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The Tragic Consequences of the Rebellion on Animal Farm Essay Sample

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The Tragic Consequences of the Rebellion on Animal Farm Essay Sample

“The tragic consequences of the rebellion on Animal Farm could have been prevented”
What did go wrong on Animal Farm?

In George Orwell’s book ‘Animal Farm’, many things went wrong. Many agree that the consequences depicted in the book could have been avoided, but what really caused these tragic happenings? Did these consequences occur solely because of Napoleon’s dictatorship, or did the animals willingness to cooperate also contribute in the downfall of Animal Farm?

Napoleon was one of the main instigators of Animal Farm’s downfall. He was portrayed as a heartless and selfish dictator, who terrorized the other animals, and whom was willing to do anything, including murdering his comrades in order to gain power and authority. He did this using his guard dogs, who constantly monitored the animals and punished any that dared to go against Napoleon’s many commands.

Immediately after Jones had been removed from the farm, the animals chose to seek out a new leader to guide them through the revolution. They did this without thinking of the consequences that could occur, and thus they soon settled on Napoleon and Snowball. Napoleon, being the sly and cunning creature he was, hurriedly devised a plan which allowed him to get rid of Snowball, and ultimately remove any competition that would hinder him from being the only leader.

However, it can be argued that Napoleon’s dictatorship could not have occurred if the animals did not blindly and naively follow and believe every word that Napoleon planted into their minds, as it was the animals who willingly handed over their freedom and voice to Napoleon to do as he wished with them. One of the most naive of the animals, the sheep, was also used to Napoleon’s advantage. As they obviously could not read on their own, Napoleon firmly established the maxim ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’ into their consciousness, and caused them to repeat the phrase over and over until they themselves believed the nonsense they were reciting. The naivety of the animals was they key to which Napoleon was able to take over the farm so quickly and easily.

Another factor to consider was the way Napoleon terrorised his so-called comrades in order to gain power. He did this by using his personally trained guard dogs, who constantly monitored the animals and punished any that dared to go against Napoleon’s many commands.

Soon after Napoleon’s rule commenced, the animals found that the morale that had existed in Old Major’s time, and even Snowball’s time was slowly diminishing. There was soon a distinct division of equality that placed the pigs above all the other animals. The rules that were placed there to guide the animals were slowly altered without the other animals noticing to suit Napoleon and the pigs: “But a few days later Muriel, reading over the seven commandments to herself noticed that there was yet another of them which the animals had remembered wrong. They had thought the fifth commandment was “No animal shall drink alcohol,” but there were two words that they had forgotten. Actually the commandments read: “No animals shall drink alcohol to excess” (page 103). This continued on until and the rules were all-together removed and replaced with a single rule: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

The pigs also used their seemingly brighter minds to coerce the animals into agreeing with everything they said. This was especially the case with Squealer, as he had a way with words and could twist arguments to his advantage. The pigs used this as leverage over the other animals, stealing supplies and food in order to trade for their own wants such as whiskey. “Milk and apples contain substance absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brain works. The whole management and organization of this farm depended on us. Day and night we are watching over our well fare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat these apples. Do you know what happens of we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back!” 

Napoleon, along with many other crimes, also severely abused his power being the leader of the animals. He never raised a working hand, but instead just stayed inside and gave out instructions. “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others.” (page 35) This is also the case with the other pigs, as they believed themselves to be superior to the other animals.

Another example of how he abused his authority is how he changed Snowball’s image from a hero into an enemy: “Napoleon decreed that there should be a full investigation into Snowball’s activities. With his dogs in attendance he set out and made a careful tour of inspection of the farm buildings the other animals following at a respectful distance” (Page 78). He twisted the truth using his power, so that Snowball was made into the scapegoat for everything which went wrong on Animal Farm.

Napoleon also terrorised the other animals into confessing to crimes that they did not commit: “And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones” (Page 83). It seems as though the more fear that was present in the animals, the easier it was for Napoleon to manipulate them, which caused an even greater division in the equality of the animals.

In the worst conditions of Animal Farm, after the bombing of the windmill, Napoleon pushed the animals to work harder under the pretense that it for the sake of the farm when really it was for his own selfish ambitions.

This lead to the death of Boxer, who was one of Napoleon’s most faithful followers, and solemnly believed that Napoleon was always right. Boxer pushed himself even under severe injuries just to fulfill Napoleon’s commands, but that did not cause Napoleon to hesitate in sending him to the knackers in order to obtain yet another case of unneeded whiskey for the pigs enjoyment. Because of Napoleon’s greed and abusive power, the strongest and most faithful farm animal was destroyed. In conclusion, it can be seen that the downfall of Animal Farm cannot be entirely blamed on Napoleon’s leadership. However, he played a major role in beginning the descent to destruction. The farm animals played quite a big role in the tragic consequences which came from the once glorious revolution of Animal Farm, as they almost refused to have a mind of their own, and allowed Napoleon to lead them to fulfill his own wants and ambitions. Many believe that if the animals had allowed themselves time to thoroughly think through Napoleon’s demands, and had the courage to voice their own opinions as a group, the downfall of Animal Farm could not have occurred.

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