In "Animal Farm," how does Orwell make fun of bureaucracy?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Animal Farm" is an allegory containing political satire.  The author disguises his critique of politics, class conflict and the truth about the Russian government, in an entertaining tale where pigs are the lead characters. 

 "Was it wonderful that when the poor animals gazed in they "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"?

His choice of pigs, is of course, a major put down, since these animals are best known as gluttons who roll around in the mud. Although the casting of pigs as his lead characters does cause the reader to laugh, the behavior of these pigs, is frighteningly similar to the tyrants of Stalinist Russia.

One area in particular that focuses on the hypocrisy of the bureaucrats is with the use of alcohol. 

The next bulletin was that Comrade Napoleon had pronounced a solemn decree as his last act on earth: "the drinking of alcohol was to be punished by death." Within a couple of days the pigs are busily studying books on brewing and distilling."


timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From one point of view, Orwell never makes fun of bureaucracy.  In this book and "1984," bureaucracies grab power and abuse it to control and tyrannize the members of their societies. 

At the end of "Animal Farm," however, he does poke (sorry, couldn't resist) some fun at the operations of a bureaucracy.  There are more pigs than ever (bureaucratic underlilngs), and they spend a great deal of their time creating reports, writing memoes and minutes none of which will ever see the light of day.   This is all a huge waste of energy and produces nothing worthwhile; that is left to the animals, the real workers on the Farm/Manor.  Sadly, it is the effort of the animals that supports the bureaucrats in their worthless jobs jobs that that just serve to cement their positions in the society (try getting rid of a bureaucracy in our world, and it's clear that, despite the fact that many of them are pointless, they are here to stay).

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orwell does an excellent job of showing how the perfect "Animal Farm" can never be.  The world that Old Major speaks of does not exist and never truly does...the pigs simply take the place of man who lives in the lap of luxury while the others do all the work for less than what they had before.