Animal Farm – Literary Essay
Is it not everyone’s dream to live in a world where each person is equal? Karl Marx came up with a solution to the problem of inequality and called it communism. The idea of communism looks like a good plan on paper but it could never work in real life because of ones’ large desire for power. George Orwell uses his novel Animal Farm to show how one’s greed can lead a great plan to fail, regardless of the situation.
He does this by showing how one loses focus of the original idea because they crave power, how one then goes against the original idea, and finally how one turns the original idea into something it was never supposed to be.
In the beginning of the book, Old Major tells the animals his dream of freedom for all animals. Then, Old Major dies, leaving behind his wisdom and his vision for all animals. Throughout the book the other animals carry out his dream and they name it Animalism. They even come up with rules, known as the seven commandments. “THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS 1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 3. No animal shall wear clothes. 4.
No animal shall sleep in a bed. 5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 7. All animals are equal,” (page – chapter 2). The animals then paint these commandments on the wall and live by them every day. Even though these are great rules the pigs start to lose focus and start to battle for power. After Old Major dies and the plans for Animalism start to take off both Napoleon and Snowball fight for power over the farm. Two people cannot share power, because power cannot be shared.
It is greed that pushes one leader to gain all of the power. In the book Animal Farm Snowball and Napoleon are battling for power. Orwell writes, “At last the day came when Snowball’s plans were completed. At the Meeting on the following Sunday the question of whether or not to begin work on the windmill was to be put to the vote. When the animals had assembled in the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by bleating from the sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building of the windmill.
Then Napoleon stood up to reply. He said very quietly that the windmill was nonsense and that he advised nobody to vote for it, and promptly sat down again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed almost indifferent as to the effect he produced, (Chapter 5 paragraph 3). ” Napoleon seems to strive for power more than Snowball does and he will take any chance he has to take Snowball down, which completely defeats Old Major’s vision of Animalism and its purpose of equality. Power was not a part of Old major’s vision.
While Snowball is very intelligent and seems to want the best for Animal Farm Napoleon is just power-hungry. It is clear that Napoleon is jealous of Snowball, so he begins to plan how to get rid of him. To do this, Napoleon uses the dogs to chase Snowball off the farm. When they return to him it’s as if they have no regret. “It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones,” (5. 15). Napoleon has a taste for power, and now that he has it he is only going to want more.
After Snowball is gone, Napoleon has complete control of the farm, which is not a good thing. He rarely speaks for himself because he has Squealer to do it for him. Napoleon gets rid of the meetings, which also gets rid of opportunity for the other animals to speak. He also gives himself all of the luxuries. “In these days Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in the farmhouse, which was guarded at each door by fierce-looking dogs. When he did emerge, it was in a ceremonial manner, with an escort of six dogs who closely surrounded him and growled if anyone came too near,” (7. ) Napoleon is now the most important animal on the farm, and even re-writes history to make himself seem even better. Napoleon was not the only one to re-write history though, although, he was the one that demanded the others to make false confessions just so they could be killed. “And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the time of Jones,” (7. 6). Napoleon wanted to prove his power to the other animals and he would stop at nothing to do so. One could say that Napoleon became worse than Mr. Jones, the original farm owner, ever was. A plan that started out to make the farm a communist place turns out to be ruled by a dictator, again. George Orwell used the book Animal Farm to write about how Karl Marx’s idea of communism and how easily it can fail because one loses focus of the original idea.