Although I already knew that in this work, written as if it were a children’s story, Orwell makes an allegory to the Russian Revolution; it is inevitable to find a certain similarity with our current society.
In the book, it is clear that humans are being portrayed as animals, and each animal species reflects each of the different human groups that live within a country (represented in this case by the Manor Farm and its surroundings), I was not at all surprised that the most powerful people were represented by pigs.
At first, farm animals are instructed into the Animalism by an elderly pig which the animals called Old Major. This iconic character, which is assumed to be the representation of Marx, is responsible for encouraging animals to carry out the long-awaited revolution; however, I am sure he never imagined that any of his disciples would become a power-hungry monster.
Once the rebellion takes place, it is tangibly appreciated that the animals do not know how to proceed from now on; the establishment of the new Animal Farm occurs in complete disarray. By this point, the Old Major is already dead and two pigs have taken the lead: Napoleon and Snowball. During the first year, everything is sweet as honey, the animals are pleased with what they have achieved and with what they own now (more food, greater work efficiency, better rest, etc. ) however, the constant arguments and discrepancies between Napoleon and Snowball begin to confuse the animals who do not know whom to listen to; they had a blind faith in the decisions made by the pigs, and they assumed that whatever the pigs said was right and there were no major questions.
What happens with most revolutions or social conflicts is that they revolve around itself, which leads them to end up right where they started, exactly where they originally wanted to escape from. This is what happens to the animal rebellion. Napoleon became what he once hated. His ego became so inflated that he used the trust and respect that the others had for him to benefit personally while the animals continued to suffer hunger and misery.
The role of the pig called Squealer is of valuable importance to Napoleon’s government since it fulfills the role of being the main spokesman for the powerful pig. Usually misrepresenting history and even imparting fear among animals, squealer led them to believe that the present situation they were in was better than the one they had before; and although they saw their food rations reduced, if the pigs said everything was fine, then it was because it had to be true. The premise “All animals are equal”, the main maxim of animalism; was used by leaders to manipulate the animal population.
Finally, with horror, the animals discover that their leader was negotiating trade deals with their enemies, the humans. At this point, Orwell’s description about revolutionists, about the transformation they experience once they come to power, is exquisite.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
Back to the starting point; to dream again of that utopian nation in which animals are free and all are equal.