What is the major conflict in this novel how did you determine it? How was the conflict resolved? What is the author's main message or idea?

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Certainly, Orwell wrote this novella in his disillusionment for Communism. AnimalFarm is an allegory that illustrates that all men do not want to be equal; some want power.  Nor do they want to share the wealth and the work.  Communism does not work; people refuse to be all the...

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Certainly, Orwell wrote this novella in his disillusionment for Communism. Animal Farm is an allegory that illustrates that all men do not want to be equal; some want power.  Nor do they want to share the wealth and the work.  Communism does not work; people refuse to be all the same. Evil will always prevail, as well, and people will be exploited by those who are stronger.  Governments are corrupt; Communists governments that are so large are certainly going to produce tyrants who oppress the people.

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I would also consider the story from the perspective of Orwell passing judgment or making commentary about the Soviet Union and communism.  Post #5's comment about corruption being the stumbling block to utopia definitely has resonance in terms of this type of interpretation,

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One of the beauties of this little novel is that the message, though mostly clear, remains open to intepretation. The post above suggests that corruption is the stumbling block to utopia in Animal Farm.

We might also identify human (animal) weakness as the primary problem in revolution. Those who are governed are too weak to demand justice and integrity from their leaders. Those who govern are too weak to refuse to be corrupted. 

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The main message of this book is that human beings are too fundamentally corrupt to be able to create a utopia.  Orwell is telling us that people can have wonderful dreams of perfect worlds, but he is also saying that various aspects of human nature (greed, laziness, etc) will prevent us from ever achieving utopia.  Therefore, we should be very wary of people who have utopian dreams that they want to implement.

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The first conflict is between then animals and the humans. Old Major describes the nature of the conflict in his speech, and it is resolved through the revolution that established Animal Farm. The second major conflict is between the principles upon which the revolution was established (i.e. animalism) and the realities of the society that is created. A particular tension exists between the idea of equality and the rise to prominence and power of Napoleon and Squealer. By the end of the book, the original conflict, rather than being resolved as such, has come full circle--the pigs have become like the humans, and exploit them in the same ways.

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I have found that the best way to determine an author's main message or idea is to look at how the characters change and develop. If the characters go through a significant change over the course of the novel, then whatever caused that change is going to be very closely related to the theme, or main message of the novel.

If you are looking for advice on a specific novel, you need to post the name of the novel. We don't know which book you're asking about.

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