WMG: Animal Farm
Mr. Jones used to be a pig.The ending of the book is vague, but one interpretation of the strange events taking place then — one of the more straightforward ones — is that in the climax of their corruption, as the pigs are making their alliance with the humans and officially make the farm just as it was before, only worse (even re-renaming it back to "Manor Farm"), something wondrous and terrible happens: the pigs turn into men. Or perhaps it happened shortly before that final meeting. Whatever — it happened! Think about this for a moment. It is quite possible that this is not the first time it happened. Mr. Jones, the old owner of the farm, was a pig himself. Just like Napoleon, he served a cruel human owner until one day he took part in a great rebellion. Just like Napoleon, he rose from the ashes as a horrible dictator. Just like Napoleon, he turned into a human in the end as a sort of wicked prize (or a punishment) for his evil. Manor Farm is cursed. It exists in a cycle of pain that cannot be broken. Every time the human owner grows too cruel, the animals rebel. Every time, one of the animals inevitably becomes an evil dictator. Every time, this animal is transformed into a man, and the cycle begins anew... Ever wondered why Benjamin the donkey is so bitter and cynical about the whole thing? It's because he is really, really old. He saw the same events happening before, perhaps more than once. The result was clear to him from before the beginning.
- That makes a disturbing lot of sense.
- Plus, considering that the people from around the district were not as surprised as they should have been, it does fit somewhat good.
- This actually fits in with the allegory somewhat. Some historians say that many countries were trapped in an endless cycle like this one; the oppressive ruling class eventually does something that causes the working class to snap and rebel, then the strongest of the working class jump into the power vacuum. Eventually, they become exactly what they fought against, and the original government is re-established (or something very similar to it, at any rate). The cycle then repeats.
- This makes perfect sense when you consider 1984's description of the cyclical nature of revolutions and power struggles.
- Doesn't fit the allegory, though. Farmer Jones is the Czar, and the Czar always was, well, a Czar.
- Well before the Middle Ages the ancestors of the Czars used to be nobodies.
- The 1955 animated adaptation somewhat includes the idea of an eternal cycle, as the animals rebel once more against the new humans; and the credits begin as we see the new army of animals, looking disturbingly like the one, commanded by Snowball, that attacked Jones at the beginning. The difference is that the army is lead by Benjamin the Donkey now.
The pigs took charge of everything for a specific reason: survival.While it doesn't excuse Napoleon's treachery and cruelties, he and his fellow pigs always did have the most to lose under Farmer Jones (or even a Homer Zuckerman), that is: while other animals did have to sacrifice their eggs, milk, etc, or efforts in pulling, plowing, a pig can ultimately give up only one thing — its life, for bacon, ham, sausages, soup bones, etc. The pigs actually bury the hams found hanging in the smokehouse. If nothing else, they would obviously support any system that would guarantee they would never be routinely slaughtered again. Pigs are naturally rather intelligent animals, so reading, inventing, etc, would come more naturally to them, and their trotters would be nimble enough for various tasks, so their leadership role would be somewhat natural. The tragedy is that Napoleon just pushed this much too far, at the expense of all the other farm animals, no doubt with the attitude "They've got their lives, what more do they want?" In the end, they simply shut out the sufferings of their fellows in order to survive and thrive, not unlike most men.
- And human flesh is said to taste like pork.
Modern day Animal FarmIt would be back to being run by humans in cohabitation with animals, but there would be nostalgia for the Napoleon-era days of Animal Farm, particular since the leader of the animals would be a dog descended from one of Napoleon's bodyguards, and presumably had probably guarded him or his successor himself before taking over. Yes, I did just suggest Putin was a dog.
- Given that the most recent film adaptation ended with Manor Farm collapsing into ruin due to Napoleon alienating many of the larger animals into fleeing the farm and spending all their income from trade on luxuries for the pigs instead of necessities for the farm, followed by the surviving animals (including some of Napoleon's dogs) swearing to not repeat the mistakes of the past after a new human family buys the land, it's possible.
- In the 1955 animated adaptation, after seeing the pigs behaving like humans, make the animals revolt again.
- There was a Russian sequel fic retelling the Khruschev era onwards, introducing tons of new animal characters who were caricatures of 1960s-1990s politicians. However, it's so inferior to the original that I don't even see the point of linking it here.
- The idea of Putin being a dog isn't far-fetched◊.
Benjamin the Donkey is a Time Lord.
- Because every work of fiction has to have at least one, and it would explain his implied longevity.
- What is his TARDIS, then?
- It was stolen by Snowball during his escape, which is why no one ever found him.
- Donkeys live a looooooooooong time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey.
Snowball is Trotsky, Napoleon is Stalin, Benjamin is Soviet Jewry.
- There, I just solved the mystery for you. You're welcome.
Snowball is America in generalHe is previously thought to be a hero, but later demonized. Sound familliar?
- Mr. Pilkington seems a more likely candidate for the role, especially with the card feud at the end.
- Not so much Wild Mass Guessing as Critical Research Failure Guessing: American troops did not take part in the Russian Revolution and if they had, they wouldn't have fought on the side of the Bolsheviks.
- Yeah no, it's very clear that Snowball represents Trotsky, right down to his Insufferable Genius personality and banishment. Also from the perspective of Orwell as an author American capitalism being represented possitively makes no sense, Orwell was a dissident socialist through and through and his ultimate point with Animal Farm is not so much that socialism is bad as it is that Bolshevism is capitalism with a new coat of paint.
Napoleon became Big BrotherAfter the book ended, Napoleon continued his hunger for power and formed the Ingsoc Party with Mr. Pilkington and others to take over Britain. Napoleon poses as a man known as Big Brother.
- Wow, that's the same belief I share.
- This makes even more sense because we never actually see Big Brother.
- A small sentence in the book states "The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white." That sounds like 'blackwhite' from Newspeak. Squealer is one of the original founders of Ingsoc!
- Certainly adds a new spin to the phrasing 'Proles and animals are free' encountered in 1984. Could he...be deliberately trying to kill humanity off?
Dogbert is descended from Napoleon's bodyguards.He's a humanoid dog with rather intense levels of cruelty, perhaps his first act of evil was the takeover of Manor Farm...but he sold or destroyed it after he got bored and gained an eye for world conquest.
John "Bluto" Blutarsky is descended from Napoleon (or one of his cronies)At last, the link between Animal Farm and Animal House! In keeping with the above, men and pigs do seem to blur together at the end of the book, including all the vices of alcohol, gambling, so it's not unlikely that... The Delta frat house is a definite pig sty, and Bluto is certainly rude, fat and disgusting, but at the same time he's not willing to back down from any challenge or give in to the authorities, plus he knows how to manipulate people to his best advantage. It's noted that after college he goes into politics.
Benjamin raised BoxerBoxer was sold from a different farm when he was very young. Benjamin, (when he was not so bitter) felt sorry for him, and took him under his wing. This could explain why he's so devoted to him. He sees him as his son.
- If you think about this allegorically, Benjamin is the elderly wise fathers of the young naive workers, aka Boxer.
In the 1999 film, Napoleon, Squealer, and the rest of the pigs were eaten by the dogs of the Animal GuardIt was implied that Napoleon had died at the end and we don't see any other pigs, so we can assume that they followed. We do see Jessie's puppies, though, and all things considered, they don't look half-bad. We can put two and two together. As the farm continued to deteriorate and Napoleon provided less food for his personal guard as a result, they did what any pack of predators would normally do: eat the easy prey that's available. And there's nothing easier than a bunch of pigs who had grown fat, lazy, and drunk on whiskey over the years.
- He would also be troubled by Jones' drunkenness and abuse, remembering the Zuckermans' kinder treatment of his animals, and fear for his companions.
- The act of being sold may have left him somewhat disillusioned about humans; having to leave a good home for more squalid surroundings made him wonder if the best thing for animals was to be on their own, not dependent on human whims.
As well as creating a cautionary fable about Stalinist Russia, Orwell was also taking a sly dig at the French Revolution.This is based on the fact there's a pig called Napoleon, who ends up seizing power following a revolution that's supposed to promise equality and justice for all. Does This Remind You of Anything? A long shot, of course, and perhaps unfair given that Napoleon made many reforms which today would be seen as positive, but it vaguely makes sense: not only is it showing how revolutionary idealism was subverted in Soviet Russia, but in all revolutions.
Animal Farm was a prophecy of modern ArgentinaThe old major is Juan Perón. Farmer Jones is Carlos Menem / Fernando de la Rúa. The revolution is the 2001 riot. Snowball is Eduardo Duhalde. Napoleon is Kirchner. Squealer is Guillermo Moreno. And the end of the animated film is the "8N".
- ...And a short time after I wrote this WMG, the newspaper Clarín stole the idea
Whymper is a NaziIt's mentioned that the money Napoleon received from the wood was fake. However, Operation Bernhard was current at the time the book was written. Operation Bernhard was a Nazi operation to ruin the British economy by distributing huge amounts of counterfeit banknotes. These counterfeits are known for being some of the most accurate in existence, which could mean Fredrick had no idea they were fake. However, Whymper could tell the difference, suggesting he knew about counterfeits beforehand.
The cat, after dying, was reincarnated, and spread among other fictional works, and it's fictional soul hasn't ever stopped since.
- It makes no sense, yes. But this is WMG, damnit, Epileptic Trees reeks here.
If anyone adapts Animal Farm today, he would have wrote a pig based of Yeltsin
- Most people have mixed feelings about the end of the Cold War. A lot of people think the death of Communism in Eastern Europe is a good thing, but Orwell would have imagined that one elite was simply being replaced by another. In Russia, communism was replaced by the Russian oligarchs, many of whom were former Russian bureaucrats. It wouldn't be hard to write a pig based of Yeltsin: alcohol is what drove Napoleon further down the rabbit hole, and Yeltsin was a notorious drinker. So if Napoleon's regime were to collapse, it would be replaced by a pig who acted completely drunk, and while it would less brutal than Napoleon, he would anger the animals by destroying machinery with his incompetence.