What is the representation of dream and reality in the novel Animal Farm?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dreams do not turn into reality, because when the animals try to live Old Major’s dream they are not able to maintain it.

The old boar Old Major has a “strange dream” in the opening pages of the story.  In his dream, all of the animals live a communist, collective lifestyle.  They will maintain this lifestyle without the aid of human beings.  This is the dream Old Major shares with the animals on that fateful night in the barn.

`Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals….’ (ch 1)

The animals are able to successfully kick the humans out, and they christen their new farm Animal Farm. They develop committees of leadership, but most of the important decisions are made by the pigs from the earliest.  The pigs claim they are smarter and more important, and need more privileges.  Two pigs named Snowball and Napoleon are vying for leadership.

Napoleon does not do much, but he craves power.  With the help of his propaganda pig Squealer and other pigs who follow his lead, Napoleon is able to drive Snowball out.  While early versions of Animal Farm, contain commandments promoting equality, Napoleon and the other pigs slowly adapt them to a more dictatorial leadership style.  Eventually there is no difference between the abuses of the pigs as leaders and the neglect and abuses of the humans as leaders.