L. A/ Writing Animal Farm Literary Analysis Essay Following the current controversial election campaigns on TV, it is easy to see how a society can become confuse by their elected officials and find that their original beliefs and expectations changed. The novel Animal Farm by George Orwell clearly illustrates the idea that if citizens are not constantly aware of what is happening, corruption can overtake a vision of a better society. In the novel, the whole purpose for the rebellion was that the animals would have more freedom and would live a more comfortable life. In reality, the animals were so fooled by he pigs’ propaganda that they didn’t realize that they did not gain a thing. In the beginning, the animals were hoping for a society in which they could retire, not have to work as much, and that they would be happy. The pigs, under the leadership of Napoleon, put themselves in a place of power, manipulated words and told lies to confuse the animals and then eventually convinced them that working hard with little comforts was the true goal of the society. The pigs used the animals who were once their friends to create a society that let them live like the humans they once despised.
Throughout the years, the pigs changed from being leaders who truly believed in the rebellion to tyrants who controlled the farm. The pigs, who taught themselves to read, became the natural leaders for planning the new farm once they overthrew Jones. However, they soon began to see themselves as being in charge of the day to day workings. “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. ” (Orwell Pg. 27). They eventually began to do things behind the animals’ backs.
For example, they proclaimed the milk and apples for themselves but found a way to justify it with the other animals. This is clearly shown in the quote: “You do not imagine that we pigs are doing this in the spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. …….. We pigs are the brainworkers. ”(Orwell Pg. 37). Any time that Napoleon and the pigs do something that is against the original rules of the rebellion, Squealer finds a way to justify it to the animals.
By the end of the book, the pigs are living in the main house like humans and are relying on the work of the animals to support all their needs and wants. Once they are in charge, the Pigs use their knowledge of language to manipulate and confuse the animals. Most of the animals could not read and they were easily misled by changes in wording, rumors and lies they were told. Over the course of the story, changes were made to the Seven Commandments that only benefitted the pigs. All of these changes were made by the pigs slowly over time so that the other animals never realized how drastic the changes were. No animal shall drink alcohol” (Orwell Pg. 25) became “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess” (Orwell Pg. 109) (Only the pigs had access to it) and “No animal shall kill any other animal” (Orwell Pg. 25) became “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause” (Orwell Pg. 91) giving Napoleon the right to execute other animals. Squealer told them lie after lie regarding Snowball and his role in the rebellion, the pigs’ relationship with the humans and many other things. Also Napoleon abolished the Beasts of England song that gave the animals courage during the rebellion.
After the pigs learned to walk on two legs, Squealer instructed the sheep to change the song that had sung for years from “Four legs good, two legs bad. ” to “Four legs good, two legs better” (Orwell Pg. 134). By this point, the animals could no longer remember the original vision for Animal Farm. Finally, the animals reach a point where they are no longer living the life they envisioned. In fact, they can barely remember the utopia they had planned. They once thought they would work shorter days and have more time for leisure and education, have more food, live in warm, electrically lit stalls and be eventually able to retire.
The only animals that saw this as reality were the pigs. Napoleon convinced them that their current conditions were the true ways of Animalism. “The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally” (Orwell Pg. 129). The most tragic casualty of this change in belief was Boxer. Boxer was the most loyal follower. He believed everything that Napoleon said and he thought the solution to any problem was to work harder. Boxer thought that his devotion would be rewarded with a happy retirement. In the end, his old body was sold off for money so that the pigs could purchase whisky.
The idea that if citizens are not always aware of what is happening, corruption can overtake the vision of a better society is profoundly supported by the novel Animal Farm. In the beginning, the animals truly believe in the concept of Animalism and they look to the intelligent pigs to help lead them to a better life. Throughout the course of the novel, the pigs take this vision and twist it to their own advantage, confusing and manipulating the trusting animals. Sadly, not only is their life no better in the end, they have no true memory of the initial joy and hope they felt at the beginning of the rebellion.