70 pages 2 hours read

George Orwell

Animal Farm

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1945

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Symbols & Motifs

“Beasts of England”

The song “Beasts of England” symbolizes the high dreams and ideals of the Rebellion, inspired by Major and later betrayed by Napoleon. Major introduces the song to the animals in his barn meeting, and it creates a sensation as they take it up immediately and sing it over and over again “in tremendous unison” (10). Echoing Marx’ invocation “Workers of the world, unite,” the lyrics call upon all animals in England to join together to overthrow “Tyrant Man” (9) so that animals can roam the countryside free and enjoy its produce. Symbols of animals’ subjugation are mentioned: harnesses, rings, spurs, whips. The day when the revolution is accomplished is styled as “the golden future time” (9), suggesting the utopian dream of communism.

The song returns as a leitmotif throughout the rest of the book, with the animals singing it as a sign of belonging to Animal Farm and its ideals. When Napoleon abolishes the song, replacing it with a song composed by Minimus simplistically proclaiming loyalty to Animal Farm, the original dream of Animal Farm is gone.