Animal Farm, by George Orwell, represents a very interesting and complex satire on communism and the Russian Revolution. It tackles various themes, such as greed, leaders and followers, betrayal, propaganda, appearances, and reality. Greed itself is a predominant theme in Animal Farm and one that needs further research and study.
The Reflection of Greed in the Characters
The author develops this theme through the characters and the use of irony. The story contains many symbolic images, especially because a number of real characters, some common or powerful people, are portrayed through allegorical farm animals. Greed presents different faces, such as of alcohol, food, and power (Bloom 2009).
Mr. Jones drinks to excess, so he ends up losing his power over the farm, enabling the animals to take charge. In his speech, Old Major the pig accuses him of taking everything from animals and not offering anything in exchange, “yet he is the lord of animals” (Orwell 4). After coming to power, Napoleon the pig did the same thing: as his power increased, so did his greed. The moral philosophy of the story shows there were no visible differences between men and pigs: “the creatures looked from pig to man, and from man to pig … but already it was impossible to say which was which” (Orwell 88).
Basically, the greed transformed Napoleon into Mr. Jones and worse, because he became like a man: a greedy, selfish dictator. The dogs had almost the same behavior, taking most of the power for themselves (Mills 2011).
In conclusion, the greed of power corrupted the leaders, and they turned on their fellow animals. This scenario refers, of course, to the fact that communism implies no equity, being the mask of another form of dictatorship.
Bloom, Harold. George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Chelsea House Publications, 2009.
Mills, Catriona. George’s Orwell Animal Farm. Insight Publications, 2011.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
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