George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, is a deceitfully simple story about a group of farm animals who, tired of toiling for the benefit of humans, rebel and create their own way of life only to find themselves, several years later, toiling for the benefit of one of their own kind, the pigs. Because of the simplicity of this novel, many people consider it to be a children's story. However, beyond it's lighthearted surface, it is truly a satirical attack against Stalinism. 'It is also a lament for the fate of revolutions and the hopes contained in them.' Adding to the complexity of the book, it also shows man's willingness to compromise the truth. In the short scope of this novel, Orwell expresses many of his ideas about men and politics.
Major, an elderly pig, is the one who plants the seed of rebellion in the minds of the other animals by sharing with them a song which he had learned as a young pig, but which he has just recalled during a dream.
This song 'Beasts of England' describes a peaceful life where all animals will live in harmony, no longer enslaved by humans.
Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.
Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free. (pp. 7-8)
The character of Major symbolizes the Soviet Union leader, Vladimir Ilich Lennin. Lennin too had caused his comrades to rise up in rebellion against the Czarist form of government in the hope of creating a country where everyone would be equal. Before he saw his ideas fully enacted, he died.
After the death of Major, the...