Animal Farm's Symbolism: Its Influential Power

Categories: Politics

Animals are used as props for historical personalities and events in George Orwell's allegorical novella "Animal Farm," which was released in 1945. The novel is rife with symbolism that express deeper meanings and provide light on the difficulties of power and corruption, beyond its surface plot of animals defeating their human oppressors to create a utopian society. The extensive symbolism used in "Animal Farm" and its enormous effects on the human condition will be examined in this essay.

One of the most notable symbols in "Animal Farm" is the farm itself, which stands in for Russia and, by extension, any civilization where political upheavals take place.

Manor Farm's transition into Animal Farm is meant to represent the 1917 Russian Revolution and the subsequent establishment of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks lead by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Tsarist government and established a socialist state, just as the animals overthrow the human farmer Mr. Jones and institute a new order.

The people depicted in "Animal Farm" are symbolic representations of actual people.

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For instance, Karl Marx and his socialist philosophies are embodied by Old Major, the sage and venerated boar. Much like Marx's works motivated the working class to seek emancipation from their oppressors, Old Major's stirring speech inspires the other animals to imagine a world free of human domination.

Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader who consolidated power via deceit and brutality, is represented by Napoleon, the cunning and cruel pig who seizes control of the farm. Stalin's autocratic leadership, which was characterized by purges and the repression of opposition, is analogous to Napoleon's control over the other animals.

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Snowball, a vibrant and clever pig who stands in for Leon Trotsky, a significant person in the early days of the Soviet Union, is another significant emblem. Animalistic ideals are in line with Snowball's plans for the farm, but their disagreements with Napoleon result in Snowball's expulsion, reflecting Trotsky's eventual exile and murder.

A key symbolic element in "Animal Farm" is the windmill. The windmill depicts industry and modernization in the Soviet Union, and it was originally intended to be a representation of development and the labor of all the animals. But because Napoleon takes advantage of the animals' labor to achieve his own goals, much like Stalin did with propaganda, it also shows how language and propaganda can be used to influence public opinion.

Similar to revolutionary anthems that motivated the populace during political upheavals, the song "Beasts of England" serves as a potent rallying cry for the animals. As the song develops, Napoleon's suppression of it stands in for the censorship of knowledge and the rewriting of history to fit the interests of those in authority.

The devoted and diligent horse Boxer represents the proletariat, the working class that blindly supports the governing class. Boxer's loyalty and innocence serve as an example of how the ruling party takes advantage of the working class by profiting from their labor without offering them real rewards.

The farmhouse, which is initially seen as a depiction of tyranny, later comes to stand for the deceit and hypocrisy of the governing elite. The pigs betray the very animalism principles they once battled for as they take acquire human traits and privileges, symbolizing the Soviet leadership's transition into a governing class cut off from the people.

The hens' defiance of Napoleon's requests that they give up their eggs represents resistance to dictatorial control and the repression of personal freedoms. The courageous resistance of the chickens, despite their terrible repression, symbolizes the fortitude of people in the face of repressive governments.

The futility of war and the use of patriotism for political purposes are both represented by the Battle of the Windmill. The pigs' attempts to change the story and depict themselves as the farm's saviors contrast with the animals' bravery in the face of hardship.

The great work of symbolism "Animal Farm" tackles the difficulties of authority, revolution, and human nature. As well as allowing for a sophisticated assessment of historical events and political ideas, Orwell's use of animals as symbols also makes the book approachable and familiar to readers of all ages. "Animal Farm" is still a timeless and current examination of the perils of totalitarianism and the necessity of vigilance in defending the ideals of democracy and individual freedom through its allegorical storyline.

Updated: Aug 11, 2023
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Animal Farm's Symbolism: Its Influential Power. (2023, Aug 11). Retrieved from

Animal Farm's Symbolism: Its Influential Power essay
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