A review of Animal Farm by George Orwell

Essay by jonbarry20College, UndergraduateA, July 2005

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The bad pig

who dirtied his pen

on the animal farm

Bad governments lurk around every corner of the world. The revolutions that occurred in China and Russia illustrate an inevitable quality to such revolts. While most of the time revolts start out well intended, revolutions often wind up sprawling out of control. George Orwell brilliantly spells out this above view in Animal Farm, a satire portraying an oppressed group of farm animals struggling for freedom and the eventual corruption of their social order. After the pigs win their rebellion and proclaim freedom, life for the other animals is anything but what they expected; the oppressed working animals essentially trade one totalitarian regime, headed by the farmers, for another, ruled by the pigs.

Animal Farm provides the reader with an insightful perspective into the danger of communism while sharpening the reader's imagination throughout. By supplying the reader with a perfect mix of action, comedy, and political satire, Orwell maintains one's interest and provokes one's intellect.

For instance, towards the end of the story Orwell describes a scene in which the pigs meet with the humans to discuss various trade agreements. The pigs, like the humans, stand on two legs and smoke cigars - activities that are completely in contradiction to the animals' original intentions with regard to their revolution. In addition, Orwell provides characters with which the reader can relate. For example, one might identify himself with Boxer, the strong and loyal horse, as a representation of the working class. Boxer acts with complete selflessness, working, fighting, and dying for the farm, the revolution. Orwell even ends with Boxer's dead body being sent to a dog food refinery. Indeed, it may even be possible that Orwell has served Boxer with poetic justice, shielding him from realizing the...