Animal Farm is replete with subtle and not-so-subtle lessons on blind conformity and the misuse of power. This essay will highlight firstly, on how the pigs are misusing power and also about the animals that are following the pigs blindly. This interplay of the two themes can be seen through the education of the masses, knowledge of history, idealism and class structure. In educating the masses of Animal Farm, the pigs used many instruments of abuse to fool many of the animals and to further implement their power.
Such instruments can come in the form of the Seven Commandments, the threats the pigs made, songs, poems, the state rituals and of course Boxer’s Slogan. These were used to control the masses and by doing so Napoleon used this to his advantage, an example could be in the form of the Seven Commandments because very few animals were educated enough to read what it says and so Napoleon can modify the commandments and adapt them to his personal lusts like ‘sleeping in a bed’ or ‘drinking whisky’ until it comes to the stage in which it is right to kill other animals.
The pigs also used propaganda to confuse the animals; an example could be when Squealer used it to flush out Snowball in which he said that ‘Snowball was a traitor’. Also the pigs used Boxer’s Slogan of ‘I will work harder’ and ‘Napoleon is always right’ because it suits their purpose and to tell the animals what they should do. Ultimately, Napoleon and the other pigs would use these instruments until they achieved unchallenged control.
In a Christian perspective, we all need to be educated however if we just learn lies it won’t do us much good so the practice of truth is important. Romans 12:2 says ‘do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will’. This means that we should not follow the ways of the world so when a leader tells you to sin you can say no and follow God. The pigs also used knowledge of history to improve their authority and status.
Some of the practices involved were drugging the animals so they can say stuff that they did not do which historically happened in Russia with the series of purge trials in the 1930’s in which a number of high-ranking Soviet leaders were accused of treacherous acts against the state and shocked the world by their willingness to confess it. In the novel, the pigs’ manipulated history by forcing the animals to say that they were in contact with Snowball and since Snowball has historical significance Napoleon could just blame Snowball for every setback the farm suffers which the animals would all blindly accept.
Snowball can also be a representation of Leon Trotsky of Russia because both have the same intellect and speaking ability and they were both forced to flee while Napoleon would have the representation of Joseph Stalin who was quite the opposite of Trotsky. The pigs also used the phrase ‘Jones will come back’ when they were not doing the right thing and as an excuse to get out the situation, this is yet another example of the pigs manipulating history to their advantage. In a Christian perspective, right history should be the testimony of the truth and if isn’t true it is not worth saying because once you change history it is a lie.
Idealist thought is when someone is pursuing ideas whose outcomes is greater than the probability of it happening, some examples of these people could be Karl Marx who was represented by Old Major in Animal Farm. The speech that Old Major gives in the barn to the other animals parallels Marx’s philosophy on a perfect society. Marx believed that a minority holding power was a major flaw of capitalism and that a Utopian Society would be better because everything would be equal and everyone would receive equal amounts of goods. Marx’s philosophy influenced Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin to create Communism in Russia.
The final results of Old Major’s and Karl Marx ideas were distorted by Napoleon and Stalin for their personal goals. In a Christian perspective, a Utopian Society would always have flaws because man will always be sinful and corrupt. No matter how hard in society we try, equality will never truly be reached by mankind for the reason that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely” which was quoted by Lord Acton. The only way we can find equality and perfectness is in heaven and by following God. Class Structure is the division of people in a society in which they are put into groups according to their social status.
In Animal Farm, after Old Major’s death and the rebellion of Mr Jones, things started off well and ‘all animals were equal’ however the pigs took the job in organising the farm and slowly they would gain more authority. Firstly it started off with the commandments because the pigs started having power over a few people. Since they had some power they decided that they would have some of the special privileges, an example of this is when they took all of the milk and apples for themselves and when the animals complained the pigs ould use propaganda to get out of the situation in which this continued until the pigs were a different class distinction than the other animals. Slowly the phrase were changed to ‘all animals are equal but some are equal than others’ and more discrimination will continue just like what happened in Mr Jones was around. In a Christian perspective, there should be classes of people in society because each person is different in skills and abilities like some might be better at teaching while some are better at practicals but in the end we’re all made from God’s image and so we’re all united as one.
In conclusion, we’ve seen that in this essay, that equality was never going to happen in Animal Farm because some animals had certain views and different opinions and some gradually became more powerful. We can all learn from this, as said above that the only way we going to find equality is by following God because in this world, whenever man has power, they would all want domination and the working class will suffer.