Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why did the farm's name change from Manor Farm to Animal Farm?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,872 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Manor Farm is a name devised by humans. As such, it symbolizes the control they have over the farm and over the lives of the animals who live there. Once the animals take control, however, the ideology of Animalism is put into effect. Among other things, this means that the old name has to go, along with all other signs of domination by the hated human enemy. According to Animalism, humans are exploiters of animals. They must be overthrown and expelled from the farm if the animals are to have freedom over their own lives. So, to symbolize the new order, the name of the farm is changed to Animal Farm. The farm belongs to the animals now. It is their farm, not the humans'.

Equally symbolic is the fact that the name of the farm changes back to Manor Farm when the pigs learn to walk upright and are almost indistinguishable from humans.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial



theaj-77 | Student

The resident animals of Manor Farm had had enough of the human oppression, exploitation, and control which they faced from their owners. Their discomfort grew to the point where they staged a rebellion and victoriously overthrew their owner, Mr Jones, and drove him away from his land, Manor Farm.

The animals took control of the farm and instituted a number of changes which were meant to rid it of all traces and symbolisms of human oppression.

As a key part of their move to establish their animal paradise in honor of Old Major's vision, the animals sought to institute Animalism. The replacement of the name Manor Farm with Animal Farm was a major part of this plan as the human name stood as a symbol of human oppression.

Further Reading

https://www.enotes.com/topics/animal-farm

orionhunt | Student

'Manor Farm' was the original name of the farm given by the human being who was the owner of the farm. If we view the 'Animal Farm' as a political allegory, which it certainly is, the novella pictures the tumultuous journey of the rise of communism to power which overthrows the original capitalistic system, but which on its application to reality, turns out to be as corrupt as the system which it overthrew in the first place. From this point of view, Manor Farm is a proper name which is given by a human being, indicating private and sole ownership of the farm which is the basic feature of any capitalistic system, since it is a system of private ownership over everything. Now the change from 'Manor Farm' to 'Animal Farm' finds an interesting parallel in the alleged ownership of the resources by proletariats (which were owned by aristrocrats before) in communist regimes such as the Soviet Union. This symbolizes the transfer of resources and ownership from the hands of a few powerful private individuals to the common people and masses, who are here symbolized by the various animals in the farm. The name 'Animal Farm' has only a collective owner, who in this case are all animals and not a single animal owning the resource.

However, inspite of the intentions with which the revolution in the 'Animal Farm' was brough about, it again leads to the concentration of the power in hands of a few animals instead of humans this time. (As it happened with the leaders of the common people in communism who exploited the very people they claimed to fight for) and hence it again changes back to its original name, which indicates that the new communist revolution turned out to be as exploitory as the old Capitalistic regime.

In addition to this political parallelism, the change of name portrays something interesting even from a psychological point of view. The name 'Manor Farm' is something easily recognizable, orderly and acceptable by human beings. But the name 'Animal Farm', represents something uncivilized, brutish, and unorderly as we commonly associate animals with wild elements of nature and the place of their habitation, either jungle or a farm, to be chaotic and uncivilized from a human point of view. It is interesting to note that this pscyhological element is time and again emphasized throughout the novella by the portrayal of the frequent descent into chaos and a lack of order and stablitilty and also a lack of human civilizational values, which is what actually tends to happen when people revolt in any regime and for the time being, the peace and the stability of the civilization is disturbed and we come close to a state of warfare and jungle rule. At the end of the novella, even though the name changes back to the original name, indicating the return of some order, this order is not benevolent or life-enhancing, but is a tyrinnical control similar to the control before the rise of the animal revolt.

Therefore, the change of the name in the novella is very significant since it portrays the entire history of the world revolutions and also explores something very profound about the psychological impulse in humans that seeks power and domination under the guise of social reform and change.