Animal Farm 1.4: Unfair Stereotype: All Pigs Are Born Leaders
|Dsytopian Literature||Animal Farm|
Like, Batman is an archetype for a super hero; the Joker is an archetype for a villain.
Animal Farm is loaded with archetypes. Look, there’s one right now!
It’s Old Major. He’s kind of a ‘boar’ to the youngsters, but he’s the communist future.
Even though most of his life is in the - distant - past.
He represents the wise old father figure, kind of like Dumbledore.
Benjamin…you could call him a stubborn mule, except that he’s a donkey.
He’s definitely not a party animal.
He might represent pessimism or realism, but certainly not optimism.
In his opinion, nothing gets better. Life is just variations on the theme of bad,
no matter who’s in charge.
He’s basically the Eeyore of this story. Then there's Napoleon. Napoleon is the archetype
dictator, surrounded by his dogs like the KGB. One off-color remark and you become their
next meal, which is really just an appetizer since Napoleon’s starving you while he overworks you.
But he actually represents the real life dictator, Joseph Stalin.
And Squealer, representing propaganda, is with him, drafting a speech to explain that
Napoleon eats from the gourmet menu for the benefit of the animals.
He must be pretty good at his job to make the proletariat animals swallow that load of poop.
So, as a propagandist, what does he do, exactly?
And who are the proletariat that he does it to? Well, they’re the masses, the everyday
people (or animals) who are just trying to live their lives. He feeds them words, explanations,
revisionist history to convince them that what he is saying is the truth…
even when it isn’t.
And he has to be a brown noser to stay in Napoleon’s inner circle.
You’re either in or you’re dead. And all dictators need a scapegoat, right?
Snowball represents the intellectual idealist. Why did Napoleon pick on him?
Because he was a true threat to Napoleon’s ambitions.
He was friendly, persuasive and well liked…just
the kind of pig you don’t want in your pen when you’re trying to be king.
So Napoleon blamed everything that went wrong on him. Brilliant strategy. Create a common
enemy for the population to unite against. Happens all the time in war and politics.
Ya gotta love Boxer…dumb but dedicated. He represents the proletariat.
Even when he had a nagging feeling that maybe Napoleon wasn’t being straight with the animals,
he convinced himself he was wrong because Napoleon was always right.
If only Boxer’s brains matched his brawn, he would have seen what was really going on,
bashed Napoleon’s head in with his mighty hoofs and had a double serving of sweet oats and hay.
Instead, he allowed himself to be used to death…like the proletariat under Stalin.
Clover also represents the proletariat - but
with female intuition. She smells something fishy but she can’t quite put her finger on it.
After all, seafood is notoriously slippery.
She’s a maternal, powerless victim. If you’re looking for the Material Girl archetype,
Mollie’s your gal. She represents the bourgeois who’d rather high tail it
out of town than give up their luxuries.
Considering how the revolution went downhill real quick, we note the irony of a smart choice
being made by a shallow thinker. Moses is the pusher man. He makes a good archetype
for religious mystery…the dark arts, the sacred, the occult. But he doesn’t exactly
practice what he preaches.
The pigs allow him back to Animal Farm because religion is good dope for the animals stuck
in a life where Sugarcandy Mountain doesn’t look so bad. Stalin did the same thing with
Wonder if Boxer ever got to Sugarcandy Mountain. The sheep represent the ma-a-a-asses.
They’re never sure what’s going on but they’ll follow along without making a fuss, chanting
on cue. It’s a good thing they’re cute and cuddly ’cause they sure aren’t clever.
Vacations always make you miss home, don't they?
Everybody, click your heels three times and let’s get the beep out of here.