It’s 1732 and slaves are being brought into Mauritius from Mozambique, Madagascar, India, and West Africa. After the Dutch abandoned Mauritius, the island underwent French colonization. Slaves were brought on to the island to work on sugarcane plantations as the export of sugarcane became profitable for the French. As time went on, the overall health of the slaves was neglected and the dissatisfaction of the living conditions became insufferable. Something had to be done.
There are two notable themes explored in this interpretation of Animal Farm. Ideologies of liberation often lead to tyrannies, and manipulating language/messages helps control the ignorant. These themes can be applied to many different situations and can be interpreted in various ways. Both of these themes are prominent in both George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm as well and we will be using his novel as a frame to explore them.
Ideologies of Liberation Often Lead to Tyrannies
After years of brutal work and harsh living conditions, the Mauritian slaves decided that they will no longer endure this kind of mistreatment. Similar to the animals of Manor Farm, the Mauritians join together in rebellion against the French. For the following few years, Mauritius was a place of peace and tranquility among all. However, Clovis a young, former slave sees an opportunity that will allow him to benefit further. Using propaganda to convince unsuspecting Mauritians, Clovis- much like Napoleon, gathers a group of followers that allows him to gain control of the island nation. In a way, Clovis replaces the French and becomes the new “oppressor” of the Mauritian people.
Manipulating Language/ Messages Helps Control the Ignorant
Within Mauritius, Clovis manipulates Avery, a trustworthy soul to spread propaganda in order to gain supporters. Mauritians accept what is told to them and they don’t make an effort to find out more because they leave the thinking to the people in charge. Everyone believes Avery because they trust that he knows better because he is older and therefore, wiser. This theme of manipulating knowledge and information is clearly depicted in Animal Farm. Napoleon uses Squealer to control the minds of the animals the way Clovis uses Avery.
French colonizers represent mankind because they regard themselves highly over the Mauritian slaves.
The French aristocrat, Jacques Larousse who owns the sugarcane plantations in Mauritius would represent Mr. Jones. Both Larousse and Mr. Jones become neglectful of their responsibilities and they arise anger within the animals/slaves.
The pigs embody the Mauritians who attempt to solve the problems but in fact make the situation worst.
Philippe, an elderly slave who was brought to Mauritius from Mozambique. The other slaves looked to him for guidance. He endured much suffering and he decided that the French had done enough damage. Philippe encouraged the other workers to start a rebellion as he was taking his last breath.
Napoleon is represented as Clovis. Clovis is an intelligent but greedy young man. Like Napoleon, he sits back and lets others do his dirty work.
Marquis, Philippe’s grandson who shared his grandfathers beliefs. He played an active role during the rebellion however, similar to Snowball he was driven away as Clovis saw him as a political threat.
A middle aged former slave by the name of Avery represents Squealer. Avery was a very trustworthy and honest guy. He was also a really convincing man because of that. Clovis noticed this and manipulated Avery into working for him. Just like Squealer was a voice from the pigs to the other animals, Avery is that voice from Clovis to the Mauritians.
The Mauritians represent the horses as they are the workers on the sugarcane plantation.
Louie is one of the hardest workers on the plantation. He is very hard-working and extremely muscular. Like Boxer however he doesn’t really think for himself.
The dogs are depicted by the group of people who support Clovis earnestly. These people are the ones who Marquis out of the picture and they do all of Clovis’s dirty work.
The Animal Farm/Manor Farm
The sugarcane plantation represents animal farm as it the place where the hard labor takes place.
The farmhouse is represented by the cabin deserted by the French aristocrats in which Clovis and his minions reside.