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Rebelion on the farm

Animal Farm (English title: Animal farm) is a satirical fable written by George Orwell in 1945 on a farm where animals take power and form their own government, which will evolve into a brutal tyranny.
It is considered a veiled criticism of the Russian Revolution and the corruption of Soviet socialism in the times of Stalin .

The main theme of the play is the abuse of power, and how it corrupts those who possess it, leading to greed, discrimination and betrayal. Thus, Rebelion pigs on the farm use their power to manipulate and deceive other animals and secure their hold on them.

Animal Farm also is a strong criticism of the government of the USSR and is generally considered a fable describing the failures of communism .

After the Second World War , respect for Russian communism as a form of government had grown considerably, and George Orwell tried to show through his book that Russia was not a real socialist society, but a ruthless tyranny.

Despite this, given the open and universal character of his message, the fable transcends that framework and is an effective critique of corruption that involves the abuse of power in any society.

Also addresses the criticism against the totalitarianism of any kind (frequent theme in the works of George Orwell) and examines the movement and manipulation of historical truth suffers in times of political transformation.

Another frequent theme in the work of George Orwell and will be present in Animal Farm is the use of force and violence as a means of social control, as seen in Chapter VII of the book, which describes the Persecution and the extermination of internal opposition within the farm.

It is important to know the historical events surrounding the establishment of the USSR to appreciate the satire that makes George Orwell on the degeneration of the Russian Revolution in tyranny and its protagonists.

In 1917 the call is initiated Russian Revolution that led to the fall of the government of Czar Nicholas II , and the establishment of communism in Russia (which was renamed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , or USSR from 1922). This regime lasted until 1991.

Leaders of the Revolution were Ulyanov Vladimir Ilyich (better known as Lenin ) and Leon Trotsky , who took power by force of arms, and established a workers ‘ state under the dictatorship of the proletariat , based on the ideals of Marxism And the elimination of private property.

However, after the death of Lenin, Joseph Stalin took control of the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union by establishing a model of reform from above and “socialism in one country” to the detriment of the theory of permanent revolution Of Trotsky.
This meant a system of political purges, and Leon Trotsky , his supporters, and other democratic Communists and anarchists, were persecuted, imprisoned and killed.

George Orwell knew about the Communist Party and its doctrines and knew what was going on in Russia. However, at that time the criticisms of Soviet communism were not popular, because the USSR was considered a bulwark against Nazism , and maintained good relations with the British government.

Animal Farm was written during World War II , was published in 1945, but became known by the public until the end of the 50 ‘s
had in his time many problems of criticism and censure, since by that time England Was an ally of the Soviet Union, and the ruthless criticism of Stalin’s government of the book did not please the English government that it did not want tensions with Russia.

Animal Farm is considered one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. It has been translated into fifteen languages and was chosen among the top 100 English – language novels by Time magazine, besides winning the Hugo retrospectively fantasy literature prize in 1996.

The play has been adapted twice. In 1954 a British animated version directed by Halas and Batchelor was realized, and in 1999 a film for television with real image, directed by Joseph Stephenson was realized.

Summary of the Farm Rebellion plot

The book tells the story of the Manor farm whose owner, Mr. Jones , is fond of drink and neglected animals.

They gather to hear the speech that considered the wisest animal farm, the pig Old Major .

Mayor tells them of his dream of freedom where all animals are equal and have the same rights and tells them to get that dream, must get rid of the oppressive yoke of humans.

In his speech, Mayor teaches an old song from his childhood, “Beasts of England” which speaks of a world in which animals are free, and not have to work for humans.
In that world, animals enjoy the fruit of their labor, and if there is abundance, it is for all, and they would no longer suffer hunger or cold.

After the speech, the pigs make a vote, where they decide that all animals are friends, and man, enemy.

One day after Mr. Jones stop feeding, the animals rebel and there ‘s a fight on the farm.
Led by two young pigs , Snowball and Napoleon , the animals win and expel the farmer Jones and its employees from the farm. However, the Old Major dies before seeing the triumph.

After the victory, the animals are organized under Old Major’s ideas, which they call “Animalism” and pigs are established as leaders.
They learn to read and write and change the sign of the farm by farm animals . They write on the wall the seven rules that established the Old Major before his death, and they consider the seven commandments of the farm:

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Everything that walks on four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal will wear clothing.
No animal will sleep in a bed.
No animal will drink alcohol.
No animal will kill another animal.
All animals are the same.

In the beginning everything works better than before. The animals work longer because they are not slaves, they know they will enjoy the fruits of their work and have a good harvest .
However, soon the problems begin with the pigs, who have self-directed the leaders and begin to abuse their power. They keep the best of the crop and eat all the apples and milk, saying that they need them to think.

An attack then occurs to the farm by the Mr. Jones , he wants it back. The animals defend themselves and stop the attack. Boxer , strong workhorse, and Snowball receive medals for bravery in battle.

However, they soon begin fighting for power between Napoleon and Snowball .

On the one hand, Snowball wants to build a windmill for electricity there on the farm. Napoleon opposes and during the meeting organized by Snowball to explain his plan to the other animals, Napoleon , who raised the farm dogs to obey, the spear on him with intent to kill, but Snowball escapes and flees the farm.

In the following year, Napoleon becomes a real dictator, using dogs as their personal police against anyone who opposes him, and increasingly breaking the commandments that started the revolution.
He orders to build the windmill that Snowball invented, and when a storm destroys it, he makes Snowball responsible and blames him for what happened in front of all the animals, accusing him of being a traitor.
Napoleon ordered again rebuild the mill, a task in which the horse is essential Boxer and strength.

The tyranny of Napoleon increases to the point of forcing innocent people to “confess” false treason and do kill their dogs before all the farm animals. Then he and the other pigs start sleeping in beds and drinking alcohol.
The commandments begin to be modified to justify the behavior of the pigs, “No animal shall drink alcohol” it becomes “No animal shall drink alcoho excess” .

After the mill is completed, the farm is under attack by the neighboring farmer Frederick , with whom Napoleon had been trading.
The animals win the battle, but the mill is again destroyed.
Boxer offers new strength to build again the mill, but the exhausting work that provokes undergoes a collapse and eventually excessive effort made her kills.
Napoleon then decided to sell it to a factory where they manufactured glue with his cadaver. Faced with indignant protests from other animals, the pig Squealer , spokesman Napoleon tells them that Boxer was taken to a veterinary clinic where he died peacefully, and all decide to believe him.

The years pass and Animal Farm expands with purchase of Napoleon two fields to a neighboring farmer, Pilkington. However life for non-pig animals is getting tougher, as these will carry the best food, and all the amenities.

The pigs soon begin to walk on two legs, imitating humans, and wear human clothing. The ancient commandments have disappeared and been reduced to a single law:

“All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”

The novel ends with Pilkington and pigs drinking in the house Jones. Napoleon has changed the name of the farm Manor Farm and plays cards with Pilkington , both trying to make traps each other.

The rest of the animals look out the window, and are unable to distinguish pigs from humans.

Rebellion characters on the farm

The main characters of this novel are the following:

Old man

He is a wise pig who wanted a world where animals lived with dignity. The rebellion of the animals is based on his ideas, but he dies before seeing his triumph.
The figure of Mayor, the leader respected by all, has often been associated with Lenin , with clear references in the novel as the story of the unearthing of skull Mayor for public exposure, in clear reference to mummification and exhibition of Lenin .
His affable and looking for a more just world character has also to be related to Karl Marx , the ideologist of communism, whose ideas of equality and defense of the proletariat were gradually degenerating under the rule of Stalin.


It is the other aspiring leader of the farm, bright, brave and full of projects is often compared him with Leon Trotsky , who led the Red Army in the USSR, like Snowball leads the animals against farmer Jones .
Similarly to the flight of Snowball dogs that Napoleon sent after him, Trotsky suffered persecution by the police of Stalin , accused of treason, finally being murdered in exile.


He is one of the pigs, of strong personality and that tends to get his way.
Along with Snowball leads the rebellion against Jones . After the triumph of the revolution, he begins to control all aspects of the farm until he becomes a ruthless tyrant.
George Orwell gives, including the name, all the characteristics of totalitarian dictators, although its resemblance to the Russian dictator Stalin is the clearest.
Like him, the lack of brilliance of Napoleon not prevent him from being a great conspirator and have a strong and cruel character, which eventually lead him to power. From there, as you would Stalin , undertakes a series of planning measures (like the five – year plans in Russia) of the farm economy, personified especially in the construction of a mill (idea of Snowball that Napoleon first rejected and then it appropriates), and persecutes and kills it considers a danger to his government, as in the notorious purges during the rule of Stalin .


One of the pigs that becomes the lieutenant and spokesman of Napoleon.
Through the book shows his ability to manipulate other animals with his convincing rhetoric.
It represents the propaganda mechanisms used by the government of Stalin, who, like Napoleon, presented himself as an idealist always seeking the good of the people.


A working horse, strong and dedicated, he serves with all his being to the revolution of animals, only to be sold by Napoleon to a factory of glue after dying of pure exhaustion working to rebuild the mill.

Boxer would represent the proletariat of Russia, the workers who were supposed to be the soul of the revolution and who for George Orwell would have been deceived and betrayed by the leaders of the communist party.


It is the mare that was responsible for pulling Mr. Jones’s car. Pretentious and superficial, prefers ties and sugar before revolutionary ideas, and finally leaves the farm with the promise of a more pleasant life.

It represents the middle class of Russia, who accepted the excesses of the government in order to maintain a privileged position.


She is a shooting mare, friend of Boxer and that tries to help to him when it falls surrendered of exhaustion.


He’s an ass, friend of Boxer. Cynical and pessimistic, he does not believe in the Revolution.
It represents the intellectuals. It is always caustic and very negative regarding the intentions of the pigs, but in the end it does not oppose them and consents to their excesses.

Paula Hawkins’ novel & Dogs

At first there are three dogs on the farm, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher.
Napoleon stays with his puppies, and breeds them and trains them to be their guard dogs.
Napoleon dogs represent the KGB , the secret police of Stalin , who used to hunt down and kill the opposition.

Moses the Raven

It was Mr. Jones’s pet, and tells stories to the animals about a paradisiacal land called “Monte azucar”, to which animals go when they die, and where there is no suffering.
It represents religion and its promises of a better world in the afterlife.

Sheep and chickens

They are the majority of the farm and represent the Russian peasantry, 85% of the population. They are characterized by being stupid and totally uncritical about the measurements of pigs. Although the Russian peasantry can not be regarded as stupid, it is true that most of them were an illiterate and de-ideologized population.

Mr. Jones

The owner of the farm Manor, drinker and neglected with the farm, is expelled of the same by his own animals.
Represent the Czar Nicholas II of Russia , which, just as the farmer Jones had complete mastery over the farm, was considered the only leader of Russia. In the Revolution of 1917 the people revolted against him, blaming him for the hunger and misery they suffered and for the destruction caused by World War I.

Frederick and Pilkington

They are the other farmers, and represent Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill , respectively. As farmers respect to farm animals for their prosperity and strength, but deep down they hate the world around the USSR, admired its economic progress and feared military power, although most of Europe and USA Were opposed to communism.

Commentary on Rebellion on the Farm

Animal Farm belongs to the literary genre of the narrative , and is usually included in the subgenus of fable or allegory, but is also considered a political satire .

A fable level of the work has a strong educational character , and warning about the dangers of abuse of power. At the level of satire, it is an obvious criticism of the Russian Revolution and its protagonists.

It consists of 10 chapters, and can be divided into two parts: the first bases of the revolution of the animals are narrated, since the introduction of the libertarian ideology by Mayor until the conquest of the farm.
In the second part the deterioration of the egalitarian ideas of the beginning is shown, and how farm animals slowly returns to its initial state of tyranny under the yoke of the pigs, and the complete betrayal of the revolution these.

George Orwell uses the resource to use animals as protagonists of history, traditional mechanism of fables to put distance between actual events and satirized, and so make the most of the possibilities humorous characters (tyrants are pigs, ignorant workers are represented with a donkey, etc.)

a constant throughout the work is the use of satirical humor , being cruel and ruthless in most of the characterizations, and most of the characters are ridiculous, stupid and / or evil, A frequent feature of the satire characters.

In addition, the work is a clear analysis of the corruption that breeds power, expressed in a simple and direct language, getting the message transcends the particular case of the Soviet regime and be understood by all readers, but does not know the history of the USSR .

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