Topic 3

In his Novel „Animal Farm“ George Orwell describes the taking over of a farm by the animals themselves and the decline of everything they had built up because of the leader’s corruption. This fable is an allegory which is meant to represent the Russian Revolution and its effects. Animals in this book like Napoleon, Squealer and Boxer stand for real persons or for a certain class which had a roll in this overthrow in 1930s.
Napoleon is supposed to be Stalin and is described as „a large, rather fierce looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm“. This feature alone gives him the status of being something special. He isn't a good speaker but nevertheless he has „the reputation for getting his own way“. We can see that when he had to hold a speech in order to gain the other animals on his side against Snowball, who is another pig, which wanted to be a leader. He says quickly what he wants to say and calls then his dogs who threaten on the animals. In this way he always gets what he wants. The dogs are also a sign for his cruelty. Once he asks “in a terribly voice“ if the animals have anything to confess what they did and what wasn’t for the good of the farm. Those animals who do confess he lets kill by the dogs in front of all the rest of the animals. He is also selfish and devious because he sleeps in a bed gets all advantages, never tells the truth about what is happening and his only aim is to gain more power. But without the help of Squealer he would never have been the leader that long.
Squealer, who represents the propaganda department of the Russian government and has all its features, is a „small, fat pig“, which has „very round cheeks twinkling eyes and a shrill voice“. He is „a brilliant talker“, too. This quality and his nimble movements makes him be very persuasive. He can „turn black into white" and is therefore the perfect man for Napoleon to manipulate the other animals. All his orders are issued by Squealer. Squealer convinced the animals for example that only the pigs could move into the farmhouse because they were „the brains of the farm“ and needed therefore a quiet place to think. Nobody could say anything against this argument even if the decision was made before that nobody would move into the farm house. But Squealer didn’t only talk. He also carried out a lot of important jobs for Napoleon. It was he who changed the Seven Commandments, which they had created at the beginning and which were put on the wall of the farmhouse, in order to make them suitable for the wrong behavior of the pigs. On the other hand he had a quite easy job in convincing the other animals because they weren’t really smart.
Boxer is a good example for one of the animals and he also shows how the Russian peasants were weakened by the hard work which the regime loaded on them. He was an „enormous beast“ and „his strength seemed to be equal to that of all the rest of the animals put together“. He believes a lot in Animalism and "the leader" Napoleon and works very hard for his dream of everybody being equal. His two slogans are:"I will work harder!"
and "Napoleon is always right!" Unfortunately he is very naive and can't see that all his ideals won't be worked out by Napoleon. He also barley questions things. Only sometimes he seems to remember that something was different than they are told is was. When Squealer tells them, that Snowball already had been allied with their enemies at the battle, Boxer remembers: "But he was wounded" and "we all saw him running with blood." But a few seconds later after one of Squealers speeches he says: "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." Here we can see how he is manipulated by Squealer. At the end his naivety causes his death because when he is sick and weakened as an result of the hard work, he trusts Napoleon to bring him to a veterinarian. The truth is that he is brought to the knacker.
George Orwell develops all these characters so well that is not hard to examine which roll the play in the story and in the Russian Revolution. All these characters help the reader to understand why it failed.