Exploring Conflicts in George Orwell's Animal Farm

Categories: Novel

George Orwell's Animal Farm, a controversial and thought-provoking masterpiece, delves into the intricacies of society and governance through the lens of a farm overtaken by animals. Published in 1945, the book, initially faced with challenges in publication, has evolved into one of the most widely read and discussed works of our time. Utilizing allegorical storytelling, Orwell weaves a narrative that transcends mere fable, providing layers of meaning accessible to both children and adults.

Within the tapestry of Animal Farm, conflicts emerge on multiple fronts, revealing the fragility of utopian ideals and the harsh realities of power dynamics.

The following analysis further explores the nuanced layers of conflict, examining how Orwell ingeniously portrays the clash between ideology and manipulation, internal discord among the animals, and the deceptive façade presented by the ruling pigs.

The Genesis of Conflict: Old Major's Dream

The story commences with Old Major, the esteemed middle white boar and a symbolic representation of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. Old Major, possessing both respect and knowledge, shares a dream with his fellow animals—a dream devoid of humans, the supposed root cause of their misery.

Get quality help now
Marrie pro writer
Marrie pro writer
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Conflict

star star star star 5 (204)

“ She followed all my directions. It was really easy to contact her and respond very fast as well. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

He emphatically declares, "Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever."

Following Old Major's demise, the pigs, recognized as the most intelligent among the animals, assume leadership. Tensions simmer between Napoleon and Snowball, akin to the historical rivalry between Stalin and Trotsky. The narrative unfolds, revealing conflicts between the two pigs despite their professed pursuit of a better life for all animals on the farm.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

Orwell masterfully employs vivid imagery to illustrate the gathering of animals in the barn, echoing the assembly of revolutionaries planning a rebellion. The barn becomes a metaphorical crucible of dissent, as Old Major's vision stirs the collective consciousness of the animals. The dichotomy between the idyllic fable told to children and the allegorical depth understood by adults adds layers to the narrative, fostering a rich exploration of societal conflict.

The Erosion of Unity: Dogs, Windmills, and Blame

As the rebellion progresses, animosity between Napoleon and Snowball intensifies. Napoleon, fearing a challenge to his leadership, employs cunning tactics, such as training a litter of pups as his personal guard dogs. In a climactic confrontation, Napoleon unleashes these "fierce dogs" on Snowball, banishing him from the farm. Orwell strategically employs vivid adjectives like "fierce" to underscore the palpable tension between the pigs, leaving Napoleon in uncontested control.

The construction of a windmill, initially Snowball's brainchild, becomes a focal point of conflict. Napoleon seizes the opportunity to claim credit for the windmill's inception, further sowing discord among the animals. Orwell skillfully employs descriptive language to portray the animals as metaphorical slaves, toiling tirelessly without adequate sustenance. The author employs simple yet powerful sentences like "November came with raging south west winds" to create a vivid atmosphere before describing a violent storm that demolishes the windmill, conveniently blamed on the absent Snowball.

Orwell's use of natural elements, such as the raging winds and the violent storm, serves as a metaphor for the tumultuous socio-political climate. The animals, working tirelessly to build a better future, face the harsh realities of nature as their efforts are thwarted by external forces. This cyclical pattern of hope and despair deepens the thematic exploration of conflict within the narrative, reflecting the broader struggles faced by societies attempting to break free from oppressive systems.

The Deceptive Facade: Manipulation of Commandments

Beyond tangible conflicts, Orwell explores the subtle clash between appearances and reality. Throughout the narrative, the pigs manipulate the commandments to justify Napoleon's actions. Squealer, the embodiment of propaganda, convinces the animals that Snowball collaborated with humans in the "battle of the cowshed." The commandments, once clear declarations of equality, gradually transform into the paradoxical mantra, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

The animals, struggling to recall alterations to the commandments, succumb to a distorted reality shaped by the pigs. Orwell unveils a profound commentary on the malleability of truth and the power of propaganda. The "battle of the cowshed" serves as a poignant example of how historical events are manipulated to suit the pigs' narrative, blurring the lines between truth and fiction.

The manipulation of language, embodied by Squealer's persuasive rhetoric, becomes a central theme in Animal Farm. Orwell, drawing parallels to real-world political discourse, emphasizes the pivotal role language plays in shaping perceptions and justifying actions. The pigs' ability to redefine and reinterpret the commandments mirrors the manipulative nature of propaganda in societal contexts, urging readers to reflect on the precarious nature of truth in the face of linguistic manipulation.


In conclusion, George Orwell's Animal Farm transcends its status as a mere fable, offering a multi-layered exploration of conflicts inherent in societal structures. From the ideological clash between Old Major and Mr. Jones to the power struggles among the pigs, Orwell crafts a narrative that invites readers to reflect on the complexities of governance, manipulation, and the elusive nature of truth. As the windmill crumbles and commandments morph, the farm becomes a microcosm of the societal struggles Orwell observed in the real world.

The extended analysis presented herein underscores the depth and richness of Animal Farm, portraying conflict not merely as physical confrontations but as nuanced struggles embedded in the fabric of society. Orwell's masterful storytelling and astute observations compel readers to navigate the intricate webs of power, deception, and ideological strife. Thus, Animal Farm stands as a timeless work, urging us to question authority, scrutinize language, and remain vigilant in the face of conflicts that shape our collective destinies.

Updated: Jan 10, 2024
Cite this page

Exploring Conflicts in George Orwell's Animal Farm. (2016, Dec 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/george-orwells-animal-farm-conflicts-essay

Exploring Conflicts in George Orwell's Animal Farm essay
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment