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Animal Farm: Reflection Essay


“Animal farm” by George Orwell as a reflection of the history of the Soviet Union. There is a famous phrase which has no particular author: “The essence does not change if you change the shell.” The book Animal Farm written by George Orwell totally proves the truth of this statement. Of course, for those who are not familiar with the history of the first half of the 20th century the fairy story “animal Farm” may resemble harmless fairy tales written for children. While everyone who has ever at least heard anything about those terrible times, realizes that this book is a poignant satire on the realities of the “Soviet experiment.” Orwell describes the obtruded like-mindness, which became the major symbol of the Stalin era. He depicts the atmosphere of fear, which accompanied that times; opportunism and lack of principles which forced people to declare something black that yesterday was considered to be white; lawlessness and general suspicion, lush idleness that was a cover fo the lots of unforgivable political and economic failures of the government. G. Orwell is embodied all his ideas concerning these facts in the tale as the most simple and accessible way to understand. The humorous tone of the book is aimed to reveal the vivid defects of the Soviet society.

The initial part of the book begins with Old Major telling the animals about his dream, in which the humanity disappeared and the world is ruled by animal, and all of them are equal. The authors attitude to the Old Major doesnt lack irony: in particular, the fact concerning the placement of the Lenins body to the Mausoleum – in this case, appears in the skull of Old Major, which the animals hoisted every morning, saluted it, and sang a hymn composed by Old Major. He (the Old Major) thought about what is the cause of all troubles and eventually comes to the conclusion that the mankind is to blame, he says: “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word — Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever.” (Orwell, 1945) Already from the contents of the first chapter, it is clear that the farm and its owner Mr. Jones represent tsarist Russia led by Nicholas II. Napoleon is a boar, to gained power after the uprising. He uses repressions and the repressive apparatus represented by nine dogs, which he bred himself to gain the power and to suppress the dissent, and also to remove his main rival – Snowball. Later there appears a personality cult of Napoleon. His image is a parody of Joseph Stalin. Snowball is one of the leaders of the uprising. Described with ironically, but also with sympathy, unlike Napoleon, Snowball is intellectual and sincerely believes in possibility of building a society of equal animals. His image is a parody of Lev Trotsky (he was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929). At the end of the book boar Napoleon and his cronies violate seven basic commandments and start wearing human clothes, walk on two legs, and sleep in the beds, they are likened to man. All this symbolizes the attempt of the Soviet Union to resemble the Western countries.

So in conclusion we can say that the appearance and behaviour of the pigs has changed, and this symbolizes the fact that the Soviet Union succeed in its attempts to at least resemble the Western world, but at the same the book shows us the strong satire, proving that the essence does not change if you change the shell.

Works cited
Orwell, George (1945). Animal farm. Full Circle Publishing Ltd. (2011)

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