Animal Farm by George Orwell Term Paper

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Animal Farm

Orwell's colorful cast of characters in Animal Farm includes the founding members of the Animalist revolution: pigs like Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer, the boar Old Major, and also the horse Boxer. Old Major reflects on his life during the first chapter of the novel, using his experiences to formulate the first tenets of what will eventually become Animalism. Old Major points out to his fellow barnyard mates that animals are woefully repressed by human beings, controlled to serve human beings without receiving anything in return. Urging revolution via animal solidarity, Old Major foments the rebellion that forms the crux of Animal Farm. The revolution mirrors the social and political upheavals in human society; they are Orwell's metaphors for movements like those that began with Karl Marx. Old Major uses emotionally-charged language and refers to his dreams to reflect the spirit of the revolution. Old Major inspires the other animals, especially the pigs, to educate themselves and free themselves from human oppression.

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Snowball is one of the leaders of the revolution and remains an idealist throughout the novel. With Napoleon and Squealer, Snowball helps formulate the seven commandments of Animalism. In Chapter Two, the power struggle that will later develop between Snowball and his soon-to-be rival starts to emerge. The two pigs are both intelligent but demonstrate different leadership styles, different ethics, different ideals, and different personalities. Snowball and Napoleon are both passionate but Snowball is genuinely dedicated to the principles of the revolution and of Animalism. Snowball appreciates the merits of self-sacrifice. Napoleon, on the other hand, is consumed with lust for power.

Term Paper on Animal Farm by George Orwell Assignment

Napoleon is the most important character in Animal Farm. His leadership style is autocratic as opposed to the more egalitarian Snowball. For example, in Chapter Three Snowball proposes a series of committees to organize tasks in the community. Napoleon disagrees with and ignores Snowball's organizations. Instead, Napoleon prefers to seize power and use his authority to control others. Also in Chapter Three, Napoleon seizes Jesse and Bluebell's puppies so that he has a ready-made personal militia to serve him when the time comes. Clearly, Napoleon's motives are akin to those of his namesake: he used the ideals of the Animalist revolution to suit his own selfish needs rather that to improve the lot of his brethren as Snowball did.

Snowball's proposal to build the windmill creates the rift that tears apart Animal Farm. A progressive and a liberal, Snowball's proposal to harness the power of electricity reflects his forward-thinking and his dedication to the progress of the community as a whole. Snowball believes in communal labor, in hard work for the betterment of all. Napoleon, on the other hand, disavows the need for technological progress. At the same time, Napoleon resents Snowball and cannot fathom sharing the leadership platform at the meetings. Instead of being willing to compromise his ego, Napoleon simply declares the meetings void and ignores Snowball. Napoleon becomes an effective leaders because of his confidence; he attracts followers like Boxer who do not naturally think for themselves. Squealer is also seduced by Napoleon's power: thus, Orwell uses Napoleon to reveal the patterns in human nature that lead to the election and support of corrupt government officials.

Mr. Jones is one of the only human characters described at length by Orwell in Animal Farm. A one-dimensional character, Mr. Jones is the enemy of Animal Farm. The pigs overthrow him and yet he is a wholly unsympathetic character who is as evil a tyrant as the animals make him out to be.

George Orwell's Animal Farm is a brilliant example of using symbolism to convey political commentary. Like the author's 1984, Animal Farm is laden with references to modern history. The novel's central themes include those related to organized labor, capitalism, and communism.

The book begins with Old Major, a prize-winning boar turned visionary. A dream inspired Old Major to speak to the animals on the Manor Farm, telling them that the animals must work hard to extricate themselves from human oppression. Old Major dies a few days after the speech and thus he becomes like a martyr. Immortalized, Old Major inspires the other animals and especially the pigs to work hard and fight Mr. Jones. After Mr. Jones is driven off the farm the pigs rename it Animal… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Animal Farm by George Orwell.  (2008, April 11).  Retrieved April 12, 2021, from

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"Animal Farm by George Orwell."  11 April 2008.  Web.  12 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Animal Farm by George Orwell."  April 11, 2008.  Accessed April 12, 2021.