Top of Form
The plot within a novel is often more complicated and sophisticated, calling forth from an attentive reader a more sustained level of attentiveness and concentration. Evaluate your novel’s plot (don’t simply summarize what happened in the story). Did the story as it was told have the key elements of “rising action” (increasing tension), foreshadowings, conflicts, a defined climax, and then a resolution? In other words, did your novel display the classic “Arc of fiction”? If so, how and where, but if not, why not?The novel I chose to read was Animal Farm. Although this novel is introduced as an unpleasant vision, it still has an arc of fiction. In Animal Farm, each act the animals take underlines the story’s main theme: the corruption of socialist ideals in the Soviet Union. The animals conquest their human oppressors, and just like in the Soviet Union, the pigs rise to power to replace the Czars/humans. However, with respect to individual characters – especially Napolean, Boxer, Squealer, and Snowball – they have clear narrative arcs that land them in a position that is quite different from where they started. The rising action is started off with Old Majors dream to taking everyones imagination. Old Majors death foreshadows the fact that his followers will not be ran by him or his vision, but instead it will stray very far from the original idea. The rising action is also seen in Napoleans increasing fear and jealousy about his own power, therefore rejecting all of the other animals, except the pigs when leading. One thing Orwell does repetitive is a simple, practically cleared idea that creates the foundation of Animal Farm, and then the ideas begin to spiral out of control, and develop something dull and wicked. For example, in the novel, it explains how Napolean uses the puppies as his attack dogs to seize power over the other animals. When thinking about puppies, we think cuddly and cute; however Napolean turned them into something vicious. This leads to the climax, when Napolean attacks all animals who he believes is interrupting his laws. After the big climax has concluded, we see the situation of the animals is much worse than previously in the novel. We can only assume that the resolution is there is a different status quo where the animals that took over look similar to humans and the other animals are still animals-disgusting and not important.
Most fiction readers today are deeply interested in characters. It is the character that often carries and defines a story. Evaluate the characters in the novel you read. Who would you consider the protagonist to be and why? Did the story contain a clearly-identified antagonist and how do you know that this person or entity was the antagonist? Next, what epiphanic moment (i.e. moment of climax — choice, enlightenment, or revelation) did the protagonist undergo? Was this revelatory moment “universal” and contribute to the story’s overall theme? Lastly, did you feel any sympathy or “oneness” with any of the characters? In other words, were the characters life-like enough to make you feel as if you were walking in their shoes and feeling what they were feeling? If so, how and where, and if not, why not–what was lacking?
Although Napolean is the certain protagonist in the novel, He could also be considered as the antagonist. Us as the readers are cheering for Napolean to make better decisions, but know that he is his worst enemy. Napolean is the protagonist because even though he doesnt have respect the other animals, he is seen as a leader by the other animals. We see this when old major dies, and Napolean steps up to the plate to run the farm. Napolean becomes the antagonist when he doesnt really treat the other animals with respect. He is also the main hinder of his and the other animals success, therefore showing him as the antagonist in the novel. We soon realize that the antagonist and protagonist are the same person, and makes us as the readers believe that in the beginning, Napolean had a clear idea in the beginning (run the farm after the death of Old Major), that soon spiraled out of control (when Napolean began to treat all of the other animals except the pigs with disrespect). The moment of climax happens when Snowball is ran out of the animal farm, and Napolean has all of the power. Overall, I do feel as though I could relate to the characters because it shows how the modern world is.
B. Animal Farm is a small book that tells a big story—not unrelated in some ways to either Lord of the Flies or Fahrenheit 451. However, this story (novel) is an allegory. In other words, it’s a tale with a message, but what is that message? What is Orwell trying to say and is this message related to specifics of the novel? For instance, why doesn’t Animal Farm succeed in the end—or does it? After all, the pigs do remain in charge, but does the farm itself exhibit the kind of freedom that Old Major envisioned? Is there a kind of “blackness” at the heart of Animal Farm, and if so, where does it reside–in the rules (laws), the divided duties (hierarchy), or in the animals themselves? In essence, what is the moral of this allegory?
The moral of Animal Farm is that it is important to give respect to people (animals) equally even when in power. When Snowball decides to quit being on Napoleans side, he left Napolean with all of the power. In the novel, it talks about how Napolean kills all of the animals who speak highly of Snowflake (pg. 57-62). This is just one reason of the moral about respect. The ideals that lead to revolution or change may be based in the best intentions, but very soon they begin to implicate decisions about power, and who wields it, and this begins to corrupt those who should have the interests of the community at heart. Animal farm does not succeed: it simply replaced one set of unjust, selfish rulers, with another set. It simply replaced the designation human with pig, with little change in the rights or lives of the animals. There is a blackness at the heart of this novel, and I think it is based on the observation that in real life, it will always be humans administering the institutions of power, so even if those institutions are carefully created and designed to be fair, humans will always be selfish and power-hungry, and this will mean that no system of governance can avoid the pitfalls of humanity.