What exactly is the message that George Orwell tried to communicate through Animal Farm? What exactly did he mean by

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.

Or, what was he trying to communicate with how the name "Manor Farm" was restored?

What did he try to convey with the slow death of democracy and feelings of rebellion?

Like some other questions suggest, was this just an allegory of the Soviet Revolution or something greater transcending generations?

Some previous questions and references on Literature Stack Exchange:

  1. Does "Animal Farm" explicitly state anywhere in the text that it is in fact a political allegory?
  2. What does Mrs. Jones represent in Animal Farm?
  3. Animal Farm — silent protest?
  • Hi. Are you trying to find out what is meant by that specific quote or by the novel in general?
    – Tsundoku
    Nov 24, 2020 at 20:01
  • Hi @Tsundoku, by the novel in general. What is Orwell's motivation to write Animal Farm. Nov 25, 2020 at 5:02
  • Four legs good, two legs better!
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 25, 2020 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


In the Tsarist system, there was an upper class of aristocracy that controlled the country and had a standard of living much higher than the general population. Then there was a revolution that overthrew that system, and then the revolution was hijacked by the Bolsheviks, who claimed to be taking the country over on behalf of the people to destroy the class system and institute an egalitarian society.

However, the Communist Party became the new ruling class, with the upper echelons enjoying a standard of living much higher than the general population. So while they destroyed the old system of Tsarist aristocracy exploiting the working class, they replaced it with a system that also exploited the working class, just with a different set of people doing the exploiting.

The humans in animal farm represent the capitalists/bourgeoisie/aristocracy. The pigs represent the Communists in general and the Bolsheviks, especially the upper echelons, in particular (the dogs also represent Bolsheviks, but enforcement arms such as NKVD rather than the ruling elite).

The pigs took on much of the attributes of the humans (wearing clothes, walking on two legs, etc.) and began exploiting and oppressing the rest of the animals, just as the humans did. The pigs have taken on the role of the humans, and the farm is run much as it was before the revolution, except with different people running it. This parallels how the USSR and Tsarist Russia were run by different sets of people, but the USSR was just as exploitive and oppressive, and the main difference between the two was just who was ruling, and not how they ruled.

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