Comparing Animal Farm With That of the United States 
By Candice Rusie
12th grade student

Many startling similarities exist between the Animal Farm society, as George Orwell present it in his book, and the American society of yesterday and today. When the author wrote the cynical short novel, published in 1945, he intended it to be a satire of the Russian Government under Stalin's command, but it can also be applied as an allegory for some of the more corrupt aspects of the politics, government and class of the United States. 

In Animal Farm, there was an obvious distinction between the "white collar" workers (ie., the pigs) and the "blue collar" workers (ie., the rest of the animals). In America there is also a definite separation between the management and the nameless workers. In the story, the pigs sleep comfortably in the farmhouse while the other farm animals labor in the fields, build the windmill or engage in other manual drudgery. The pigs, particularly Napoleon, accept the accolades when things go wonderfully, while the rest of the animals, whose hard work produced the few successful occurrences on the farm, remain unacknowledged. In the United States, the management also receives all the praise and most of the revenue if the company is profitable, while the blue collar workers, who are in fact responsible for the prosperous times, remain unknown (Think about the acclaimed corporations in America, like Microsoft and Disney, whose CEOs and leaders are rich and famous. Now think about all the people those corporations employ. Are all those people rich? Are they famous? No, but it is their hard work that makes those few CEOs wealthy.) The self-appointed leader of the farm, Napoleon, is never seen by the lowly workers, save for self-congratulatory ceremonies and parades. The blue collar animals' one connection with the isolated white collars is through Squealer, who does very little except gush about statistics, graphs and calculations, reassuring the animals of the success of the farm. This happens in real life, too. No humble worker has contact with the "Boss;" they meet, instead, with supervisors anal overseers. They rely on corporation-produced newsletters for glowing reports on productivity. The Boss is seen as some cold, unapproachable, nonhuman, godlike entity by many employees in many companies. They fear the Bosses and their wrath ("We can't be late for work! The Boss will Find out!" "Now, kids, don't act up at the company picnic! The Boss will be there!") To those people, the Bosses can figuratively buy and sell them. In Animal Farm, Napoleon, the Boss literally did buy other animals, and he also sold Boxer to the glue factory. A physical difference exists in the humans' world: the professionals who occupy offices all day don suits and ties, while the ones who toil in factories have to wear uniforms, each announcing their respective status to everyone. Although the animals do not wear clothes (at least not in the beginning), their breed alone sets them apart from each other. 

On Animal Farm, no animal ever is privy to the whole, unadulterated truth. If good news does exist they do hear about it, but it is often exaggerated and fabricated to sound even better. Negative information is kept from them or twisted around by Squealer, the propagandist, so that the problem appears to be insignificant or nonexistent. This occurs in society today. The U.S. military, for example, often keeps potentially destructive information from the public, but proudly announces any heroic act or triumph that occurs as an indirect or direct result of their actions. NASA behaves in the same manner- John Glenn's return to space was in the headlines for a week, bolstering civic pride in the space program, but articles about the rocket launches that have been failing in the past weeks were regulated to the back pages. 

The scapegoat on Animal Farm was Snowball; Napoleon and Squealer blamed every misfortune on this absent pig. Since it is easier to blame someone else than to accept fault graciously, scapegoats are often shamelessly used in the United States, too. Music and violent movies were denounced as causes for the recent school shootings. Sometimes entire social groups are pronounced culpable for the ills of society- poor people, gays, teenagers and African-Americans immediately spring to mind. During the McCarthy era it was the communist. 

In Animal Farm, only the pigs got an actual education. The other animals attempted to teach themselves to read, but with mediocre results. When servitude was still allowed in America it was a crime to educate slaves; since education equals power; Napoleon was aware that if the animals learned to read then they will become more capable of overthrowing him. Also, in America only those who can afford it or earn scholarships can go to college, and only those who have enough money to pay for it can attend private primary and secondly schools. 

Fortunately, circumstances are not as bad as they were on Animal Farm. There is more fairness in America, more education and more freedom. A dictator does not rule us and we can vote to change things. However, in the beginning that's how it was on Animal Farm as well Every American should use this book as a lesson on what will happen if we decide to remain uninformed and let the government gain too much power. 

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