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Animal Farm

Animal Farm

by George Orwell

Animal Farm Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Power: Leadership and Corruption

There's a reason you don't want your prom queen to also be your school president: absolute power corrupts absolutely, and pretty soon she'll be sending out her minions to stake out the best parking...

Power: Control over the Intellectually Inferior

American conservative William F. Buckley once said that he'd rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phonebook than the 2000 faculty members of Harvard. (Somewhat ironic, coming fr...

Lies and Deceit

Animal Farm runs on pig fat and lies. By the end, "truth" has become so malleable that the animals can't even remember what actually happened. A lie is something that contradicts the pigs' agenda;...

Rules and Order

Out with the old, in with the new: in Animal Farm, the animals get rid of an old set of rules just to find themselves oppressed by a new one. At first, new commandments and traditions are supposed...

Foolishness and Folly

Talk about blaming the victim: it sounds a lot like Orwell is faulting the lower-class animals for not being smart enough to realize what's going on. Either they fail to recognize their oppression,...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Do you dream of a world full of pillows in which you can lie around eating Doritos and listening to drone music all day? Keep dreaming. (Eventually, you're going to have to get up and pee.) Animal...

Cunning and Cleverness

Keep an eye on your local Mensa chapter: they may look like harmless nerds, but they're just waiting for the right opportunity to oppress us all. Or, something like that. In Animal Farm, the commun...

Violence

For a fairy tale about a self-governing farm, Animal Farm sure does pile up the bodies. Old Major may have dreamed about animals frolicking in green pastures, but the reality is more like bloody co...

Pride

The animals in Animal Farm don't have much in the way of food, dignity, or leisure—but they do have pride. They take pride in banding together to overthrow their first oppressive leader, and that...

Religion

Karl Marx may have said that religion was the opiate of the masses, but he also said that it was the "sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless condit...

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