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Animal Farm

Animal Farm is a great fable, because even though animals tell

the story, it creates a powerful voice. The voice teaches plenty of

lessons and there are many morals in the story as well as linking to the

Russian Revolution. Not only that, the story also uses humor in terms

of irony, which gets students thinking. The story also uses

personification to the extreme, which helps students realize how

humans actually act in real life. Animal Farm should be studied in

school because of the lessons and morals, irony, and personification.

Animal Farm has many lessons and morals. One of the morals

that comes up repetitively throughout the story is that tactics are

better than strength. All of the animals on Animal farm carry out their

duty with their hard labor, but they are not cunning enough to realize

of what has become of them except old Benjamin. An example is when

one night, all the animals saw a broken ladder and white paint. “None

of the animals could form any idea as to what this meant, except old

Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle with a knowing air, and seemed to

understand, but would say nothing.”(103) This quote tells the reader

that Benjamin knew that someone had changed the commandment,

but no other animal had any idea. Another example is when years had

passed and no one remembered the old days of the rebellion. This

gave Napoleon and the pigs to take advantage of them. Only Benjamin
remembered. “Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail

of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could

be much better or much worse-hunger, hardship, and disappointment

being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.” (120) One of the reasons

why the other animals did not suspect the pigs, is because they trusted

their “own kind.” Students can take this as an important life lesson.

In addition to the morals, Animal Farm contains great irony,

using humor which students can relate to. Some of this irony repeats in

Squealer’s speeches to the other animals. He changes his thoughts

and speeches according to what Napoleon tells him. An example is

Snowball. Before Napoleon drove him out of the farm, Squealer

supported him, and after he tried to convince the animals that it was

all Snowball’s plan to destroy Animal Farm at the Battle of Cowshed.

“”And as to the Battle of Cowshed, I believe the time will come when

we shall find that Snowball’s part in it was much exaggerated.” (60)

Another example is with the windmill. “That evening Squealer

explained privately to the other animals that Napoleon had never in

reality been opposed to the windmill. On the contrary, it was he who

had advocated it in the beginning.” (61) Both of these examples show

how Squealer fools the animals with his ironic speeches and this a

regular part of real life. Students should understand this and watch out

for it.

Furthermore, Animal Farm contains plenty of personification.


Some of the actions done by the animals portray real actions done by

humans, and students can identify the human characteristics. An

example is the debate between Snowball and Napoleon over the

windmill. “Vote for Snowball and the three-day week and vote for

Napoleon and the fill manager.” (55) These kind of slogans “vote for...

and …” are extremely common in modern life. Students can

understand its importance and the “audience appeal” it gives. Another

example that follows more on the cruel side of humans is when the

pigs take the advantage of all the other animals starting with the milk

and the fruit. “So it was agreed without further argument that the milk

and the windfall apples (and also the main crop of apples when they

ripened) should be reserved for the pigs alone.” (43) This is a form of

injustice that occurs to the animals and with humans, it is the same

thing. Some humans have superiority over others and they tend to

take an advantage over that, so students can learn from the animals’

mistakes, especially the pigs.

Overall, Animal Farm should be studied in schools, because

George Orwell uses the irony of the animals to create a powerful voice.

Not only is the fable enjoyable to read, but it has tons of morals and

messages for students. Its irony is remarkable, especially when it is

connected with the humor of the animals. Also, the personification

gives students insight about how humans’ behaviors affect no other

than themselves.