Animal Farm Summative Essay
Animal Farm is an allegorical novel by George Orwell. It is considered to be an allegory because the farm and the various controversies within it are representing Russia’s condition before and after its overthrow of the tyrannical tsar. The novel explores more than just political conflicts – it shows the lengths human nature and gluttony can go, how surplus of power can destroy the truest of morality, how greed is present in every governing system, and no book, rule, or law can obliterate avarice. It also cleverly observes how humans alter their relationships and mask their true feelings towards others for their own security, and this course of action is evident in the relationship between Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington.
Napoleon plays a greater role in the aftermath of the rebellion, rather than evoking the rebellion itself, and Mr. Pilkington does not play a great role in the novel until after the rebellion. Napoleon, from the very beginning, is made out to be an antagonist as he indulges in all sorts of suspicious activity, and constantly engages in arguments with Snowball, his partner in looking after the new “liberal” Animal Farm. The Seven Commandments are against everything man stands for, including Pilkington of Foxwood, and even if they do not have a direct relationship with each other in the beginning, Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon are enemies, because, as Old Major had once said, “Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever” (4).
Napoleon and Snowball have a very idealistic view of Animal Farm, but Napoleon’s attitude towards everything is noticed to be changed after the overthrow of Snowball. His hatred towards the other farmers had already started to falter when their rations fell short, but it is perceived that Napoleon started favoring Mr. Pilkington as he was against Frederick of Pinchfield, where Snowball was rumored to have resided. But their relationship is much like a seesaw as Napoleon goes through a phase of indecisiveness as to whether or not trust Mr. Pilkington as he had declined him any help during the Battle of the Windmill. For instance, when he had sent the pigeons to ask for help, Mr. Pilkington only replied with, “Serves
As the novel progresses, the commandments are slowly altered, and this shows that Napoleon’s mind is slowly changing, his attitude towards the commandments are changing, and his attitude towards the humans are changing as well. For instance, the commandment “No animal shall sleep in a bed,” is altered to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,” for Napoleon’s own luxury, and this not only shows that Napoleon has a new outlook on life, but also a new outlook on humans – not only that, but he alters all commandments, showing he is becoming more and more like a human every day, until finally, the day comes when he stands on his hind legs, indulges himself in alcohol, and is seen to be playing poker with Mr. Pilkington. The most important chapter concerning Napoleon’s relationship with Mr. Pilkington would be the last chapter of the novel when the pair are chatting and laughing, when they both draw aces in a game of poker. This signifies the looming power struggle between the two. Both Napoleon and Pilkington are striving to be the stronger party and will stoop to any level to emerge the winner.
At the beginning of the novel Napoleon treats Pilkington with heavy disdain, and tries to form an isolated community of self-sufficient animals. As the novel progresses Napoleon engages in trade with Pilkington’s farm, and conspires with him to frame Snowball and make him appear a traitor. His relationship with Pilkington is purely selfish and both of them after the same end, to be the stronger of the two farms. To conclude, in Napoleon’s pursuit of creating his idealistic socialist utopia, he ended up turning into the evil he set out to banish, and turning into what all the animals dreaded – turning into a human, just like Pilkington, which is why “it was impossible to tell which was which”(89).
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