Who must accept the blame for the failure of Animal Farm, Snowball, Napoleon, Old Major, the pigs, the humans, or all the animals?What does Orwell want the readers to conclude? Who is to blame when...

Who must accept the blame for the failure of Animal Farm, Snowball, Napoleon, Old Major, the pigs, the humans, or all the animals?

What does Orwell want the readers to conclude? Who is to blame when governments become autocratic? Is the dictator, the party who put him/her into power, or all of the people?

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e-martin's profile pic

e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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My reading of the story would allow for degrees of blame with the greatest blame falling on those in power and less blame (but still some) falling on the animals who went along without resistance as Napoleon's regime corrupted the vision of what Animal Farm was supposed to be.

All the animals are to blame, some are just more to blame than others. 

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The message in the book places the blame on the failed system of communism, the blame is placed squarely on the dictator or authoritarian government who lie to the animals using propaganda, as done by Squealer in the story.  Napoleon is to blame for the cruelty and hardship that the animals endure.

Napoleon and Snowball support and encourage the rebellion, initially visualized by Old Major.  They debate the issues of the farm, but secretly, Napoleon has no intention of sharing power with Snowball.  In fact, Snowball is run off the farm by Napoloen and his dogs after he becomes too popular and successful with the other animals.

Snowball really believes in the cause of equality, hard work and justice.  But Napoleon, who takes on qualities of the humans, has no interest in Snowball's ideas of improving the efficiency of the farm, he doesn't care if the animals work hard, he doesn't do anything, he just benefits from their hard work, the same as the farmer did, only it is worse, because now it is one of their own who is using them, exploiting them, brutilizing them, not feeding them, forcing them to work harder and harder.

The ideology of communism is flawed, does not work and cannot work because once power is concentrated in one figure or in government, that power is exploited over the people that it is supposed to serve.  Total power, total control, with central decision making being done results in more inequality, more injustice, more misery, more poverty. 

Sadly, the utopia that communists and socialists seek is unattainable, stripping people of their freedom and incentive to work leaves only the rule of the whip to encourage those enslaved to work harder. The brutality of the powerful state or government makes life far worse for the animals than it was under Farmer Jones.  

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sheilaibay | eNotes Newbie

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Do you sympathize with the animals' complaints and goals? Why or why not?

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sheilaibay | eNotes Newbie

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How does the original vision of Animalism become the slogan "Four legs bad, two legs good?" In your opinion, do the animals want rules with simple language? What kind of language do the pigs use?

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sheilaibay | eNotes Newbie

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How does the pigs gain the rights to the cow's milk? Why do the other animals allow this to occur? What does this event suggest about the power hierarchy on the farm?

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sheilaibay | eNotes Newbie

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Describe how the Rebellion takes place. How does the animals' behavior during the Rebellion suggest both human and animal characteristics?

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The story of animal farm is clearly intended to represent the process of establishment of communist system and how the people who were instrumental in establishing the system, deviated from the original ideals of the system to further their own welfare and power.

The way Orwell has described behavior of many animals before and after the takeover by animals, it is quite clear that he is illustrating the fact that basic nature of a person remains same in spite of changing circumstances. For example, Boxer remains to be a sincere hard worker, Mollie continues to be interested only in personal comforts, and Benjamin prefers to not to express his views.

Of course, we can identify and debate on individual events and actions in the book that have marked turning points in the story. We can also identify characters responsible for such developments. But I believe main purpose of the story is not to blame individual characters for the failure of the Animal Farm. The purpose is to demonstrate the fault in the system itself.

The rivalry between Napoleon and Snowball represents the inevitability of power struggle between people at the helm of affair. Use of dogs by Napoleon represents the use of power made by all dictators and totalitarian regimes to keep them selves in power. The communist system of governance became popular on the basis of promise of a better future, and the leaders advocating new order became popular, but as it was not possible for them to deliver all that they promised, it became necessary for to use force to maintain their positions.

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apbrown | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Who must accept the blame for the failure of Animal Farm, Snowball, Napoleon, Old Major, the pigs, the humans, or all the animals?

What does Orwell want the readers to conclude? Who is to blame when governments become autocratic? Is the dictator, the party who put him/her into power, or all of the people?

I believe that Orwell would like us to conclude that dictators, the parties who place the dictator in power and all of the people are to blame when governments become autocratic. For instance, when Napoleon loses sight of what his obligations are to the animals on the farm then he becomes a dictator. But the animals are also partially responsible for their fate because they ignore the signs that indicate how dangerous Napoleon is. For example, the animals blindly believe Napoleon when he explains that Snowball is a traitor. The other animals blindly follow Napoleon's lead without question. I believe that Orwell satirizes people's blind faith in their government.

Ironically, the animals that help Napoleon gain his power soon discover that they have given away all of their rights to the leader (Napoleon) they elected. Consequently, the animals realize that the rights that they fought to gain is initially taken away by the leader that they elected. The animals give their power away because they refuse to ask questions and take an proactive role in their new government.

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kurayamikira666 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I've seen the movie. Napoleon blames Snowball for the failure and Snowball ends up running for his life really. Hope that helps.

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