What is the moral of Animal Farm?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One important moral of the "fable" of Animal Farm is the ease with which language can be manipulated and twisted for evil purposes. Orwell was a journalist who understood the power of words and the power of propaganda. Therefore, he wanted to tell a tale that would urge humans to be on guard against powerful groups or individuals who might want to twist words to help themselves and harm others.

The animals are gradually re-enslaved because the pigs change the words—and hence the rules—of the farm. Most famously, the Seven Commandments are reduced to one, and that one makes no sense by stating that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

Most of the animals are fairly helpless against the manipulations of the pigs because they are not able to learn to read, but almost all humans have a high level of cognitive ability. Orwell is, therefore, encouraging people to use their wits in ways the animals cannot.

Orwell was concerned that the totalitarian dictatorship imposed by Stalin was being presented in left wing circles as benign socialism, and he wanted people to look past propagandistic language to see the horror of what was really going on.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Orwell allegorically tells the story of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the establishment of the Soviet Union under the tyrannical leadership of Joseph Stalin throughout the novella Animal Farm. Orwell illustrates how the animals' positive intentions of creating a utopian society are compromised following the Rebellion when the pigs consolidate power shortly after expelling Mr. Jones. After creating and establishing the tenets of Animalism, the pigs gradually become corrupted by power. Napoleon, who metaphorically represents Stalin, usurps power through brute force and intimidation and begins ruling the farm like a tyrant. Napoleon enlists the aid of Squealer , who spreads lies and false propaganda...

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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