In Animal Farm, George Orwell makes a powerful statement on the Communist Russian society during the Soviet Union. Orwell throughout writing this book uses social commentary to show the readers what it is truly like in Communist Russia. Animal Farm is considered one of the most important books in history and one of the best book containing social commentary. Orwell’s commentary was effective because it was able to criticize the bad parts of society – violence and manipulation – with the use of his characters and plot. One reason why George Orwell made an effective social commentary is how he showed the element of violence. In chapter seven, Napoleon rounds up all the animals on the yard and does a purge. His nine dogs attack and kill any animal to which Napoleon desires, leaving a bloody mess at the end of it all. The animals are shaken and do not fully understand what happened but they do not say anything.
They continue on serving Animal Farm with doubts about this new system. Orwell is showing how violence is used to control the masses and create less people to control, similar to what Stalin did in Soviet Russia. The way that Orwell is able to paint this picture of the purges in this novel is what makes his social commentary effective.Another reason why George Orwell made an effective social commentary is how he showed the element of manipulation. The manipulation of the animals beings in chapter five when Snowball was driven away from the farm by Napoleon.
Squealer is then talking to the animals and convincing them that Snowball was a traitor and criminal all along, then the animals adopt a new phrase – “Napoleon is always right”. Slowly, as each chapter goes on Napoleon violates every one of the seven commandments originally made in Animal Farm. Napoleon starts acting more human and Squealer manipulates the animals to thinking that what he is doing his right. As squealer shows the animals more propaganda, that more the rules are bent to Napoleon’s will.
Orwell comments on how the powerful use manipulation through propaganda to control the weak; similar to what was happening in Soviet Russia. Creating propaganda into a character, Squealer, effectively shows how bad the system was back then. Many might say that Animal Farm is not an effective social commentary because of how subtle the commentary is. The names of the people George Orwell want to criticize are not directly written down so it makes it difficult to understand, however when this book was published the readers knew exactly who Orwell was referring to.
As the book progresses the characters that symbolize the powerful leaders make sense – Napoleon is supposed to be Joseph Stalin, Snowball is Leon Trotsky and Old Major is supposed to be Karl Marx. To say the commentary is not effective because no one is directly called out is not a fair claim.George Orwell writing Animal Farm has not only commented on the social injustices of communist Russia but most societies in general. He has showed readers how bad things show up in good places and bad places. To say Animal Farm was an effective commentary would be a small thing to say, this novel has impacted the world and how we view it.