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Honesty: Animal Farm One on One


honesty: Animal Farm One on One

Revolution is the inevitable fate of all revolutions past and future. The plot, at least in its main outlines, is not the product of creative imagination, but of the actual course of Russian history. The pigs had objectives other than the benefits and the good of the other animals. Since he loses his money and property in a lawsuit, he becomes extremely harsh to his animals on the farm. But these characteristics are neither innate nor unchangeable. 27 Of course Orwell broke with this background, abandoned his career with the Indian police, rejected many of the values of his class and became a champion of the common man. Even the central question of socialism in one country, which is given less prominence than the Windmill/industrialisation debate, is treated merely as logic chopping, a six-of-one half-a-dozen of the other argument with no significant influence on the fate of the farm/revolution. Benjamin: The Friendly Donkey, the oldest animal on the farm, Benjamin is a wise and educated donkey who can read well. This is intended to parallel Marxs critique of capitalism and of the exploitation of the working class by the bourgeoisie. The cruel pigs of the farm send him to Knackers yard to be slaughtered in order to get some money and personal favours.

If Animal Farm had contained a separate Lenin figure this would not in itself have resolved the matter (any more than it does in real life) but it would at least have permitted the continuity to be questioned within the terms of the text. Old Major (so he was fatboy slim bio always called, though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hours sleep in order to hear what he had to say. In one Lenin was from the outset a totalitarian personality bent on absolute personal power; in another it is the Leninist concept of the party that is the prime source of the totalitarian evil; in a third it is the very project of revolution that. It has a particular appeal, I think, to those socialists for whom Homage to Catalonia has been formative reading and who are therefore inclined to read me rest of Orwells work in its light, seeing Animal Farm as broadly a Trotskyist account of the rise. This may seem an unreasonable line of argument in that a beast fable of 120 pages obviously cannot reproduce with any great exactitude all the complexity of the Russian Revolution and its degeneration. Not a novel in the usual sense, it is an explicit political fable-an unmistakable allegory of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism-in which the characters are transparent symbols of either historical individuals (Old Major/Karl Marx, Snowball/Leon Trotsky) or particular social types (Moses/the priest.

Boxer was an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together. The one argued that if they could not defend themselves they were bound to be conquered, the other argued that if rebellions happened everywhere they would have no need to defend themselves.


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