Animal Farm

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Themes and Colors
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Animal Farm, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

George Orwell once wrote: "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been … against totalitarianism." Animal Farm is no exception. Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the state seeks to control every facet of life, from economics and politics to the each individual's ideas and beliefs. Different totalitarian states have different justifications for their rule. For instance, Mr. Jones runs Manor Farm based on the idea that human…

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Animal Farm depicts a revolution in progress. Old Major gives the animals a new perspective on their situation under Mr. Jones, which leads them to envision a better future free of human exploitation. The revolution in Animal Farm, like all popular revolutions, arises out of a hope for a better future. At the time of the revolution, even the pigs are excited by and committed to the idea of universal animal equality.

So what…

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One of the main tenets of Animalism is that all animals are equal. But quite quickly the pigs begin to refer to themselves as "mindworkers" to distinguish themselves from the other animals, who are physical laborers. Over time, this sense of separation takes hold: the pigs begin to discourage their children from playing with the children of the other animals, and then establish themselves as absolute rulers of the "lesser" menial laborers. Animal Farm shows…

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Animal Farm shows how the minority in power uses vague language, propaganda, and misinformation to control the thoughts and beliefs of the majority in the lower classes. The pigs, especially Squealer, become extremely sophisticated and effective in their attempts to rewrite the rules of Animal Farm and Animalism. They even revise the farm's entire history in order to mislead the other animals into believing exactly what they say. By the end of the novel…

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While Animal Farm condemns all forms of totalitarianism, it is most explicitly a bitter attack on the Soviet Union. Though Orwell supported the ideas of Socialism, he strongly opposed the Soviet Union's descent into totalitarianism under Stalin. Animal Farm satirically attacks the Soviet Union by mirroring many events from Soviet history in the novel. The events of Animal Farm that mirror historical events in the Soviet Union, such as the revolution and the subsequent corruption…

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