Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
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Can you please help with writing an metaphor for Animal Farm? I'm writing a fictional profile on Clover from Animal Farm and her thoughts on the ruthless rule of Napoleon. I was thinking something along the lines of an apple that starts out fresh, and turns rotten in the middle. Or a field that produces a great harvest, but is eaten away by bugs. (these have been suggestions by others). But I actually need help writing the metaphor. Examples please.

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It is important to remember the key role that Clover plays in this excellent allegory. Although she is one of the most faithful supporters of the revolution at the beginning, it is she who gradually begins to realise what is going on and how the pigs are abusing their power and authority. Finally it is she who tries to convince the other animals about the way that the pigs are manipulating them. Note how her revolutionary fervour is described at the beginning of the book:

Their most faithful disciples were the two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover... They were unfailing in their attendance at the secret meetings in the barn, and led the singing of the "Beasts of England" with which the meetings always ended.

This would be a good starting point to begin your metaphor. Using the harvest idea, you can begin by exploring Clover's excitement at seeing the beginnings of the growth of the massive harvest, which seems to be so vast and so full of promise. The metaphor would need to compare this feeling of optimism to a farmer looking at a field and seeing new shoots of life grow up and begin to develop. Then, to correspond with Clover's increasing realisation about what is really going on in Animal Farm, the harvest can have more and more problems, until what started out so fresh and full of promise becomes worthless and needs to be abandoned.

Unfortunately I cannot write your assignment for you, but hopefully my response will give you some ideas of how you can complete it. Good luck!

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Pauline Sheehan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's good that you have some ideas but Clover is not really a character that starts out good and turns bad. She is more of a figure representing loyalty and goodness - much like Boxer. She fulfills a motherly role on the farm.

Now consider the fact that Animal Farm is an allegory and there really is a message Orwell wanted to share. Orwell was frustrated by the fact that, despite being oppressed and initially fighting for justice and to establish an ideal, people - or in this case animals - allow themselves to be manipulated by a different corrupt force.

Clover knows that things are not what they seem but, due to being a trusting and not well- educated being, feels powerless to do anything. Everything she questions is explained away. Even though, she does not completely trust the explanations given to her, she cannot argue with Squealer. For example,

 No animal shall kill any other animal

mysteriously becomes

No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.

One possible metaphor would be to describe Clover as an abuse sufferer who stays in a relationship - for the sake of the children - in this case the other animals. Abuse sufferers usually continue the cycle and having been abused before, they willingly enter into new relationships that slowly but surely repeat the cycle of abuse. Abuse sufferers, at first, accept the explanations of the abuser and believe in the inherent goodness of their abuser. They either forgive or just allow things to disintergrate slowly.  

The animals were abused under Jones' 'rule' and now the pigs are deceiving them, slowly introducing a class system of their own, having used the animals to defeat the common enemy. The gradual  warping of the Commandments defeats the purpose and intent of Animalism.  

This metaphor would suit Clover in view of her position as a motherly figure who would always strive to do her best for her 'children' but there comes a point for an abuser when his or her best is actually not good enough! Without support an abuser often becomes apathetic and rather simply survives.   

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