The animal farm

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Thursday, September 20, 2012


GEORGE Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is a disturbing allegory of events which took place in Mr. Jones’ Manor Farm. One day, the animals, led by an elderly pig Major, decided to get rid of their cruel owner and take control of the farm. Major even came up with 7 commandments of Animalism, with the most important, “All animals are equal.”

The expulsion happened when the animals, in their fury over being left unfed, attacked the farmhands and Jones. The humans fled for safety. The animals celebrated and discussed how to manage the farm. They agreed it will be “a farm by the animals for the animals.”

Two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, emerged as leaders. (Alas, Major died even before the revolution took place). And since pigs were considered to be of superior intelligence, this was natural. Pigs learned how to read and write. Snowball taught the others but without much success.

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Affairs at the farm ran smoothly at first. But despite their best intentions, the chain of events revealed corruption and greed. Power intoxicated the pigs, particularly Napoleon, who later on banished Snowball from the farm since they never agree on anything.

Napoleon turned out to be no less cruel than Jones. He used the dogs to instill fear in those who dare oppose him. The animals worked longer hours but were left unfed as well. Napoleon even altered their commandments to suit him.

All the other uneducated animals, unsure of whether the commandments were indeed modified or not, resigned themselves to their harsh conditions under Napoleon.

We know Napoleon. We see him everyday on TV, hear him on the radio and read of him in newspapers. We meet him along congressional halls, municipal and city halls.

All too soon we will see these Napoleons on the campaign trail once again. They will court us with their same old, tired lines and promises of “a government for the people by the people.” Hearing them leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

But it is important to note, Napoleon did have good intentions. Too bad, he forgot Major’s advice – that in fighting man we must not come to resemble him and adopt his vices.

Orwell could not have described the current state of politics in the country better. “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Let me digress from my usual sarcastic self.

This man is no Napoleon. He happens to be the head for External Relations of Smart Communications. He has a kind heart and a truly impressive way of coming up with solutions to problems. For always being there for me, thank you and belated happy birthday, Wo Rosete.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 20, 2012.

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