment can be considered the tragic one, as the victim of
      the crowd has been chosen and pointed out and now nothing can stop the
      proces. 'It is not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the ivels of the
      life of ours spring ffrom the tyrany of human beings? Only get rid of Man,
      and the produce of our labour would be our own.Almost overnight we can
      become rich and free.
            Major provides animals with scapegoat. In the nature of individual the
      image of an enemy excites aggressiveness  but in the dimensions of the
      crowd the hostility increases thousands times. S.Moskovichy wrote in his
      book The machine that creates Gods, that society is ruled by passions on
      which one should play and even stimulate them in order to have an
      opportunity to rule them and to subordinate to intellect. Having read that
      episode we dont pay attention to its deep psychological sense, but simply
      enjoy the humor with which the author speaks of it.
            Orwell uses very popular device he gives the description of the
      character  and at the end he gives a short remark which completely destroy
      the created image: Old Major was so highly regarded on the farm that
      everyone was quite ready to lose an hours sleep in order to hear what he
      had to say... they nestled down inside it and promptly fell asleep,she
      purred contentedly throughout Majors speech without listerning to a word of
      what he was saying. He uses the same device in the situation when Old
      Major is telling the animals about the song : Many years ago when I was a
      little pig, my mother and other sows used to sing an old song of which they
      knew only the tune and the first three words I had known that tune in
      infancy , but it had long since past out of my mind, last night however it
      came back to me in my dream. The reader is carefully prepared to hear some
      kind of patriotic march but instead of that the author in one sentence
      breaks down the created image: It was a stirring tune something between
      Clementine and La Cucaracha.Through those short remarks we learn the
      attitude the author towards what is going on in his novel. He laughs at his
      heroes pretending that the things he speaks about to be very important
      while making the reader understand the contrary thing.We can see hear again
      an integral part of any kind of humour-incongruity between the reality and
      the situation as it is said to be. The lack of coherance between things in
      its turn lead to the very invisible boundary between comedy and tragedy.
            Orwells novel is always balancing between tragedy and comedy. In
      Animal Farm Orwell is exposing the selfish power-hunger of the few behind a
      collectivist rhetoric used to gull the many . And in at least two Orwells
      allegorical exposure is also an exposure of allegory. Because the surface
      fiction tends to be considered of lesser importance than the implied
      meaning  , allegory is inherently hierarchical , and the insistence on the
      dominant meaning makes it an authoritarian mode.
            If allegory tends to subordinate narrative to thesis, the structure of
      allegory, its dualistic form, can be emphasized  to restore a balance
      between fictional events and conceptual massage. In Animal Farm there are
      signs of a balance struck  between satiric devices allegorically martialed
      to expose and assault a dangerous political myth and collateral apolitical
      elements  the latter akin to the solid objects and useless scraps of
            Orwell allows the reader to fix disgust at cruelty, torture and
      violence on one leading characterNapoleon. The way Orwell presents the
      figure is structural, in that the figure of the Napoleon   clarifies his
      political intent for the reader. There is no doubt about the way the reader
      feels toward Napoleon, but Orwells handling of him  is all the more
      effective for combining humor with the disgust.Napoleon was a large,
      rather fierce looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not
      much of a talker but with the reputation for going his own way.
            Orwell presents Napoleon to us in ways they are, at first amusing as,
      for example, in the scene where he shows his pretended disdain at
      Snowballs plans for the windmill, by lifting his leg and urinating on the
      chalked floor.  One day ,however, he arrived unexpectedly to examine the
      plans. He walked heavily round the shed, looked closely at every detail of
      the plans and snuffed at them once or twice, then stood for a little while
      contemplating them out of the corner of his eye; then suddenly he lifted
      his leg, urinated over the plans and walked out without uttering a word.
      The increasing tension of description is broken down immediately this makes
      the reader smile. Besides the author speaks of Napoleons ridiculous deeds
      in such a natural way, as that is the normal kind of behavior  that we just
      cant stand laughing. Napoleon produced no schemes of his own, but said
      quietly that Snowballs would come to nothing. Napoleon is seen to have no
      respect for Snowball who creates the plans. This is most apparent in his
      urinating on them which emphasises his brutal and uncivilised character.
      Animals urinate on objects to mark their territory. This is symbolic as
      Napoleon later takes the idea for the windmill as his own.
            On the allegorical level the differing views of socialism held by
      Trotsky and Stalin are apparent. In contrast with Snowballs speeches,
      Napoleon merely makes the minimum response and when he does speak it is
      usually to criticise Snowball. Speech becomes less and less important to
      Napoleon. The sheep with their mindless bleating effectively silence the
      opposing opinions as no-one else can be heard.  It was noticed that they
      were specially liable to break Four legs good, two legs bad in the
      crucial moments of Snowballs speeches. Snowballs reduction of Animalism
      for the benefit of stupider animals and the way the sheep mindlessly take
      it up , parodies the way socialist ideology reduces itself to simply
      formulas that everyone can understand, but which stop any kind of thought.
      In the Communist Manifesto, for example, there is the following sentence :
      The theory of the communists may be summed up in the single sentence:
      Abolition of private property. Set this beside the basic principle  of
      Animalism: Four legs good, two legs bad. Orwells feelings about dangers
      of over simplification are clear. The more short the statement is the more
      it is deprived from any kind of provement, the more it influences the
      crowd. The statement exert influence only if it is repeated very often, in
      the same words. Napoleon said that there is only one figure of the theory
      of orators art,which deserves attention repetition. By the means of
      repetition an idea installs in the minds so deeply,  that at last it is
      considered to be the proved truth.
            What the truth is? The Russian dictionary gives the difinition of
      truth as:the truth is ,what corresponds to the reality. But is it always
      so? Very often it happens so that we exept as the true the false things
      which we want to be true, or the things that someone whant us to exept.
      That is one of the most intresting perculiarities of mans psychology, that
      Orwell ridicules.There is one univerce truth , but the man has a strange
      habit to purvert truth.
            Napoleon appears to have gained the support of dogs and sheep and is
      helped by the fickle nature of the crowd.
             From the start it seems, Napoleon turns events to his own advantage.
      When the farm is attacked in the Battle of Cowshed, Napoleon is nowhere
      to be seen. Cowardice is hinted  ft and his readiness to rewrite history
      later in the novel shows the ways in which Napoleon is prepared  to twist
      the  truth for his own ends. The Seven Commandments in which are condified
      the ethnical absolutes of the new order, are perverted throughout the book
      to suit his aims.
            There is an interesting thing to notice about Seven Commandments. That
      is an important device to use the lucky number to deepen the impression
      of animals misfortune. Every time the changing of the commandment takes
      place, we see an example of how the political power , as Orwell sees it, is
      prepared to alter the past in peoples minds, if the past prevents it from
      doing what he wishes to do. Firstly the fourth commandment is altered in
      order that pigs could sleep comfortably in warm beds. A simple addition of
      two words does it. read me the fourth commandment. Does it not say
      something about sleeping in beds? With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out.
      It says that  no animal shall sleep in the bed with sheets. Whenever
      the pigs infringe one of Majors commandments, Squealer is sent to convince
      the other animals that that is the correct interpretation . you didnt
      suppose , surely, that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely
      means the place to sleep in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly
      regarded. The rule was against sheets, which are a human invention.
            Napoleon secures his rule through an unpleasant mix of lies distortion
      and hypocrisy / there are two scenes where Napoleons cruelty and cold
      violence  are shown in all their horror : the scene of the trials and the
      episode where Boxer is  brought to the knackers. The veil of mockery is
      drown aside. In these episodes humour is absent, the stark reality of
      Napoleons hunger for power, and the cruelty< and death it involves  are
      presented. Orwell reminds of the heavy stink of blood, and associates
      that smell with Napoleon.
            And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there
      was a pile of corpses lying before the Napoleons feet and the air was
      heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the
      expulsion of Jones.
            Napoleon in the novel stands for Joseph Stalin, and of course we cant
      omit the way the author skillfully  creates this character. Everything from
      purvation of communist ideology to the cult of personality of Stalin, found
      its reflection in the novel.
            Orwell in the cruelest kind of parody gives to Napoleon such titles
      as: Our ,leader, Comrade Napoleon, The Farther of all animals, Terror of
       Mankind, Protector of the Sheepfold, Ducklins Friend.
            The novel mainly is based on the historical facts, and even the
      relationships of Soviet Union and Germany are shown in that fairy tale. For
      the all cleverness of the Napoleon, though, he is fooled by Frederic of
      Pinchfield ( he stands for Hitlers Germany) who gets the timber out of
      him, pays him false money, then attacks the farm, and blows up the
            Orwells satire will be no iconoclastic wrecking job on the Stalinist
      Russia whose people had been suffering so cruelly from the war and whose
      soldiers  , under Stalins leadership, were locked in desperate combat with
      the German invader  even as Animal Farm  was being written. That Orwells
      assault is primarily on an idea, the extremists fantasy of technological
      utopianism  devoid of hard work, and less a living creature, the commander
      is chief, is demonstrating during the most dramatic moment of Farmer
      Fredericks attack on the farmthe juxtaposition of dynamited windmill and
      the figure of Napoleon alone standing unbowed. And despite Orwells
      fascination with Gullivers Travels, it is a sign of his attempt to draw
      back from the Swiftian revulsion at the flash  a disgust that , as Orwell
      later noted could extend to political behavior  toward the more balanced
      and positive view of life that Animal Farm, despite its violence, has few
      references  to distasteful physical realities, and those two are
      appropriate to the events of the narrative.
            Napoleon is a simple figure. Orwell makes no attempt as to give
      reasons as to why he comes to act the way he does. If Napoleon was a human
      character in the novel, if this where a historical novel about a historical
      figure Orwell would have had to make Napoleon convincing in human terms.
      But isnt human and this is not a novel. It is an animal fable and Orwell
      presents the figure of Napoleon in ways that make us see clearly and
      despise  what he stands for. He is simplified for the sake of clarity. He
      lends force of Orwells political massage, that power tends to corrupt, by
      allowing the reader to fix his disgust at cruelty torture and violence.
            The primary objective of the tale is that we should loathe Napoleon
      for what he stands for. The other animals are used to intensify our disgust
      or else to add color and life to the tale by the addition of the farmyard
      detail. The most significant of the other animals is undoubtedly the cart-
      horse Boxer, and in his handling of him Orwell shows great expertise in
      controlling the readers reactions and sympathies and in turning them
      against what is hates.
            Throughout the novel boxer is the very sympathetic figure. Honest and
      hardworking, he is devoted to the cause in a simple-minded way, although
      his understanding of the principles of Animalism is very limited. He is
      strong and stands nearly eighteen feet high, and is much respected by the
      other animals. He has two phrases which for him solve all problems, one, I
      shall work harder, and later on, despite the fact that Napoleons rule is
      becoming tyrannical, Napoleon is always right. At one point he does
      question Squealer, when he, in his persuasive way, is convincing the
      animals that Snowball was trying to betray them in the Battle of Cowshed.
      Boxer at first can not take this, he remembers the wound Snowball received
      along his back from Joness gun. Squealer explains this by saying that it
      had been arranged for Snowball to be wounded, it had all been part of
      Joness plan. Boxers confused memory of what actually happened makes him
      a little uneasy but when Squealer announces , very slowly that Napoleon
      categorically states that Snowball was Joness agent from the start then
      the honest cart-horse accepts the absurdity without question.
            Orwell through the figure of Boxer is presenting a simple good-nature
      , which wishes to do good, and which believes in the Rebellion. So loyal is
      Boxer that he is prepared to sacrifice his memory of facts, blurred as it
      is. Nevertheless, so little is he respected, and so fierce is the hatred
      the pigs hatred the pigs have for even the slightest questioning of their
      law that, when Napoleons confessions and trials begin, Boxer is among the
      first the dogs attack. Wish his great strength he has no difficulty in
      controlling them: He just simply, almost carelessly put out his great hoof
      , caught a dog in mid-air, and pinned him to the ground. At a word from
      Nahjleon he lets the dog go , but still he doesnt realize he is a target.
      Boxers blind faith in the pigs is seeming disastrous. Confronted with the
      horrifying massacre of the animals on the farm, Boxer blames himself and
      buries himself in his work. This show of power pleases us as a reader, in
      what we like to think of physical strength being allied to good nature,
      simple though a good nature may be. Boxer has our sympathy because he gives
      his strength selflessly for what he believes, whereas Napoleon gives
      nothing , believes in nothing and never actually works. Boxer exhausts
      himself for the cause. Every time the animals have to start rebuilding of
      the windmill he throws himself into the task without a word of complaint,
      getting up first half an hour, then three quarters of an hour before
      everybody else.
            Boxers sacrificial break down in the service of what he and the other
      worker animals believed to be technological progress might be interpreted
      as allegorically portending the future deterioration of the animal
            At last his strength gives out and when it does his goodness is
      unprotected. The pigs are going to send him to the knackers to be killed
      and boiled out into glue. Warned by Benjamin the donkey (his close, silent
      friend throughout the book), and by Clover he tries to kick his way out of
      the van, but he has given all his energy to the pigs and now has none left
      to save himself. The final condition of Boxer, inside the van about to
      carry him to the knackers in exchange for money needed to continue work on
      the windmill, emblematically conveys a message close to the spirit of
      Orwells earlier warnings : The time had been when a few kicks of Boxers
      hoofs would have smashed the van to mach wood. But alas!  His strength had
      left him; and in the few moments the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter
      and died away. This is the most moving scene in a book Indeed our feelings
      here as readers are so simple, deep and uninhibited that as Edward Thomas
      has said movingly, we weep for the terrible pity of it like children who
      meet injustice for the first time.
            Boxer can be attributed to the  tragic heroes cause he doesnt
      struggle with the injustice as the tragic hero should do. And surely we can
      consider him a comical hero as all through the story the reader has
      compassion on him. Orwell managed to unite tragedy and comedy in one
      character. Boxer arouses mixed contradictory feelings. His story is no
      longer comic, but pathetic and evokes not laughter but pity. It is an
      aggressive element, that detached malice of the comic impersonator, which
      turns pathos into bathos and tragedy into travesty.
            Not only Boxers story reminds us more of a tragedy. The destiny of
      all animals makes us weep. If at the beginning of the novel they are happy
      and excited in the middle they work like slaves but still happy, at the
      end they are shaken and miserable. After Napoleons dictatorship has
      showed its disregard for the facts and its merciless brutality, after the
      animals witnessed the forced confessions and the execution, they all go to
      the grassy knoll where the windmill is being built Clover thinks back on
      Majors speech before he died, and thinks how far they had gone from what
      he would have intended: as Clover looked down the hillside her eyes filled
      with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to
      say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves
      years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. This scenes of
      terror and slaughter where not what they had looked forward to on that
      night when old Major first stirred them to rebellion. If she herself had
      had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free
      from hunger and whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity,
      the strong protecting the week. Instead  she did not know why  they had
      come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs
      roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces
      after confessing to shocking crimes.
            From the sketch of the political background to Animal Farm it will be
      quite clear that the main purpose of that episode is to expose the lie
      which Stalinist Russia had become. It was supposed to be a Socialist Union
      of States, but it had become the dictatorship. The Soviet Union in fact
      damaged  the cause of the true socialism. In a preface Orwell wrote to
      Animal Farm he says that for the past ten years I have been convinced that
      the distruction of Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of
      socialist movement. Animal Farm attempts, through a simplification of
      Soviet history, to clarify in the minds of readers what Orwell felt Russia
      had become. The clarification is to get people to face the facts of
      injustice, of brutality, and hopefully to get them to think out for
      themselves some way in which a true and democratic socialism will be
      brought about. In that episode Orwell shows his own attitude to what is
      happening on his fairy farm. And he looks at it more as at the tragedy than
      a comedy, but still he returns to his genre of satire and writes: there
      was no thought of rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that even
      as things were they were far better than they had been in the days of
      Jones, and that before all else it was needful to prevent the return of the
            Finally, the moderateness of Orwells satire is reinforced by a
      treatment of time that encourages the readers sympathetic understanding of
      the whole  revolutionary experiment from its spontaneous and joyous
      beginnings to its  ambiguous condition on the final page. A basic strategy
      of scathing social satire is to dehistoricize  the society of the specific
      sociopolitical phenomena being exposed to ridicule and condemnation.
            In Animal Farm the past that jolts the creatures from the timeless
      present of the animal condition into manic state of historical
      consciousness is a quick, magically transformative moment .