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Animal Farm, by George Orwell was published in 1945, a crucial time in history because of Stalin?s takeover of the Soviet Union and his exploitation of the centralized communist government. This was in direct contradiction to the expected results of the Russian Revolution. Orwell felt that revolutions fail because the end result is a change of tyrants and not of government. Orwell exemplifies this failure through the goals of the revolution and their failure to meet them, the malfunction of Napoleon and Snowball?s rule together, and Napoleon?s disastrous reign.

The goals of the Revolution and the failure to meet them, is one way Orwell exemplifies his philosophy. Before the Revolution, the inhabitants of Animal Farm are ruled by the tyrannical Jones. The animals get fed up with the treatment they are receiving and, at the meeting, Old Major provides a solution, Revolution. Even at this meeting the pigs, including Napoleon, sit close to the front, showing the social classes that already exist. The Revolution plans to overthrow Jones and set up an animal government. Their goals are to be completely self sufficient and not have to rely on humans in any way. These goals are seemingly idealistic but the animals do not achieve these for more than about six months. The reason for this is the pigs becoming corrupt and wanting to break the commandments for their own pleasure. Shortly after the meeting with Old Major, the Revolution occurs.

After the Revolution both Snowball and Napoleon emerge as competing figures for head of the government. Their malfunction as ruling figures is another way Orwell exemplifies his philosophy. Snowball comes across as the more compassionate and charismatic of the two, where as Napoleon is the thinker and has more ?depth of character.? The two compete for power and use propaganda and catchy slogans to gain control of the public majority. Shortly after the Revolution, Snowball comes up with the plan to construct a windmill to make the lives of the inhabitants of Animal Farm easier. Napoleon hides in the shadows per se until the puppies that he has taken and trained are old enough to act as a police force. Once they are old enough, Napoleon has the dogs drive Snowball off the farm. He then takes credit for the idea of the windmill and proceeds to claim that he, not Snowball, won the award at the Battle of Cowshed. Napoleon then informs the animals that Snowball was an enemy and was a threat to Animal Farm. The animals are swayed by his propaganda and are fearful of his police dogs; this is what keeps him in power.

Napoleon?s disastrous reign only supports Orwell?s idea that revolutions always fail, tyrants are only replaced, and a new government is never established. Napoleon is a cruel ruler who, fearful of Snowball?s return, executes all the animals who ?confess? to being in league with Snowball. Napoleon uses Squealer as a propaganda spreader to the other animals of the farm. Squealer tells the animals how wonderful life is on the farm, when in fact they are worse off than in the days of Jones. Napoleon and his other corrupt government officials break all of the commandments, and then work around them to get their way. At the end of the book, Napoleon and his pig supporters are playing poker with humans. At the beginning of the book they wanted to overthrow Jones, who was the tyrant and now it seems that Napoleon has turned into a tyrant of equal if not more power. This only further proves Orwell?s point that revolutions fail and the tyrants are merely replaced.

In conclusion, Orwell?s philosophy that revolutions always fail because a tyrant is always replaced by another is true in Animal Farm. From Napoleon?s rise to power to his bloody reign is concrete evidence to support Orwell?s philosophy.


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