What Is the Theme of “Animal Farm”?

The main theme of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is that political power inevitably leads to corruption and that there is no real difference between one political system and another. Even a revolution by the people eventually falls back into established patterns of dominance and subservience.

“Animal Farm” is an allegorical and dystopian tale about a farm where the animals rebel, drive away the human owners and establish a communal government of their own. Based on the maxim that “All animals are equal,” the newly named Animal Farm starts out as a participatory government where everyone has an equal voice. Very soon, the pigs, who are both the cleverest and most ambitious animals, begin to take power for themselves, becoming the supervisors of the farm while forcing the less clever animals to do all the hard manual labor. The pigs also begin behaving more like humans in other ways as well by wearing clothes, sleeping in beds and walking on two legs. By the end of the book, the farm is very much as it was when the book began, only with pigs in charge instead of humans. First published in 1945, “Animal Farm” is widely seen as a satire of the Soviet Union and communism with Napoleon, the leader of the pigs, serving as a parody of Joseph Stalin.