Animal Farm, a classic allegorical novella, tells the story of a farm’s transformation into a political and social structure under the leadership of animals. While there are several symbols throughout the book, the windmill stands out as a powerful representation of the pigs’ crass rule.
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The Windmill: An Ominous Symbol
The windmill takes a central role in Animal Farm, emphasizing the pigs’ exploitation of the working-class animals. Forced into exhausting labor by their leaders, the animals endure the grueling task of building the windmill, unaware of its ultimate purpose.
Symbolizing Political Manipulation
The windmill symbolizes the pigs’ callous handling of power on Animal Farm. As the animals toil endlessly, the pigs fail to empathize with their pain and suffering. Moreover, they exploit the collapse of the windmill as a tool for political gain.
Blaming the destruction on an external enemy, Snowball, the pigs cunningly manipulate the animals into believing that their own mismanagement had nothing to do with the disaster. This epitomizes the pigs’ ability to distort reality and brainwash their comrades.
The Deviation from the Original Intent
Initially, the windmill was meant to benefit all animals on the farm. However, the pigs, driven by their greed, repurpose it for their commercial advantage. This stark contrast exposes the pigs’ betrayal of the animals’ trust and their deviation from the farm’s original principles.
In this allegory, the windmill mirrors the vast technological and industrial ventures undertaken by the Russian people during the revolutions. While initially aimed at benefiting all, these projects ultimately favored a select few, echoing the pigs’ self-serving behavior.
The Barn: A Silent Witness to Corruption
The barn, another significant symbol in Animal Farm, represents a nation striving for independence and modernization. However, this seemingly innocuous structure serves as a backdrop for the pigs’ manipulation and oppression.
The barn showcases the gradual alteration of the original principles of Animalism by the corrupt pigs. Through rhetoric and brainwashing, the pigs successfully convince the working-class animals that they are the saviors rather than the oppressors. Thus, the barn symbolizes how a populace can be easily deceived and blind to the rise of dictatorship.
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the windmill and the barn embody the pigs’ abuse of power, the manipulation of the common animals, and the corruption that leads to the downfall of the revolution. Through these symbols, Orwell warns us of the dangers of political corruption and the need to stay vigilant against its insidious influence.
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