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The World of Inequalities - Revisiting Animal Farm (Part 1)

The world we are living in today is charecterised by serious shortcomings and inequalities.  Those with access to money, power, sta...

The world we are living in today is charecterised by serious shortcomings and inequalities. 

Tapiwa Zuze

Those with access to money, power, state resources and influence will always thrive on manipulating the poor and weak. The inequality gap continues to widen every day. And because of the prevalence and in-depth of greediness, nations and leaders are now advocating for “permanent interests” instead of “permanent friends”. We are still living under the George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In this article, we revisit some of the key characters in Animal Farm. As you read through, kindly scan through and see how these traits are being displayed through in today’s world. 

From the very beginning of the novel, Napoleon emerges as an utterly corrupt opportunist. Though always present at the early meetings of the new state, Napoleon never makes a single contribution to the revolution – not to the formulation of its ideology, not to the bloody struggle that it necessitates, not to the new society’s initial attempts to establish itself. He never shows interest in the strength of Animal Farm itself. He was just interested in the strength of his power over it. Thus, the only project he undertakes with enthusiasm is the training of a litter of puppies. He doesn’t educate them for their own good or for the good of all, however, but rather for his own selfish good. They become his own private army or secret police, a violent means by which he imposes his will on others. 

Although George Orwell depicts Snowball in a relatively appealing light, he refrains from idealising his character, making sure to endow him with certain moral flaws. For example, Snowball basically accepts the superiority of the pigs over the rest of the animals. Moreover, his fervent, single-minded enthusiasm for grand projects such as the windmill might have erupted into full-blown megalomaniac despotism had he not been chased from Animal Farm. Indeed, Orwell suggests that we cannot eliminate government corruption by electing principled individuals to roles of power. He reminds us throughout the novel that it is power itself that corrupts.

3. BOXER: 
The most sympathetically drawn character in the novel, Boxer; epitomises all of the best qualities of the exploited working classes: dedication, loyalty, and a huge capacity for labour. He also, however, suffers from what Orwell saw as the working class’s major weaknesses: a naive trust in the good intentions of the intelligentsia and an inability to recognize even the most blatant forms of political corruption. Exploited by the pigs as much or more than he had been by Mr. Jones, Boxer represents all of the invisible labour that undergirds the political drama being carried out by the elites. Boxer’s pitiful death at a glue factory dramatically illustrates the extent of the pigs’ betrayal. It may also, however, speak to the specific significance of Boxer himself: before being carted off, he serves as the force that holds Animal Farm together. 

Tapiwa Zuze

Now, in today’s world we have these characters operating at full throttle. We have them in politics, schools, churches, homes and other organisations. Just like George Orwell’s famous statement in this book, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”; we have all lived to see the truthfulness of this statement. 

The article continues in Part 2. 

Tapiwa Zuze –

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