.. animal’s heart driven motivations drives them to individually try and make life better for themselves and leads the pigs towards greediness and the eventual assertion of power. The pigs go through the Jones’s farm house and eventually come away with all its clothing, excess food and alcohol three things that eventually set them apart from the rest of the animals.
We can see this lead to the argument, inherent in the episode, that man will always be driven towards such things as private property another evident criticism of Marxist belief. The materialistic understanding of society, however, is a nod to Marxist analysis, though the notion that men are so different that can not fully be understood is but another criticism.Orwell did, however, want the tendencies that lead some men to guide societies and other men to obey them, to fade away; in effect, he wanted to change the state of nature that led to hierarchal social structures. As critic Alex Zwerdling eloquently puts it in Orwell and the Left: The born victim and the born ruler; each acts his part in an almost predestined way. The victim’s humility and shame become reflex responses; the ruler shifts uneasily between arbitrary assertion of power and the guilty gestures of charity.
Orwell suggests that no amount of good will on either side can make this fundamental property of power tolerable. The task is to shatter the molds from which such men are made (18). Orwell’s disgust of the social structure that separated men and economic classes from one another can clearly be see in an episode from Down and Out in Paris, where, as a dishwasher, Orwell noticed how social hierarchies developed everywhere.Referring to the fact that no workers in the hotel where he washed dishes could wear moustaches, he writes: This gives some idea of the elaborate caste system existing in a hotel. Our staff, amounting to about a hundred and ten, had their prestige graded as accurately as that of soldiers, and a cook or a waiter was as much above a plongeur as a captain above a private (Pages From..
, 22). Calling the set-up of the hotel staff a caste system, Orwell implies that there is very little chance for upward mobility where one is employed as well the implicit nature of contentment within that system. Those at the bottom, like the horses in Animal Farm change very little when there are changes at the top of the system because they just want to do their job; maybe they want to do their job a little harder now, but nothing else changes especially their place in society after realizing Napoleon is just another Mr. Jones.They are the proletariat, like the plongeur in the hotel who only worries about keeping his job to keep his children fed and his days filled. It is a proletariate quite different than Marx’s; it is a proletariate unaware of a lot going on around them and preoccupied with the notion of bringing home the bacon. Orwell’s critique of Marx is that Marx believed too much in a rationalized, educated proletariate that asserts Orwell can never exist. To Orwell, the proletariate is too easily swayed by its leaders as well as its guiding ideologies.
As mentioned previously, it are the leaders which Orwell detests just as much as a society that allows them to emerge.In Animal Farm, the proletariate is not very swift in recognizing its situations. The animals, indoctrinated by a discourse of revolution put forth by the pigs and perpetuated by the Seven Commandments painted on the barn wall and the song of the revolution Beasts of England do not realize that as the state of their society changes every time the discourse gets molded by a leader, it stays the same. The Seven Commandments, by the end of the novel, eventually become one commandment and Beasts of England, a song taught to the animals by old Major, is replaced by Animal Farm, a song taught by Minimus, the poet. The replacement of Beasts of England’.
. Marks the crucial change from collective longing for a freer existence to a government-enforced enthusiasm for a utopia officially proclaimed as now achieved (Twayne, 37).It is the replacement of Beasts of England where Old Major’s (Marx’s) Animalism, represented by its lyrics, graphically fails succumbing to a simple song such as Animal Farm. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell points out the eventual dystopian drawbacks of governmental control of the social discourse to a much further extent. In Animal Farm, it is Boxer, the hard-working horse who gives his life to the cause, who pledges his allegiance to Napoleon; his speech is indicative of the discourse fed to him day in and day out. What Ignazio Silone’s rank-and-file-Fascist thinks’ If my leader acts in this manner, it must be right!’ Boxer says aloud.
Napoleon is always right,’ intones the horse at just the crucial moment when a sign of his disapproval or even doubt might have stalled, if not thwarted, Napoleon’s bid for sole power (Twayne, 94-95). Boxer’s trust in his leader is faulty because it is a trust in an orthodox philosophy of society such as Marxism, according to Orwell.Orwell’s view on society is that of moderate Marxist. It is true that many faults are found in old Major’s (Marx’s) Animalism, but they are exploited so much so as to learn from them and further Orwell’s own Animalism based on Marxist ideologies. Their lessons Orwell’s lessons are that utopias such as old Major’s might never exist and that an extremist ideology such as Marxism can never accomplish what it is intended to accomplish. We can see this if we look to the fact that, Animalism, obviously communism, is significantly not instituted according to plan.
The rebellion occurs spontaneously: once again Jones neglects to feed the animals, who break into the barn for food when they can stand it no longer’ (21) (Lee, 43). The revolution occurred not because of Marxist theory, but from a natural need hunger.This is not to say though, that Orwell did not want change in the system. Orwell did, like Marx, want revolutionary change to occur and agreed with the Marxist principle that rebellions would spread and hoped that they would eventually lead to new democratically Socialist societies. Orwell did not, though, believe that revolution would be successful.
We see this in Animal Farm when Animalism is suppressed by farmers after word of the Rebellion and its apparent success spreads and animals turn rebellious. Though we hear little of these other societies, the idea that revolutionary social change is bound to occur in them comes in the form of what the farmers think when they listen to their animals singing Animalism’s hymn, Beasts of England: Rumours of a wonderful farm, where the human beings had been turned out and the animals managed their own affairs, continued to circulate in vague and distorted forms, and throughout that year a wave of rebelliousness ran through the countryside.Bulls which had always been tractable suddenly turned savage, sheep broke down hedges and devoured the clover.. The human beings could not contain their rage when they heard [Beasts of England’].
. Any animal caught singing it was given a flogging on the spot..
And when the human beings listened to it, they secretly trembled, hearing in it a prophecy of their future doom (45-46). The question emerging from this scene is how long can these farmers vent their anger on rebellious animals before those animals are driven so far as to rise up and rebel as Manor Farm’s animals did, if they can at all.When a revolution does occur, however, as it does on Manor Farm, it eventually shatters and forms a whole new society in need of another, as it does on Manor Farm, a microcosm of revolutionary societies.
It is a comment on the ever-increasing gap in the distribution of wealth and its affects on the proletariate as well as a criticism on Marxist theory of revolutions and dialectic materialism. Combined with Orwell’s theories on man, Orwell is opposing here more than the Soviet or Stalinist experience. Both the consciousness of the workers and the possibility of an authentic revolution are denied (Williams, 73). In Animal Farm, Orwell, like Marx in many of writings, wrote for the common man whose place in society was of utmost importance but of little recognition. Orwell’s use of satire in the form of a fairy story, as he calls it on its title page, to get his point across shows his indignation for hard-core ideological doctrines whose purposes are to lead to the eventual destruction of a society.Another general aim of Animal Farm as a satire is to offer itself as an example of temperate, responsible criticism in no way a rancorous verbal assault (Twayne, 106).
It is a generally sympathetic criticism of Marxism that offers to ease many of Marx’s statements about man, revolution, religion and society. It is a moderate Marxism whose definitive ideas are not really stated, but whose ideology surely exists throughout the novel. Orwell’s Animalism shares many of the same beliefs as Marxism, but its political goals are not as extreme, its trust in revolution is not as confident and its (Orwell’s) forecast of the future is not as utopian as Marx’s.
Successful Animalism is the political and social doctrine George Orwell waited years to write; often misconstrued and rarely considered more than a criticism of totalitarianism, its natural tendency to be compared with Marxism has been too often overlooked. Selected Bibliography: Daniels, Robert V.Trotsky, Stalin and Socialism.
Boulder: Westview Press. 1991. Lee, Robert A. The Uses of Form: A Reading of Animal Farm, Critical Essays on George Orwell, by Bernard Oldsley and Joseph Browne.Boston: G.K. Hall & Co. 1986.
Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. Preface.A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, reprinted in Selected Works in Two Volumes, Volume One Moscow. 1962. —. The Communist Manifesto.
New York: Pathfinder Press. 1987.—. On Britain. Moscow. 1962.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm.New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, Inc. 1946. —. The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, Volume Four. Orwell, Sonia and Ian Angus, eds.London: Secker and Warbug.
1968. —. The English Civil War, New Statesman and Nation.
24 August 1940. —.Pages from a Scullion’s Diary: An Extract from Down and Out in Paris and London.
London: Penguin Books. 1995. —. Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.1949.
Rai, Alok. Orwell and the Politics of Despair. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1988. Schaff, Adam. Marxism and the Human Individual.
New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.1970. Smyer, Richard I.
Animal Farm: Pastoralism and Politics. Boston: Twayne Publishers. 1988.
Symons, Julian. Introduction.Animal Farm. By George Orwell. New York: Everyman’s Press. 1993.
Trotsky, Leon. Stalin School of Falsification.Russia. 1931.
Varlamov, K. Socialist Management: The Leninist Concept. Moscow: Progress Publishers. 1977. Voorhees, Richard J.The Paradox of George Orwell. Iowa: Purdue University Research Foundation.
1961. Williams, Raymond. George Orwell. New York: The Viking Press.
1971.Zwerdling, Alex. Orwell and the Left. New Haven: Yale University Press.
1974. Bibliography right out of my ass Mythology.