Animal Farm is a novel which talks about the events that happened on a Manor Farm. Mr. Jones, its owner, was a mean and drunken man who exploited animals. Thus, they felt that they needed some freedom so that the produce of their labor could be theirs and not provided to the human beings. They were guided by the animalism philosophy, which was based on the seven commandments. After some time, Snowball and Napoleon started to fight for power. At the end of the novel, Napoleon and other pigs decided to exploit other animals and took advantage of them. In this way, they broke the animalism rule, started interacting with the human beings for business, walked on two legs and wore clothes.
The animals imagined freedom in the farm, which is portrayed by the dreams of old Major who thought about “The Beasts of England”. Major did not like the nature of life they were leading as animals in the farm. “I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you” (Orwell 3). Hence, he called a meeting to explain his dream that was revealed in the song “The Beasts of England.” The main aim was to share his wisdom with other animals and prove that they needed freedom.
The characters of the book lived in a land which was controlled by the human beings at the expense of their exploitation as whatever they produced was taken by people. Major imagined that their freedom could be achieved through the elimination of humans. “There, comrades is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word—man. The man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever” (Orwell 3). To make their dream about freedom reality, Snowball and Napoleon started to prepare other animals for the rebellion. It was a purposeful revolt against Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm, for the creatures to take control over the land.
However, after Mr. Jones was evicted from the place, no freedom was achieved. Although the animals tried to create a fair and free society by being guided by the animalism principles and seven commandments, there existed some barriers. To summarize the rule, the animals developed a statement “Four legs good. Two legs bad,” meaning that no creature should adop the habits of the human beings. All animals were equal and had to work together to achieve freedom.
The efforts of the heroes of the book to make their dream reality provoke a question of whether they really attained it. It is true that the animals tried their best to live in a fair society, but it was not made possible. After Mr. Jones was expelled from the farm, they enjoyed some degree of freedom as the produce that they harvested became theirs and they did not suffer from hunger and exploitation because of some impediments. Nevertheless, the first barrier was the human beings. The fact that they depended on animals for survival meant that they were superior. Expelling the man was the only solution for the creatures to gain freedom, but it was also the biggest challenge. They first managed to live without him, but as the story ends, Napoleon was influenced by the man again and started doing business with him. He exploited other animals, which meant that their produce would still benefit their enemies.
Another impediment was power greediness. The inhabitants of the farm were all equal, but after the death of Major, Snowball and Napoleon became heads of the place. With time, they started fighting for leadership during the building of windmill, which was the idea of Snowball that Napoleon did not support. He announced that the Sunday morning meetings conducted by Snowball should come to an end and said that “In future, all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs, presided over by himself” (Orwell 23). It meant that the committee and Napoleon would meet privately and communicate their decisions to other animals. Thus, Napoleon became the dictator of the farm as he used dogs to silence those who were opposing the decisions. It resulted in a new policy of engaging in business with the animals’ enemies – the human beings. The pigs started sleeping in beds with sheets, which was against the seven commandments and animalism principles. All these aspects changed the freedom that the creatures had achieved previously.
Napoleon used his power to exploit the animals. Although he made a contract with Whymper for four hundred eggs per week, he was ruthless because he ordered hens’ rations to be stopped, and the animals found guilty of giving grain should have been punished. It resulted in the death of nine hens: “Nine hens had died in the meantime. Their bodies were buried in the orchard, and it was given out that they had died of coccidiosis” (Orwell 33). The way in which Napoleon treated some animals was questionable and facilitated the entrance of the human beings back into the farm. In the end, pigs started behaving like people: “It did not seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden with a pipe in his mouth—no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones’s clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on” (Orwell 57). It resulted in the change of the old saying from “Four legs good. Two legs bad” to “Four legs good. Two legs better”, which shows that it was challenging for the animals to achieve their freedom.
The impediments to the realization of freedom by animals were the human beings and the power. The book suggests that although they managed to expel the man from the farm during the cowshed rebellion, he managed to enter it again. Even though he did it indirectly by engaging in business with Napoleon, the human beings still used animals for their benefit. The latter thought that it was the exploitation as their produce was only for them.
Moreover, the seventh commandment stated that all animals were equal, which changed with time: “It did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought themselves a wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone, and had taken out subscriptions to John Bull, TitBits, and the Daily Mirror” (Orwell 57). In this case, the pigs felt that they had brains compared to other animals and thought that they were better. Earlier, the creatures could make decisions together, but after Napoleon came to leadership, there was a special committee, and the interests of animals were not presented. It influenced the policy and made it possible to engage in business with the human beings, which was against animalism and the seven commandments but took place due to the dictatorship of Napoleon. All these issues prove that the impediments could not be overcome as some animals were too selfish.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm. Penguin UK, 2000.