George Orwell wrote “Animal Farm” in 1945 as a parody on the Russian Revolution. Orwell was a socialist and felt that communism did not work and that there was corruption in the leadership. The novel struggled to be published initially as people recognised the subtle insults which it contained. Orwell wanted to show how ignorance and indifference could lead to a horrific life for the ordinary people. The novel is a satire using irony and sarcasm the expose the vices of communism.
One of the seven commandments created by the animals is ” all animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others” this shows Orwell’s sarcastic ridicule of the communist system . Conflict is major theme in Animal Farm, every situation which occurs demonstrates how the animals or the humans use force to take whatever they want. The humans attack the farm and the animals defend what they have already taken by force. The animals fight among themselves, unsure of how to use the power which they find themselves with.
As the novel is a fable, some of the violence is comical. The comical tone removes some of the serious aspects and keeps the fable’s balance. The novel is a parody on the Russian Revolution and the creation of the USSR and relates to communist revolutions. It emphasises the quotation that “Power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely”. There are two battles in the fable, the battle of the cowshed and the battle of the windmill.
In both these battles, the humans try and take Animal Farm from the animals after they have taken it from Mr. Jones, the farm The Battle of the Cowshed takes place early in the novel when the tone is still optimistic and bright. This is the honeymoon period of the revolution, when everything is going well and the reader really wants a victory for the animals. It is a parody of the Russian Civil War and Trotsky/Snowball’s role in it. Orwell chooses to mock the USSR/Soviets glorious version of their history.
This is shown in the very title “Battle of the Cowshed”. As this is a fable, Snowball is shown to be both clever and cunning which is the usual way pigs are represented in fables. However he also gives other aspects to his character which go beyond the traditional fable. In the battle of the Windmill, it opens with a short sentence which suggests action, and the fact that they are at breakfast shows that they are prepared compared to the Battle of the Cowshed.
During the battle of the Cowshed phrases like “skirmishing manoeuver” and “ line of attack” were used to describe what was happening while in the battle of the Windmill not as many military terms words and phrases were used. In the battle of the cowshed all “military“ movements had been gotten from a child’s book by Julius Caesar, used by young children to learn Latin, but in the battle of the windmill they were against a stronger army, a half dozen of guns, and less military terms therefore it was less professional as the last battle.
The battle of the Cowshed was more effective that the battle of the Windmill. In these battles there is a lot of contrast, e. g. In the battle of the Cowshed they were braver than in the battle of the Windmill when they were more cowardly. After the battle of the windmill the animal knew that had won but they did not see it as a victory. When Napoleon shoots the gun Boxer asks why he was doing that and he replies that it was a victory but Boxer says that it was not a victory.
This compared to the end of the battle of the Cowshed is different as then everyone was happy and celebrating. The other conflict is between Napoleon and Snowball. As this is a parody they are representing people. Snowball is Trotsky and Napoleon is representing Stalin. They were both leaders. But from the beginning they seem to challenge one another. In weekly debates held by the animals in the Barn Napoleon and snowball were by far the most active. In these debates it was noticed by the animals that they were never in agreement.
Snowball was good at setting the Animals to work but he also set up committees for the animals. These committees had ridiculous names. For example, “Egg Production Committee” for the hens and “The Whiter Wool Movement” for the sheep. But Napoleon had nothing to do with this. He felt that the education of the young was more important. So he took puppies from the Dogs and said he would educate them personally. These dogs where later used to attack Snowball showing that even early in the revolution Napoleon wanted more power.