Animal Farm by George Orwel

The following sample essay on Animal Farm by George Orwel. In many ways the animated film version of Animals farm has stayed faithful to the original Novel by Orwell, although there are several significant changes from the original made by the film-makers. In the novel very little descriptive detail is given to the reader about the farm at the beginning of the novel; instead Orwell describes Mr Jones and his behaviour. Evidence of this is on page 1, chapter 1, where Orwell writes, “Mr.

Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.

Also Orwell writes on page 1 chapter 1 “… kicking off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring. ” These descriptions tell the readers that both Mr and Mrs Jones are very neglectful towards the farm, as Mr Jones does not lock up the chickens properly leaving them in danger of being killed by foxes.

And Mrs Jones does not even make any attempt to close the farm down for the night. This shows that they do not care what happens to the animals.

Also, Mr Jones is an alcoholic, and is very drunk, so he is as neglectful to himself as he is towards the animals, by drinking himself to an early grave. The reason why Orwell has chosen not to describe the farm itself in any detail at this point is because the readers are able to infer an image of the farm being dilapidated and decayed around the neglect it is suffering form the owners, Mr and Mrs Jones.

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Where as in the film there are extensive amounts of descriptive detail about the farm. At first the audience sees a pastoral vision of an ideal pastel coloured landscape of rolling green hills, trees in blossom, and a blue sky.

As the camera pans through the landscape though, it comes to Manor Farm and its dark towering buildings are distorted by lots of long shadows which are threatening as they seem to swallow the buildings in blackness. The film-makers make use of aerial shots which give a sense of the farm being very isolated from the outside world. All of which cause the audience to instantly conclude that the farm was menacing, dilapidated and clearly neglected by its owner. In the novel there are no descriptive details of Mr Jones appearance in chapter 1, but there are a few points that tell the readers that he is careless and a drunk.

Evidence of this is on page 1, chapter 1, Orwell writes, he “was too drunk to remember to shut the pot-holes” and “With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard”. This tells the readers that Mr. Jones is very negligent towards his animals and the farm, and towards himself. The swinging lamp tells the readers that he is staggering, and has trouble keeping his balance as he walks across the yard to the farm house, where he pours himself more beer. This in turn allows the readers to infer Mr.

Jones appearance of a dark, unhealthy man who cares nothing for his farm or himself. In the film, Halas and Bachelor are faithful to the Drunkard, lazy character of Mr. Jones but include a higher level of descriptive detail on his appearance. Mr Jones has white drooping eyes; dark stubble upon his face, both showing self neglect; and he wore black boots which were the first thing that the audience saw, and were very much focused upon. This is because the black boots are a symbol of Nazi soldiers, which is relevant reference as Mr.

Jones is an oppressive dictator, tyrannising over the farm, just like the Nazis did in Germany and most of Europe. The view of the boots is from the view of a small animal, and is portrayed as threatening and menacing, but the camera shot at this view point also highlights him staggering, swaying back and forward which is a simile of his life. Also the image of a swaying walk is shown again later on in both novel and film, as the pigs learned to walk on their hind legs at the end when they were tyrants of the farm.

There is also the image of the swinging lantern light which causes the effect of distortion, which is a metaphor of how things on the farm are not how they should be. The lantern symbolises that the farm is badly run, very chaotic and highly dysfunctional. Also as Jones staggers to the farm house, the lantern is held up to the animals, so acts as a way for the narrator to introduce the animals one by one. But it also acts as a symbolic way of highlighting the victims of Jones’ tyranny that has distorted the animals just like the light.

Also, each animals face is illuminated and the audience sees faces of sadness because of their miserable lives, fear because of Jones’ hold over them and anger only from the pigs because they were unhappy with their situation of not controlling the farm, so there is already ambition of rebellion. The animal’s eyes are looking up at Jones with vulnerability and fear; they have a child like quality to their faces which is deliberate as the audience of the film is children, so children would empathise with the animals.

In chapter one, Orwell describes Old Major as being a “prize Middle White boar”. This tells the readers that he is better looked after than the rest of the animals by Mr Jones and as he serves a purpose of reward. Meaning Old Major does not work, and has a better quality of life than the rest of the other animals because of his title. Also, Orwell describes Old Major as the leader of the animals in chapter one where it reads, “Old Major was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say. This tells the readers that Old Major is wise and powerful amongst the animals, and unlike Mr Jones he does it through gaining respect through his qualities instead of enforcing his ideals through violence.

In chapter one, Orwell describes Old Majors appearance as King like which highlights Old Majors high status upon the farm. It reads “He was twelve years old and had lately grown stout, but he was still a majestic looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut. This tells the readers that Old Major is probably the oldest on the farm, as animals are usually killed for their meat after a few years of their lives. Also it tells the readers that Old major has a kind and astute exterior, which is a reflection of his personality which is compassionate and intelligent. In the film, Halas and Bachelor illustrate Old Major as being very fat with pendulous hanging flesh, implying a good life. Also Old Major is stood upon a stage in the barn above the rest of the animals reflecting his status upon the farm as he is literally above the rest of the animals.

This is extended with a spot light upon him which gives him a godly, divine figure quality as the spot light is like a nimbus light or a halo. His power upon the other animals is portrayed in the film through him keeping discipline among the animals by just waving his trotter in the air. Also in the film Old Major dies on stage, unlike in the novel where he dies three days after his speech. During the speech Old Majors skin colour changes in several times, from pink, to dark pink and then finally to dark grey which is when he collapses on stage and dies.

The effect that this colour change has upon the audience is it tells them that something has changed and in this instance it is Old Major being alive to being dead. In the novel Old Major uses shock tactics to frighten the animals during the speech to ensure a revolution against Mr Jones’s dictatorship. For example in chapter one it Old Major says, “You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all must come-cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. This creates an image inside the reader’s minds of blood, death and destruction, which causes the animals and the reader’s to come to a realisation of what they are faced with if they do not rebel against Jones. In the film a vision of each animal’s ultimate fate appears during Old Majors speech. The first is of Boxer silhouetted against a dark sky pulling an enormous, overloaded cart. The second is of hands stealing the hens’ eggs, and the third is a vision of hams hanging, and a chopper and block floating across a blood red sky.

These visions are the animal’s interpretation of Old Majors Speech, the lighting in these visions is dark to emphasise the ordeal of the animal’s futures and so is the blood coloured sky, as it reminds the audience of the animals being murdered if they do not rebel so that the audience empathise with the animal’s situation. In the novel Orwell describes Napoleon in some detail. In chapter two it reads, “Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his on way.

This portrays him as sinister and a key character in the future for the reader to watch out for. Also, further into chapter two, when the rebellion has happened, Napoleon takes it upon himself to give double rations to the animals in celebration. It reads, “Napoleon then led them back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody… ” This tells the reader’s that a dictatorship is starting to form. He has no right to take it upon himself to decide how to celebrate and how much each animal should receive for their victory in the rebellion.

Also the fact that Napoleon is not mentioned at all during the battle of the cow shed, tells the readers how much of a coward he is and he only has interests in what benefits him directly and would never in danger himself deliberately no matter the cause, including the fortification of the revolution. In chapter seven Orwell describes Napoleon as being the same as Jones. I t reads, “… 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. This tells the readers that the revolution has been a disaster; Napoleon has deceived the animals letting him get away with breaking every rule of Animalism. The situation the animals are in now is just the same as it was in Jones’ days of dictatorship; nothing has changed. In the film the visual representation of Napoleon implies to the audience that he has something to hide and has alternative motives, by his colouring being predominately black over his face like a mask. An example of this is when Napoleon takes the puppies and trains them to kill his enemies when their parents are killed in the war of the cow shed.

Also the darkness of his face and facial expressions mirror those of Mr Jones, so the visual resemblance causes the audience to see how similar the two characters are as well. The colouring of Napoleon is significant in the film as he is the only pig that has a predominately black body with small amounts of pink. The other pigs are of a uniform pink, so Napoleon is set apart from the rest at the start. In the film, Halas and Bachelor use gestures upon Napoleons face such as lip-licking and slurping to show the audience the extent of Napoleons greed.

These gestures are used in the film at moments when there is a motive of getting food. An example of this is the way in which Mr Whimper is integrated into the farm by him giving Napoleon jam. Jam is definitely a love of Napoleons as he eats his way through the farms whole pantry on his own, when the animals first enter the farm house. Another facial expression that the film makers use on Napoleon is him showing his teeth. An example of this happens during Old Majors speech when a lamb bleats loudly, so to quieten the lamb he sneers viciously.

By showing his teeth in such a manor he is portrayed as very aggressive, and the audience gets the impression that he will do anything to get what he wants. In the novel Orwell describes Snowball as “Pre-eminent among the pigs”, in chapter two. This tells the readers that he is the most excellent and greatest pig on the farm, besides Napoleon that is. This tells the readers that he is a character to watch out for later on in the novel. Also Orwell describes Snowball as being “… a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but not considered to have the same depth of character. This tells the readers that he is a more spirited, a happier character than Napoleon, so he is not as fowl mooded and more energetic in what he believes. An example of this is when the battle of the cow shed happens in chapter four. It reads, “Snowball launched the first attack”, which tells the readers that he is control of the animal’s actions in the battle. Also during the battle Snowball attacks Mr Jones, it reads, “He himself dashed straight for Jones. Jones saw him coming, raised his gun, and fired. The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowball’s back…

Without halting for an instant Snowball flung … against Jones’s legs… ” This tells the readers the bravery and selflessness that Snowball is capable of for the sake of the revolution that will change not only his life but animals across the globe if accomplished. In the film the visual representation of Snowball implies to the audience that he is different from the rest of the pigs as his colouring is of a very pale pink. He is quite fat which implies greed, but not as fat as Napoleon, which tells the audience that he is not as self indulgent or obsessed.

Another key fact about Snowball is his chirpy disposition which tells the audience that he is more approachable, but in the battle scenes he is fierce, but he needs to be in such a time. The significant change that occurs in the film to the novel is that Snowball is killed by the savage dogs, where as in the novel he narrowly escapes with his life. The film makers use visual clues to hint that snowball has been killed. An example of this is the landscape that he runs in is dead as it is winter.

The grounds are a snowy white and the trees that grow in the ground are black in colour and their angular branches seem to encage Snowball as he runs away from the dogs, which is a reflection of the situation he is in as he is trapped, he can not escape from the dogs. Another clue is the presence of Moses the tame raven; the raven is a symbol of death, and the gestures that Moses make are of disgust and fear as he observes the murder of Snowball. Another clue is the nod that one of the dogs gives Napoleon which is then replied with an evil smile celebrating the end of Napoleons rival Snowball.

The reason why this change has been made in the film is that the film is targeted at a child audience, so it makes it easier for the child audience to know that Napoleon lies when using Snowball as an escape goat, and particularly when he kills animals unjustly with the justification of them, being in league with Snowball. In the novel Squealer is a persuasive speaker and Orwell describes him as this in chapter twp as, “… he could turn black to white”. This tells the readers that he is able to change the minds of certain group members to agreement instead of disagreement.

He could quite easily turn animal’s views against or for something in his favour. An example of him persuading the other animals is in chapter three, where the mysteriously missing milk had been found in the pigs mash and the apples had been ordered by the pigs to be for them and only them. This caused disagreement amongst the other animals and they had expected it to be shared equally. The pigs know they are wronging the others but they want the milk and apples, so to solve the problem Squealer is sent to persuade and deceive the other animals.

It reads, “Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science comrades) contain substances necessary to the well being of a pig. We pigs are brain-workers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. ” By using claims that are falsely backed up by science Squealer persuades the other animals. And he manages to increase the importance of the pigs upon the farm by planting seeds of doubt about the capability of the other animals by saying that the pigs are of a far superior intellect.

Which then grows into the pigs being the only thing between the other animals and the return of Mr Jones when he says, “Do you know what would happen if we failed in our duty? Jones would come back! ” This is emotional blackmail, as he is threatening them with the concept of Jones’ return which is their biggest fear. This puts the pigs in a position to demand what they want and they will receive with no argument. This is the first major situation where the revolution could then turn against the pigs but it does not due to the fear of Jones’ return.

Instead it goes in favour of the pigs as the hierarchy of the farm is more defined with pigs on top. In the film Squealer has pale skin which implies that he is sheepish and a follower. It tells the audience that he does not have the ruthlessness of Napoleon; he is a yes man and he is the paler version of Napoleon. An example of his cowardly behaviour is during the battle of the cow shed where he hides from danger in a barrel with his fat pink bottom sticking out, which is humorous deliberately due to the child audience, so it alleviates the scene of a very dangerous situation.

There is a subtle difference of Squealers role in the film from the novel as he is portrayed as Napoleon’s aid and shadow all way through the film, whereas in the novel he is originally one of the elite. He was an equal to Snowball and Napoleon at the early stages the Hierarchies formation, as they needed him to help their cause. One thing that remains in both is the fact that Squealer is the propagandist spreading the word of Animalism and the party line of Napoleon. In the novel Orwell describes the dogs in chapter five as being “… uge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves. ” This tells the readers that the dogs are predators with menacing and wild characteristics. The dogs are a way of Napoleon ensuring his power over Animal Farm as the other animals all fear that they would face the same fate as Snowball. An example of this is in chapter five when Napoleon had banished Snowball and had taken the role of leader through the persuasive powers of Squealer and bullying tactics enforced by the fearful dogs. It reads, “”Tactics, comrades tactics! “…

The animals were not certain what the word meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further questions. ” This tells the readers that the dogs are Napoleons slaves, but the only thing keeping him in charge as the animals are so paranoid about being the next victim that they do as Napoleon says. In the film the dogs start off as being very cute, grey balls of fur that whimpered helplessly when their mother was killed in the battle of the cowshed.

The fact that they are grey in colour implies to the audience that they are neutral; they are ignorant to the goings on in the farm with Mr Jones and the revolution. When they are taken away and brought up by Napoleon they are his slaves, his army that protect by any means. The film illustrators use demonic imagery for the appearance of the dogs as they have no individual features to differentiate one from the other, and only their white sharp teeth and their cool, cunning eyes upon their expressionless faces can be seen.

When they are chasing Snowball over the snowy ground the dogs look like intensely black silhouettes. Also occasionally the dogs are shown with their tongue hanging out, which tells the audience of the dogs’ appetite and reminds the audience of their savage eating and their predatory instincts making them threatening just to look at. An example of this is when they have killed Snowball; they are seen with blood red tongues and salivary jaws, which in itself provoke an image in the audience’s minds of the savage ripping and tearing of Snowballs throat.

The film makers also make it apparent that the dogs are Napoleons private army by they all looking the same, as if they wear a black uniform; black being symbolic of evil, which mirrors Napoleons character. Also the way the dogs move in packs and formations of two, enforces the audience’s sense of them being predators and also more like machines as they serve a purpose with no emotion. In the novel Orwell describes the hens as rebelling against the order from Napoleon of giving their eggs to Mr Whimper for money. In chapter seven it reads, they “… must surrender their eggs… When the hens heard this, they raised a terrible outcry… hey protested that to take the eggs away now was murder. For the first time since the expulsion of Jones there was something resembling a rebellion.

Led by three young Black Minorca Pullets, the hens made a determined effort to thwart Napoleon’s wishes. ” This tells the reader how brave and how sick they are of being under Napoleons rule and that he had gone too far this time. They carry on the fight which they are doomed to lose with valiant attacks that have no effect. It reads, “Their method was to fly up to the rafters and there lay their eggs, which smashed to pieces on the floor. This is a great tactic as it gets right under Napoleons skin because he will lose money and face, but the repercussions are his wrath. The hens’ punishment being no rations, until they lay their eggs in agreement to Napoleons orders. This is also a point of frustration for the reader as this could easily go either way if the hens had more help from the other animals. There was the drive for a rebellion as Napoleon was telling the chickens to sacrifice their children for money, which is exactly what Jones did before his expulsion.

Sadly the chickens are killed by starvation and the survivors carry out the orders. The first dissentients of Napoleon are crushed, which is distressing as it shows the readers the lack of hope in this situation. In the film the hens are depicted dramatically in the raid during their strike. The only facial features that you see are their big, white, blinking eyes, as the barn is so stooped in shadow. Their presence in the barn is made apparent by the elongated shadows scurrying from hiding place to hiding place in fear of being killed by the dogs.

When the hens are ambushed by the dogs, the hens flap up to the rafters and attack with a triumphant bombardment of eggs that land upon the pigs faces, making the pigs run straight out of the barn in fear. This is a literal image of the phrase, “egg on their faces”, which is an attempt to lighten the heavy mood of this scene. Sadly the hens can’t win, with every attempt to fight with apathetic pecking of the dog’s noses, many are savagely killed by the dogs biting and tearing of the hens throats.

In the novel Orwell portrays Boxer’s character repeatedly as the gentle giant, but could also be very violent but only when threatened with his life. An example of this is in chapter one where it reads, “… walking very slowly and setting their vast heavy hoofs with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the straw. ” This tells the readers that he is conscious of those around him and of a very gentle nature. An example of Boxer’s violent side is in chapter seven where Napoleons dogs have attacked Boxer with no reason at all.

It reads, “Boxer saw them coming and put out his great hoof, caught a dog in mid-air, and pinned him to the ground. The dog shrieked for mercy and the other two fled with their tails between their legs. ” This tells the readers of Boxer’s immense physical strength and of character as he fights off the one thing keeping Napoleon in power. This sends a very powerful message of hope for the future to the readers, as it is another reminder that the animals have a chance to win over Napoleons regime.

This is frustrating, because in the end, although they have had these chances to defeat him with force, they never take it and are left with an evil dictator and regime, so they are no better off with their current existence than their previous one with Mr Jones. Orwell portrays Boxer consistently as a very hard working and loyal character, as well as an inspiration to the other animals upon the farm. In chapter seven it reads, “… the other animals found more inspiration in Boxer’s strength and his never-failing cry of “I will work harder! ” This tells the readers that he could easily encourage the other animals to revolution as he is the most respected on the farm deservedly.

Another trait of Boxer’s character that Orwell makes apparent to the reader is that he is not very intelligent. In chapter seven Boxer’s disagreement of Snowball being a traitor is quietened by Squealer saying “Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, “announced Squealer, speaking very slowly and firmly, “has stated categorically—categorically comrade—that Snowball was Jones’s agent from the very beginning—yes, and from long before the Rebellion… “Ah, that is different! ” said Boxer. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right. ” This shows the readers how naive and gullible he is and also how he likes to see the best in a situation all the time. If only he pushed his arguments instead of take Squealer’s poor explanations without further questioning, and then the other animals would see the reality of Napoleon’s rule. Once again, a point of frustration for the reader as it could easily go to the direction of the other animals fighting and defeating Napoleon through another revolution, but never happens.

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Animal Farm by George Orwel. (2017, Sep 23). Retrieved from

Animal Farm by George Orwel
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