Orwell’s Story Animal Farm

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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In this story there are many underlying lessons to be discovered. We’ve learned about morals all throughout our lives by reading stories such as Tortoise and the Hare and Hansel and Gretel. Morals are something that the author wants us to take away from their story. These can be shown in, through or because of character’s actions. The three morals that stood out to me in the essay on Animal Farm the most are how power corrupts, causes an unequal distribution of wealth and creates oppression.

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Power corrupts; it takes a character who is seemingly normal and turns them into a dictator, an unfair and unfit ruler. This is shown with the pigs in this story, but more specifically, Napoleon. He starts off as just one of the other pigs, but through the story he starts becoming more and more ruthless until eventually every single one of the initial commandments has been broken under his rule. At the end of Animal Farm, he shows no mercy, killing animals for crimes that they may have not even committed, murders one of the hardest working animals on the farm and eventually begins working with the animals biggest enemy of all, humans. There’s a major contrast at the beginning of this story compared to the end; specifically shown by these two quotes. “Man is the only real enemy we have” along with “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. The first quote is from chapter one and the latter is the last line of chapter ten. It is evident at the end of the story that the pigs have been corrupted completely, so much so that the animals see the pigs as the same level of evil as the humans.

Towards the middle of the story, we start seeing how the pigs are consuming more than the rest of the animals. Milk and apples now go to the pigs, and eventually they get all of the barley. Pigs don’t have to work, in fact they are considered superior to the other farm animals, often supervising the others. This shows how power creates an unequal distribution of wealth; the working animals being the lower class and the pigs being the higher class. Napoleon seems to have an entire class of his own, he doesn’t supervise the animals because he just stays in the house now, in his own apartment away from the pigs. With Napoleon as the absolute leader we can realize that the more power you have, the higher you are in society; which also seems to be a principle of today’s world.

Lastly; power creates oppression. In the beginning of Orwell’s story we see how awful a leader Mr. Jones is, causing the animals to be overworked and fed the bare minimum. When the Revolution happens and Mr. Jones is thrown out of power, a new leader comes along, Napoleon. Napoleon eventually steals the idea of the windmill from Snowball and the animals build it. Throughout the process of construction, the animals are excited because they think that it will be used to to light, heat and water their stalls. However when it is finished the windmill is used to grind corn which is sold by the pigs. There are obviously profits made from this but the pigs are the only ones allowed to reap the benefits. The animals now can’t even remember if the conditions are the same or worse than when they were under Mr. Jones’s control. In the story it says this “The animals saw no reason to disbelieve him, especially as they could not remember very clearly what conditions had been like before the Rebellion. This is said after Squealer reads the lists of numbers to the animals about how their food levels are going up and everything is better; however the animals don’t quite feel the same as the pigs want them to. They work long days in the fields and have small rations; even the promise of retirement is neglected and the animals work until they die.

The three morals that stood out to me the most in are power corrupts, causes an unequal distribution of wealth and creates oppression. These lessons teach us to not only be careful of who we follow, but to also think before we let someone tell us what to do. In Animal Farm the animals made both of these mistakes and it ended up causing a lot of problems for them and in some cases, death. If they could have seen ahead in time and known how powerful and merciless Napoleon would become, they probably would have fought harder for Snowball. But who knows if Snowball would become any better because we can see throughout this story one main theme; the true character of someone is only really shown when they become powerful, and who knows who can uphold that kind of responsibility.

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Orwell's story Animal Farm. (2019, Jun 06). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/orwells-story-animal-farm/