Social Justice in Animal Farm
Social justice is a topic known all to well in today’s society. Such issues as social heirarchial structure and unjust representatives of citizens of nations are issues in need of attention by those in power. Corruption, lies and greed by those in power however stand in the way of this form of justice from occurring, leaving many with little or no social status open to prejudice on race, religious and sexual grounds. Outlined by George Orwell in Animal Farm is the ease in which power can corrupt.
A utopian society is created once a farmer is overthrown from his position in charge of all the animals on “Manor Farm”.
A set of rules to govern the citizens of the revolutionary society was decided upon and these were to be the fairest and least controversial rules for the citizens of “Animal Farm” to abide by:
“The Commandments were written on the tarred wall in great white letters that could be read thirty yards away. They ran thus:
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a freind
3. No animal shall wear clothes
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed
No animal shall drink alcohol
6. No animal shall kill any other animal
7. All animals are equal.
It was very neatly written, and except that “friend” was written “freind” and one of the “S’s” was the wrong way round, the spelling was correct all the way through. Snowball read it aloud for the benefit of the others. All the animals nodded in complete agreement, and the cleverer ones at once began to learn the Commandments by heart.
As months passed on Animal Farm, the pigs, who thought they were the dominant force in the running of the animal farm, became more and more in control. Animal Farm, had now become the fairest it would ever be.
Word of what had happened to Manor Farm had spread across all of Ireland and England. Animals all over the country were following in their paths led by pigs Napoleon and Snowball. However, as this was happening, Animal Farm was heading to ruin as the pigs became selfish and ignorant. They would now consider themselves above the laws and commandments they had set, as they believed they had set the way for the new society.
To a greater extent, leaders Snowball and Napoleon would control and decide the fate of the farm, setting rations, “In January food fell short. The corn ration was drastically reduced”, deciding hours on the Mill, and even who would live to see another day, as we saw in Chapter 7 when Snowball had been declared a traitor:
The three hens who had been the ringleaders in the attempted rebellion over the eggs now came forward and stated that Snowball had appeared to them in a dream and incited them to disobey Napoleon’s orders. They, too, were slaughtered. Then a goose came forward and confessed to having secreted six ears of corn during the last year’s harvest and eaten them in the night. Then a sheep confessed to having urinated in the drinking pool-urged to do this, so she said, by Snowball-and two other sheep confessed to having murdered an old ram, an especially devoted follower of Napoleon, by chasing him round and round a bonfire when he was suffering from a cough. They were all slain on the spot.
And so the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones.”
The farm which had once been the source of inspiration with a democratic society was now a farm of death, destruction and communism. This is the impact of social injustice on what was once a just community in a revolutionary society.
Injustice is a strong word. When power corrupts as happened in Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, there is no telling where it will .