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In your opinion, was the revolution successful? Were there any other options available to bring about the animals’ desired change? If so, what might have been done? If not, why was the revolution inevitable?
In George Orwell’s Animal Farm I believe that the revolution was initially successful but in the end was a unpremeditated, inadequate and unnecessary idea. The original goal of the animals revolution was to change their lives of “misery and slavery” to lives where “the whole of the produce of our [their] labour” is no longer stolen from them (2). When the animals revolt this is exactly what happens and they are ecstatic, jumping around the fields, rolling in dew and shouting to remind themselves that “it was theirs−everything that they could see was theirs” (7). This initial excitement and joy lasts for many weeks but, as could have been foretold, there must be a leader to every group and leadership creates power dynamics which are often unfair to the weaker citizens. As the smartest, the pigs took control and started taking apples to “preserve [their] health” (11). This soon turns into a complete oligarchy where the pigs believe themselves to be far better and more powerful than other animals, even enforcing their belief of superiority with violent attack dogs. It could also have been easily foretold that life completely without humans would be impossible as among other things, the animals are completely unable to forge metal on their own. These two factors lead to pigs and humans becoming prone to cross species interaction and five years later “the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again” and could not tell the difference (42). By this time the animals were back to their miserable lives of slavery but instead of being whipped by humans, they were being lashed by pigs who carried “whips in their trotters” (40). Long term this revolution was not successful as they were right back where they started, now without any literate animals with them. The entire revolution idea was also unnecessary. Instead of turning to violence and expelling Jones, they could have first resorted to far more diplomatic measures such as simply talking or writing out communications to resolve the problems peacefully. However I believe this is unlikely to work with Jones and the animals would be back to square one all over again. In my opinion the animals will be unhappy with whatever leader they have, due to their stupidity and lackluster memory. No matter who they are led by, the animals are going to be manipulated as many “animals on the farm could get further than the letter A”. For anyone who leads the animals, manipulation is simply too easy. The animals are never going to permanently receive their desired change unless they can become a dominant species capable of identifying and stopping manipulation before it gets out of control.