"Animal Farm" by George Orwell: Warnings of Rebellion

Essay by DeniL814High School, 12th grade April 2006

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Society is corrupt and dishonest throughout all of the ages. Just not today's civilization but in all past civilizations. In George Orwell's book Animal Farm, Orwell presents a warning to humanity about the dangers in rebellion. He compares a rebellion to a circle, in that after the takeover of the enemy is complete, the people, or in this case the animals, become corrupt themselves. Orwell warns the reader that when you rebel you should change, not end up in the same place you were.

Throughout the book, the reader can view the rebellion as a working process in the beginning, eventually seeing how the pigs turn into humans at the end. At the beginning, Old Major, a prize winning boar, stirs the animals to rebellion. Wise, old, and sensible, he knows many things. He warns them "And remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him."

Specifically he says to not adopt their (mans) vices. After the rebellion they change the name of the farm, Manor Farm, to Animal Farm. This becomes significant at the end when the pigs return the original name to the farm. In other words the rebellion didn't change anything; all the pigs became the humans that treated the animals badly in the first place.

Towards the middle of the book, the author incorporates details which lead up to the ending. The pig Napoleon and all of the rest of his pigs are becoming more and more human. Constantly the original rules are changed for the pigs benefit and they manipulate all of the animals. For example, the pigs start to drink which disobeys the rule, "No Animal Shall Drink Alcohol." However, Squealer changes it to say "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." Later, Napoleon outlaws the 'Beasts of England Song' and changes it to a song which honors him. All of these actions contribute to Orwell's warning of the dangers of rebellion.

At last there is the ending, which sums up Orwell's point. First of all, the animals are all fed up with the pigs' actions. The pigs now live in the farmhouse, which was against one of the rules that had been quickly changed. The pigs also began to walk on two legs. Once more Squealer changed a rule. Then, instead of just "All animals are equal," they added "But some animals are more equal than others." This addition to the rule is widely considered by the reader. You now realize that the pigs, in fact, are just as bad as the humans. They twisted and manipulated the animals to think that they deserve more things than the others. Then finally, the book ends with the humans and the pigs having a poker party. As the animals look in, "...but already it was impossible to say which was which." Therefore, ironic as it is, the pigs have become the same thing that they were trying to get rid of in the first place-human corruption. Everything they do now is what the revolution was supposed to change.

In conclusion, Orwell presents plenty of examples as to warning society of the dangers of rebellion. Rebellion in the beginning is supposed to change things for the better. In Orwell's mind, rebellion only changes the people who rule, not the way things are run. It's all good and fine in the beginning, but eventually people will get power hungry and go back to the old ways of how things were done. As a result, this can be known as the circle of rebellion. No matter what people do to try to change things, it comes back to where it started.