The book Animal Farm by George Orwell was read in English classes all over North America. It symbolizes Russia and the Soviet Union under Communist Party rule, but can also be a metaphor for any human society regardless of political allegiances.
The pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, are in charge of the farm after rebelling against their human masters. They are meant to represent the rivalry between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Snowball, representing Trotsky, is thrown out of the revolution by Napoleon (Stalin) after he becomes violent and hungry for power.
The novella takes a shot at equality, pointing out that language can be manipulated into an instrument of control. The pigs keep making speeches to justify their behavior, leaving other animals in the dark. The other animals become unable to oppose the pigs in charge without also opposing the ideas of this rebellion they were originally on board for.
The main principal of the farm is simple: “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The idea that there are different levels of ‘equal’ exposed how the pigs were using language to control the other animals on the farm.
The book is no longer taught in some American schools due to the harsh political messages that are sent out through the book.
That’s why it was so astounding to find out who paid for the film version of the book, and why they did it.