Human nature in animals. Was this really shown in George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’? In fact, there were several messages about human nature reflected in ’Animal Farm’. The messages that were expressed through many different characters and their behaviours, gave an insight into human nature, and showed many characteristics of it. The idea of equality “all animals are equal” and socialism would make an ideal society. It would be effective on Animal Farm if it were not for the pigs’ hunger for power or human nature. In Animal Farm, Old Major suggests rebellion, and becoming a place where all is equal.
Napoleon and Snowball tried to take action and make this idea a reality. Napoleon seized power and what was going to be a place of equality became a place where the animals were overworked. Some of the animals became aware of this, like Clover but others, such as Boxer did not and continued to say “Napoleon is always right” because Napoleon taught the animals to believe he was helping them. It shows that human nature, such as hunger for power, affects everyone and affects societies where socialism and equality is being strived for.
Another aspect of human nature shown in Animal Farm is ignorance. This aspect was shown in the book through characters such as Boxer. ‘Boxer wasn’t of first rate intelligence’ and when Napoleon started seizing power Boxer established two mottos, “Napoleon is always right” and “I will work harder”. By Boxer firmly believing this, and making the mottos well known, other animals followed his beliefs and admired him, wanting themselves to be more like him. These animals and Boxer gave Napoleon the satisfaction of controlling the farm.
The animals that believed that ‘whatever Napoleon says must be right’ were ignorant and could not see what was really happening to the farm. The human nature that animals like Boxer showed only encouraged Napoleon to continue what he was doing, it shows that ignorance is not bliss and that ignorant people are not helping societies grow in the right way. Another Human characteristic shown in ‘Animal Farm’ was stealing. Humans steal, whether it be something materialistic, like a pen or subjective, like someone’s time.
The pigs showed this characteristic and stole many things. Napoleon stole the lives from the animals he got the dogs to slaughter. He stole Snowball’s Windmill idea. The pigs stole other animals privileges, the equines lost most of their free time as they spent hours labouring , building the windmill. Because of what they stole, the pigs gained more power and ended up stealing from each other. This isn’t what happens in a socialist society, so it became clear that because of this it would not work out in a correct manner.
Stealing is done because of greed, another human characteristic. All of the animals on the farm were greedy. This included animals that appeared to be victims. The hens went on strike when they were not allowed to keep as many eggs, this was a greedy, selfish act. Because, although it was not what they wanted to happen, it affected other animals who now were fed even less. The pigs were greedy, they had privileges the other animals did not, and they also took away the enjoyment of living in a socialist society that was being worked towards.
The equines wanted sugar cubes, and Napoleon got sugar when he was eating at the dining room table, with cutlery. Cutlery, this was another privilege only he had. The animals did not know how being greedy would affect them in the long term, and most of them were not aware of the greediness and selfishness they were doing. Loyalty and loyalism is another big part of Animal Farm. Many of the animals, such as Boxer and the sheep were loyal to Napoleon, even if what they thought was happening was wrong or right.
They were supportive of Napoleon, the sovereign, throughout the rebellion. The usurpation of supreme power by Napoleon made the animals loyal because they thought that pigs were the smartest, and this was another cunning action. This was shown when Napoleon said ‘We pigs are brain workers, the whole management of the farm depends on us. ’ This encouraged the animals to believe in him, be loyal, and not stop believing in him, through times of wrong and right. Humans do this quite a lot – were the Nazi’s loyal to Hitler, Are children loyal to their parents?
Yes, whether it’s wrong or right they are still loyal. The amount of human characteristics and human nature shown by the animals in ‘Animal Farm’ was astonishing. This was probably because the book was based on the Russian revolution and the plot was based on the progression of the revolution. These messages of human nature, specifically ignorance, greediness, loyalty, hunger for power and stealing were clearly shown by Napoleon, Boxer, the sheep, hens, pigs and all the other animals on the farm.