Is it better to be fed but enslaved or starving but free?  Use the connection of Animal Farm for support.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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As you probably know, this novel was written to satirize Communist Russia and is an allegory of the Soviet Revolution in which Russia went from a Tsarist Regime to a Totalitarian Regime under the Communists. In Communism, the idea is that everyone should share and be equal. It is the antithesis to Capitalism, where the ones that work hard get more money and get ahead. Under Communism, those that have more should divide it up and give it to those that don't have anything. This is all well and good, but under Communism, there was no choice. The people didn't willingly share, they were forced to do so by the government. Under this type of rule, everyone is "equal" - in fact, everyone called each other "comrade" in Communist Russia - all classes were done away with.

So in Animal Farm, all the animals are supposed to be equal, but this is not what happens. The pigs are given preferential treatment. They are the only ones allowed to drink the milk and eat the apples. Squealer claims the pigs don't really want to do this, but they do so to keep strong. So, they are better fed, but they are not free, because they are depending on others to provide their food. In a sense, they are enslaved.

The question you ask, therefore, is what is better? To live under Communism and never have to worry about getting enough to eat, or where you will live, or what job you will have because the government determines this for you, OR take your chances under a different system, such as Capitalism, where you could either be rich or poor, depending how hard your work. You might starve, but you will be free.

Which would you rather be, then? Starving and free, or fed, but enslaved? And think about slavery in the United States. The slaves were fed, clothed and had places to live, but they were not free. Many tried to escape even though they knew they might starve. They valued freedom over being fed.

Read the analysis here on eNotes for more information.

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