George Orwell's Animal Farm

George Orwell's Animal Farm

Themes in George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Animal farm is an anti-utopian satire that was written by George Orwell and published in 1945. The book is focused on the story of a group of farm animals that rebel against their owner. These farm animals aim at creating a community where the animals can enjoy freedom, equality, and happiness. According to Bloom (2009), this book's idea originated from the events of the Spanish Civil War. It is identified as a political fable based on Russia's' Bolshevik revolution and Joseph Stalin's betrayal. The Animal Farm involves a group of barnyard animals who overthrow and get rid of their oppressive human masters to start an egalitarian community. However, the pigs form a tyranny that is more exploitative and oppressive than the human masters. Hence, the essay focuses on the themes in George Orwell's Animal Farm.


The book; Animal Farm is characterized by political satire against the autocratic society dominated by oppressive leaders. Orwell directly attacks the Russian Communism for their perspective on Stalinism. According to Orwell (2014), after a long mistreatment period, the animals on the manor farms overrule their human leader. The satire is directed towards the incidents of the Russian Revolution and the dictatorial regime. In this case, the story incorporates situational, dramatic, and verbal irony. The situational irony was evident in the book when a memorial celebration was held for Boxer's demise. It was ironic because the pigs celebrated his death and used the money from his sale to purchase the liquor.

On the other hand, verbal sarcasm occurs when the animals are given commandments that they should follow but are secretly altered by pigs when they discover the benefits of living as humans. In chapter six, the readers can predict the pigs' plans, but the animals are not aware of the situations or are too scared to retaliate against the pigs (Orwell. 2014). This is a display of an individual's ignorance in the community via dramatic irony.


Greed and corruption by the human farmers were the main reason the animals staged a coup. Once the pigs had taken over the animal kingdom's leadership, they displayed the same acts of corruption as the farmers. In Chapter One, the author notes that even the Old Major is not incorruptible. This is regardless of his view that "all animals are equal (Orwell, 2014)." Based on the book, power breeds corruption since those in leadership positions begin to resemble the ruthless master.


Animal Farm has used satire to describe the different aspects of dictatorship that exist in society. It demonstrates the politician's ability to manipulate and oppress others. According to Orwell (2014), Napoleon embodies a power-centered individual who covers his corrupt activities under the disguise that they are conducted for the farm's benefit. For instance, he was stealing the apples and milk and masked the lie by stating that these foods have nutritional benefits that will aid the pigs in their managerial objectives. This theme highlights that it is common for leaders to become the enemies of progress.

The Failure of Intellect

In Animal Farm, the pigs are considered as the most intelligent animals. However, the pigs have used their intelligence to manipulate and exploit other animals. In chapter 3, the dogs are illiterate, but they are hesitant to gain knowledge and learn anything apart from the Seven Commandments. In this case, intellect is viewed as harmful, especially when incorporated with a personality focused on obeying requests rather than questioning them.

Class Stratification

The author pinpoints the presence of class tyranny to develop and re-establish class systems. This is evident even in communities that claim to stand for equality. Initially, the classes are linked together since they share a common enemy. The animals went against humans when they worked together. Nonetheless, the animals became internally divided when Mr. Jones was expelled and a power vacuum created. According to Orwell, the class divisions take precedence when those with superior intelligence use the opportunity to exploit society. This theme illustrates the threat that class stratification has on freedom and democracy.

False Allegiance

False allegiance is visible in peoples' ability to proclaim their allegiance and go against their true intentions when they achieve their objectives. As per the story, the pigs who led the rebellion betray the other animals by going against their principles. Additionally the first scene highlights that Napoleon and Pilkington discussion is characterized by flattery, nevertheless they are both trying to cheat each other. Orwell indicates that the "friendly" game of cards is an act that hides the peoples' desire to destroy the opponent. 

George Orwell has used his skill to highlight the evils that characterize the society and the leaders' influence in attaining freedom. The themes provide a summary of the main ideas presented in the novel. Further, they are essential in demonstrating the attributes of the characters and their contribution to the book's general ideas.


Bloom, H. (Ed.). (2009). George Orwell's Animal Farm. Infobase Publishing.

Orwell, G. (2014). Animal Farm. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, INC.

Published on: 5 Sep 2020

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