Animal Farm

George Orwell wrote Animal Farm in 1945 as an allegorical tale warning against the horrors of Joseph Stalin’s dictatorial rule in the USSR. It begins on an ordinary farm in England, until a group of animals decide that their labours are being exploited by their human master. They stage a rebellion and take over the farm, declaring that “All animals are equal.” But the idealism of socialist values are soon corrupted by the farm’s greedy and clever new leaders: the pigs. They impose a totalitarian regime until a new slogan emerges: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Socialism

The egalitarian political system is often described as good in theory, but bad in practice - Animal Farm is the perfect demonstration of that argument.

Inequality

‘Some animals are more equal than others’ claim the ruling pigs of Animal Farm. Is economic equality a useful aim for society?

Corruption

Some believe that George Orwell was criticising corruption, not socialism itself. Can those in power ever be trusted?

USSR

The Soviet Union ruled parts of Eastern Europe between 1922 and 1991, and Animal Farm helped to characterise it in the minds of the western world. The union may be over, but its influence is not forgotten.

Propaganda

The pigs in the novel use songs and slogans to keep the animals in line. While propaganda was a defining part of the USSR’s politics, Animal Farm was often used by western governments for its anti-Soviet message.