Animal Farm is a novel by George Orwell published in England in 1945. It is an allegory, an animal satire of the events leading up to the Stalin era before the Second World War. It portrays corrupted leadership as the fault in rebellion and revolution instead of the act itself. Orwell explained from where he got the idea of Animal Farm: "It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat".
The story begins with a speech by Old Major, a white boar, who feels it’s his duty to inform the animals about rebellion before he passes away. He starts by making the animals realize that their lives are miserable, they are only used to produce for man and when no longer needed are killed. According to Old Major the problem is man; they consume without producing and yet are in charge, the animals aren’t free. Throughout the speech Old Major refers to the animals as comrades and this term is used the rest of the book, ‘all men are enemies, all animals are comrades’. When fighting men though, animals must not resemble him; they cannot live in his house, sleep, in a bed, wear clothes, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, touch money, or engage in trade. No animal must tyrannize over his kind or kill another animal. All animals are equal.
This speech is extremely important because it is what moves the animals towards rebellion and the list of ‘do nots’ is important later on because it shall be broken and altered by Napoleon. Old Major is an allegory of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, the founders of communism. His skull was hung on the barn wall which resembles Lenin’s body that was put in display as well.
Old Major’s dream the previous night was his inspiration for his speech, in that dream his mother sang to him ‘Beast of England’. He taught the animals the song and it becomes the anthem of the rebellion. Old Major died three nights...