Moral of Animal Farm: the Central Message of Corruption and Power

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Updated: Aug 29, 2023
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One thing that hits my mind after reading the novel is: “Does the Old Major’s dream of a utopia come true?” Upon my consideration, I consider “Animal Farm” as an allegorical and sardonic novel of Soviet totalitarianism and a struggle for a class-free society. The manipulation and centralization of power generate political corruption; thus, to me, the novel clarifies the relative simplicity of obtaining power in relation to correctly using that gained power. As the novel grows, the characters evolve, and the farm transmutes from an agrarian society into military might.

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The Satirical Lens: Allegory and Totalitarianism

Going through the novel thoroughly, I made myself clear that it is a political satire as it satires the Russian Revolution, known as the Bolshevik Revolution. Old Major is an animal version of Lenin who struggles for a class-free society, ending up with capitalism and practicing communism. As Old Major highlights the codes of Animalism, Karl Marx’s theory of communism inspires Lenin, who encourages the “workers of the world” to assemble against economic autocrats. His idea was that the capitalistic economic system was defective. I see totalitarianism as a root cause of the suppression of a common man under any oppressor. The same is the case with George Orwell’s satire “Animal Farm,” where the pigs, the smallest animals on the farm, decide to take control. In supporting my argument, the novel initiates with the farm animals conquering their high power, the farmer. It is to comfort the hectic lives of all animals, making them more pertinent to a better situation and favorable independent working circumstances, as illustrated by Old Majors. But I observe a big error in the Old Major’s thinking that he places total blame on man for all the animals’ illnesses. In my view, such one-dimensional thinking disregards the craving for power innate in all living things. As soon as the pigs get the perception of supremacy, the lure to abuse the fewer brainy beasts is apparent, having elapsed all the scuffles of a class-free society or those norms of seven commandments. The rest of the animals are stripped of their freedom of thought, much as what happened under Czarist Russia/Stalin’s era or North Korea, which is known as the “world’s largest prison camp” governed by Kim Jong, who uses fear to control the citizens. Thus, considering all these ideas, I bitterly feel that Old Major’s dream of a utopia is converted into a totalitarian nightmare.

The Lure of Power and Erosion of Ideals

In the novel, the most surprising element for me is that after the rebellion, there is not even an argument or consideration on the question of leadership, and the pigs solely rise up as leaders having the power to read and write. The lot of the farm creatures was eventually under the pig’s control. The pigs practice their power for their own upright; for example, they take the apples and milk for themselves. Napoleon misuses his power to manipulate Boxer’s goodness and devotion. He uses Squealer to sustain his tyranny through propaganda. Squealer follows the seven commandments, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Napoleon’s vicious power is often seen through his ejection of Snowball on divergence to the notion of a mill using nine gigantic dogs (KGB), just as Stalin opposed Trotsky’s desire for big-scale industrialization, then approved it as a strategy when he was exiled. Windmill is representative of Stalin’s Five-year plans to collectivize agriculture, compelling people to toil on huge farms. His own growing duplicity results in a famine in Russia, paralleling it to Animal Farm. All the commandments suffer subtle variations throughout. This is how the power became centralized to Napoleon/Stalin, all alone, leading to political corruption. I believe that the way Napoleon (Stalin) grabs liberty, deploys, and proclaims his power on others, it is somewhat obvious that when someone acquires power, he becomes greedy for more power and self-assertion. His hunger for power raises more lust in him, and this breeding lust breeds corruption. Once the ruler clutches power, either Napoleon, Pharaoh, Nimrod, or Stalin, the agenda is the same. I would like to state a phrase that, “The essence does not change if you change the shell.”

Throughout the novel, I observed the development of characters as round and flat ones similar to what is trendy in the artificial world around me, which I call the world of our own making. As I can state, Napoleon was a “dictator-like” pig. He is a dynamic or a round character because he was once a great leader but afterward became corrupt and hypocritical. I think he is portraying all the politicians around us, like Stalin, as having comparable personality traits of dishonesty, mistreatment, and manipulation. I interpret Snowball as a round character as well because once, he was very fervent about the well-being of his animal fellows but was later exiled by Napoleon and supposed to have altered his mind. Old Major motivates animal rebellion, and I consider him a static character as he loathed humans throughout his life. Squealer, with his influence of manipulation, is a round personality as he ultimately no longer supports animalism. Benjamin, with his persistent nature, Mollie being self-interested, missing human devotion, and Moses, a domesticated raven often speaking about animal dreamland, are all static characters. I interpret that with the evolution of characters and their priorities, the farm alters from an agrarian society into a military prowess. After the strategical victory of animals in the Battle of Cowshed, applying three lines of attack (symbolic of three periods of the Russian Civil War fought between the Red and White armies tearing Russia apart in 1917-22), the establishment of soldierly medal, the designation of the fight, and the pronouncement to fire the Jones’ gun two times a year all propose the animals’ affection for festivity and slow but certain alteration of Animal farm into a habitation reigned by martial rule other than seven commandments.


To conclude, with all that in observance, the moral this novel gives me is to challenge the high officials when they are not performing in the finest favor of myself and others around me. This is how the high authority is then selfless and unbiased to the necessities of the people they must meet. To get to the utopia envisioned by Old Major and to create a classless society, the power must never be centralized because unequal distribution of power leads to corruption. The capitalistic class structure must be dethroned, and the supremacy gained must be suitably used for the welfare of society.


  1. “Understanding Animal Farm: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents” by Kirstin Olsen

  2. “George Orwell’s Animal Farm: A Casebook” edited by Ira Wells


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Moral of Animal Farm: The Central Message of Corruption and Power. (2023, Aug 29). Retrieved from