Orwell has been quoted as saying, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been against totalitarianism.” A statement that is evident in Animal Farm.
Totalitarianism refers to a state of government that seeks out ultimate control over every aspect of life – from thoughts, beliefs, ideas and even politics and economics. Every totalitarian state endeavors to justify their governance. For example, Jones operates Manor Farm on the pretence that humans are superior to animals, while Napoleon operates Animal Farm claiming to fight for the rights of animals against unscrupulous humans.
Revolution & Corruption
Animal Farm paints a clear picture of a revolution. In his dying declaration, Old Major offers the animals a new viewpoint of their life under the rule of Jones. This causes the animals to envision a better way of life, free from the perils of exploitation at the hands of the humans. The revolution depicted in Animal Farm, like all revolutions, is formed out of a joint desire for a better life. Initially, the pigs are excited about the concept of animal equality, however, through their own self-interest, they create the totalitarian state that they pledged to destroy.
At its very roots, Animalism states that all animals are equal. However, it isn’t long before Napoleon and his swine start to title themselves as ‘mind workers’ in order to separate themselves from the other animals who are tasked with hard labor. As years progress, the pigs begin to segregate their offspring from those of the others, and establish themselves as the dominant class, while the other animals are merely menial staff.