Deep Dive into Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’

Prajwal Thapa

 Which book do you choose when you go to a library? Someone would say ‘self-help, political, educational or some other would say ‘thriller’, ‘love story’ and many more. Here is an amazing news to the avid readers on how current events may still be addressed in a book that was published over 88 years ago. George Orwell deserves credit for his allegorical presentation of a tale of animal rebellion that causes us to hesitate to reflect on our efforts to build a world that is characterized by equality, fairness, and wealth. The plot centres on the idea of animal rebellion that develops after a white boar addresses the mistreatment of animals by humans in a political speech. It is made simpler for us to understand the real-world implications of the allegory presented in the story by the recurrent instances where animals refer to one another as ‘comrades’.

To dive into the novel, the pigs take the initiative in the uprising since they consider themselves to be the farm’s most intelligent animals. After the uprising is successful, the pigs establish the seven commandments and elaborate the concept of ‘animalism,’ which was mentioned in the Old Major’s (white boar’s) political speech. However, history has shown that it is difficult to live up to such commandments in the real world. “All animals are equal” was one of the guiding principles established by the animals. The irony is that the pigs tactfully persuade the animal farm that all milks and apples should be transported straight to the harness room for the pigs’ use, violating the very concept. This occurrence supports Karl Marx’s conflict theory, which holds that because resources are scarce and there is a power divide between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, there is constant conflict in society.

Talking about its technicalities and literary aspects, it is really tough to put it away about the working methods and procedures at Animal Farm undergoes a couple of significant alterations. In other words, this enhances a few aspects of the animal farm infrastructure. Pigs are, however, lavishly praised for even the tiniest of their labours, and it appears that common animals who balk at working in hazardous settings are underappreciated. A number of military honours gets announced, the majority of which goes to pigs. Pigs gradually begin to imitate human vices, and they successfully persuade the farm animals that it is for their own good.

When the animal farm is made a republic and they have to choose a farm president, one of the astonishing happenings takes place. Since there was just one candidate—a cunning pig named Napoleon—the decision wasn’t particularly challenging. This incidence makes us question the validity of regulations created in the name of ‘welfare’. Do they, however, significantly alter working-class lives? Do they genuinely solve the fundamental problem that exists in society? Orwell presents us with some rhetorical questions like these. The conclusion of the book is a striking one: “They realized that the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer.” Despite being hailed as a successful, the uprising that was initiated with the aim of improving animal life backfired miserably.

Looking at this novel through political lenses, it is perceived as the allegory in the novel Animal Farm refers to the Russian Revolution. It wouldn’t be incorrect to claim, however, that it can be related to other countries where revolutions have occurred, such as Nepal. For many years, Nepal has seen various sorts of uprising in an effort to create democracy. The sad truth, though, is that the fallout from similar uprisings hasn’t led to the country’s development or stability. People have begun to question the ideology of such movements in light of the failure to close the gap between revolt and government. It is crucial to remember that in order to create a seamless transition in society following a rebellion, strategic planning and a clear vision are required.

The lesson against abuse of authority and political instability also serves as a sobering reality check on our imagined utopia. In a society where underprivileged groups are still fighting for the realization of their basic rights, utopia is hard to attain. The cases where some animals benefited from revolt while others continued to live under oppression highlight the brutal reality of modern civilization. This tale serves as a classic illustration of the totalitarian regime’s drawbacks. Without checks and balances, power becomes concentrated in the hands of one authority, increasing the risk of abuse of power.

By and large, the rise and fall of the political movement ‘animalism’ was superbly depicted in the book, but I wish it had also emphasized the importance of the general populace as a separate entity in the rise and fall of any country. From a distance, politicians and other leaders are what give a country its shape, but at the local level, it is the people that make up a society and a country. In summary, anyone interested in learning about the motivations behind political movements and how social structure is developed in a society should read Orwell’s Animal Farm. This book helps its readers think a book captures a lot or I guess, it kills the one who always thinks there is nothing under the sun.

[The author is currently studying Bachelors of Business Administration at Kathmandu University School of Management.]