Is hope a positive or negative force in Animal Farm?

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This is a tough one.  I think that much of it is going to depend on what Orwell himself reads into the issue of hope.  On one hand, I think that Orwell would argue that it is hope that caused the need to revolt in the first place.  Jones was a lousy ruler who probably needed to be overthrown.  If hope had not been evident, the animals would not have coalesced into a force of change.  They would not have become the change they sought.  Yet, where Orwell might hold some hesitation on embracing hope is when it becomes a reason to not act.  For example, while Orwell obviously holds a great deal of love for Boxer, I think he feels bad and resents the fact that Boxer keeps on using hope as a way to excuse the abuses of the power of the Pigs.  Boxer's hope and faith in Napoleon with mantras such as "Napoleon is always right" or "I will work harder" is a force of excuse.  It is a way to avoid taking action, and masked as hope, this force enables the aggressors to become more powerful.  It is this type of hope that prevents change and is seen as negative.  In the end, I think that Orwell would argue that hope is a positive force when it embraces the goals of social justice and political fairness.  Hope becomes a dangerous force of negativity when it enables these goals and ideals to be denied.

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