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Lexi Harris
Ms. Hosek
English 11
2 April 2015
Critical Lens Essay
George Orwells, Animal Farm was a popular novel published on August 17, 1945. Its
a fantasy version of Stalins rule over communist Russia. The story takes place on Manor Farm
and demonstrates the struggles of animals belonging to humans and their attempt to create an
animal utopia for themselves. All animals are said to be equal and united against the evils of
man. It causes many conflicts when social classes emerge from the equal animal idea in their
new found independence. Looking at the novel through critical lenses and perspectives,
Marxism, Feminism and Archetypal are all examples found in the story.
Marxism is the first lens found in Animal Farm. Marxism is the foundation to what is now
known as communism. Karl Marx had the vision of total equality where one leader works for the
good of the community. Everyone fills their roles and has their specific jobs and duties, creating
an almost utopia. Materialism is found in the novel as the pigs develop a liking to human habits
over the strict commandments of the rebellion. They start to enjoy drinking alcohol, and living
and sleeping in Mr. Jones house (Orwell 66). Capitalism shows in the novel when the pigs start
trading with humans outside of the farm for items only they want. They use labor and production
of the farm animals like Boxer and the eggs from the hens to trade for things like whiskey
(Orwell 109). The concept of socioeconomic classes shows through the established class
system and the way each rank lives. The pigs, being higher up on the scale, live more luxurious
lives with plenty of food, nice housing, and care free day to day routines while the rest of the
animals have little food, normal housing and a labor filled lifestyle. I believe a Marxist reading
this text would be disappointed in the attempted Animalism in the story because Marxists is all

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about equality, and that is what the Animalism is supposed to be. These are all individual
examples of Marxism in the book.
Feminism is another lens found in Animal Farm. Feminists believe in total gender
equality and extinguishing gender stereotyping. A feminist would read Animal Farm and would
be very annoyed noticing that there is gender equality from the pigs of the farm. They get to eat
better food, have better housing and have to do very little work around the farm. This shows that
the pigs are the dominant males of their society. The rest of the animals work on the farm, sleep
in the barn, and think of nothing more than their daily farm work. This makes the rest of the
animals the females of their society, staying at home, not thinking about anything but their daily
routine and all the housework they must complete. This idea leads to a glass ceiling. A glass
ceiling is the theory that woman can only achieve so much before society stops them. This is
shown in Animal Farm from the pigs, because they can achieve all these accomplishments, and
the rest of the farm is only able to work and never achieve what the pigs are asking them to.
This is also an example of social construct within a community and what functions of society
each gender plays a role in. These are the examples of feminism found in Animal Farm.
The final critical lens found in Animal Farm is archetypal theory. One example of an
archetype found in the book is abuse of power within the farm community.In the beginning of the
rebellion, all the animals were etablished equal by the 7 commandments of the Animal Farm.
Over time the pigs, who have the most intelligence on the farm, use their knowledge to take
advantage of the other animals. They make themselves leaders, and live in the human house
and get better food than the other animals such as milk and apples (Orwell 36). They also kind
of created social classes, causing conflict on the farm, another example of archetype. The pigs,
being the smartest, took position of leader, making the other animals mad when they enjoyed a
much easier life as leader while the others work constantly. An Archetypes could read Animal
Farm and conclude that there are multiple examples of Archetypal Theory throughout the story.

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Animal Farm symbolizes basic human rights and freedoms set in todays society versus
those of the early 20th century Russia. Looking at the novel through the different lenses at the
different perspectives throughout the story, Marxism, Feminism and Archetypal are all shown


Orwell, George.(1946) Animal Farm. New York, New York: New American Library.

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Background information on George Orwells Animal Farm NetCharles. Copyright 1995. Web.
31 March 2015
Animal Farm Essay- Animal Farm, George Orwell Enotes. Copyright 2015. Web. 31 March
Themes, Motifs, & Symbols in Animal Farm Spark Notes. Copyright 2015. Web. 01 April 2015
Animal Farm Themes Shmoop. Copyright 2015. Web. 01 April 2015
Animal Farm vs. Marxism. Novel Guide. Copyright 1999. Web. 02 April 2015