Symbolism of pigs in Animal Farm
An Analysis of Themes through Pigs in Rowel’s Animal Farm For centuries now pigs have been defined as very important animals with many purposes in various cultures. Pigs have been used for food, domestic pets, farming and even the odd Hollywood blockbuster; the list goes on and on. In some cultures pigs are worshiped like humans and others slaughtered for meat, all of which with a distinctive purpose. In Rowel’s Animal Farm this theory is shown to an extreme. Orwell exposes pigs in a way never seen before, to a point where they have the ability to out will humans.
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He takes what is normally a friendly useful and popular animal onto deceiving power hungry beasts, which presents major themes in the novel. In the novel Animal Farm, Orwell evolves the plot by displaying themes through pigs such as knowledge, power and betrayal. One of the main themes displayed through pigs in Rowel’s Animal Farm is knowledge. First off, in the novel it is explained right from the beginning that the pigs IQ are much superior compared to the other animals. For example, the pigs are able to take books and learn the entire alphabet on their own, opposed to the others only being capable of retaining a few letters (Orwell 30).
Orwell explains, “As for the pigs, hey could already read and write perfectly… Boxer could not get beyond the letter D. ” (29-30). That being said, the alphabet itself represents intelligence so it’s obvious to the reader that even within a simple 26-letter alphabet the pigs are on a whole other academic level. Furthermore, the pigs in the novel have a very high sense of initiative. As an illustration, to build the famous windmill the pigs take initiative by reading manuals on the subject to be able to build it properly (44).
By doing so, it’s obvious that the pigs are very intelligent from even thinking of the idea of a windmill, UT the fact that they did their research before hand displays knowledge to another extent. Moreover, pigs knowledge is displayed by the fact that a group of farm animals like themselves can hold an entire farm together and keep in running up to speed to a certain degree. For instance, the pigs are able to keep up the productivity around the farm and make sure that all the other animals keep up their duties.
This theory is shown when it’s said that the first year’s harvest was more successful then it would have been with the former head farmer M. Jones (25). As a matter of fact, at he beginning of the novel pigs were Just regular working animals but once left with no leader their knowledge allowed them to take charge of the farm. As a result, the high levels of knowledge displayed in pigs ends up raising their expectancies and plays a major role in the evolution of the plot. In like manner, pigs not only display the theme of knowledge but power as well.
In Rowel’s Animal Farm power is a major theme presented by pigs to advance the plot. In the first place, assuming leadership of the farm right from the start is the biggest point to show that pigs represent power. In this case, as soon as M. Jones is exiled from he farm the pigs step up and take charge of the farm by assigning roles and (22). You could imagine that when the farmer leaves his farm it would go to waste, but in this specific case the pigs realized their social status on the farm and started giving ideas and theories to the other, which eventually established power.
Equally important, as the plot progresses the pigs are able to make sure all the farm work gets done without wasting an ounce of energy themselves. For example, it’s explained that the pigs hide out in the farmhouse all day while all the others work harder then ever before (53). The power of the pigs over the others is shown the most when the worship towards the pigs increases by the day, while their work ethic decreases, no balance is established. Also, the power that the pigs contain over the others grows so large that they obey every command given to them even if the pigs constantly modify the original farm mottos.
Specifically, one of the original seven commandments established by the pigs was that no animal should ever kill another animal. That being said, Napoleon, the main leader, convinces that his former partner Snowball as been against the farm since the beginning and that any animal associated with Snowball would be killed (73). At the beginning of the novel it seems as though no animal would ever break a commandment but with the power status and manipulation of the pigs, the animals eventually accepted something that one sounded so treacherous.
In the same way, like power, betrayal is another major theme in the novel that is seen through pigs. In Rowel’s Animal Farm, pigs play a key role in the advancement of the plot with betrayal. In the first place, the pigs betray the entire farm when they have one of their most loyal comrades killed. That is, Boxer the horse, one of the oldest and by far the hardest worker was sent to be killed by the power of the pigs (104). Boxer had been wounded and was told by Napoleon that he’d be treated by a veterinarian but instead was sent to a glue factory to be condemned (103-104).
In addition, right at the beginning of the novel betrayal is portrayed within the two leaders of the farm. Such as, Napoleon betrays his partner Snowball by turning the entire farm on him convincing them he had done awful things towards the farm right after he had risked his life in the Battle of the Cowshed (52). After Snowball was forced out of the farm by the dogs, Napoleon took the opportunity to take credit for Snowball’s ideas and turn everyone against him. Likewise, the pigs betray the entire farm when throughout the entire novel they break all the seven commandments at one point or another that they, the pigs, put in place.
Specifically, at the end of the novel when a few of the animals sneak into the farmhouse it is seen that the pigs are sitting around a table associating in a friendly manner with humans, while wearing clothes and drinking alcohol all at the same time (116). That certain situation plays a eye role of the overall view of the story since it is said that when the animals were looking into the farmhouse room they could not tell the difference between the humans and the pig’s.
To pursue this point further, Orwell writes: “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. ” (120). Distinctive advancement in the plot. In the novel Animal Farm, Orwell evolves the plot by displaying themes through gigs such as knowledge, power and betrayal.
Orwell does an amazing Job using these themes to progress the plot with help from the pigs. The actions of the pigs within these themes affect the farm as well as the general look of the novel in a major way. All three of the themes that are displayed through pigs are themes that are recurring in everyday life. No matter your culture or your social status certain people will always represent power figures, people will always be betraying their former partners, and of course knowledge, the core of any group or society throughout our world today.