As a satire, Animal Farm is quite amusing and even light-hearted. Yet the message one can delve from George Orwell’s masterpiece is deep and compelling. The message is, namely, that communism does not pan-out as equality, liberty, and prosperity for all, but is rather, and will always end up being, tyranny, servitude, and depression for the masses and wealth and control for a despot or oligarchy. The events of Orwell’s fairy-story are surprising and far-fetched, but they come as expected because Animal Farm is a satire on how communism came to Russia.
The major subject of Animal Farm is undoubtedly the argument that communism is not unmeasured equality and freedom but is rather another name and face of totalitarianism. Orwell depicts this fittingly by beginning his tale with an animal rebellion against the anachronistic “slavery” of the dominion of men. He then expands and proves this topic by illustrating the rise and fall of their own leaders and forms of analimalistic (read communistic) despotism; communism wasn’t all it claimed to be.
The second point that Orwell develops in Animal Farmis an exposure of the lack of rule and order in which communism abounds. Oh yes, communists are great at micro-management, but when it comes to levelheaded order, they haplessly fail. This point was probably the loudest and most humorous, for Orwell portrays this by having a constant revision of the Seven Commandments that bind his satirical Animalism. Each revision is made by the emerging tyrants and, ironically, benefits and elevates them alone. Orwell forcefully arrives at the apex of this absurdity with the commandments of Animalism finally degenerating to the one great oxymoron: “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”
And now, the third prospect that one can learn from Animal Farm is one that needs greatest address today. This last point is subtle, but its subtlety brings it to force. At the end of Animal Farm, the animal despots of the Animalistic experiment meet with their neighboring human farmer/despots. These two parties, who were prior enemies, gather for a wild party where peace and closer contracts are made. It is in how and why these two parties, the one mammalian and the other human, gather that this advantageous lesson is to be found; both desire only power, rule, and riches, and both will get it by the most beneficial means they can. Though Orwell does not recognize this, the bond that unites these enemies is that they are both shirkers of God’s eternal Law and are mere power-hungry despots. The point is chilling, and the reader is left with a strong and disturbing picture of our present age, the age where, communist or not, men have chosen to act upon their own terms and ever-evolving principles.
Animal Farm gives illustration that though communism promises equality, it only breeds tyranny and slavery; though communism promises public good, it only steals God-given liberties; though communism seems fair and just, it is at war with God’s unerring Law and is in no way fair or just. Animal Farm shows that communism is nothing but an oxymoron.