My Animal Farm takes place in a modern day middle school in the U.S.A. The teachers do not like the principal because he is cruel and does not pay attention to them. The principal does not listen to any ideas from the teachers. The teachers complain to the Superintendent and the principal is fired. The teachers then decide they will run the school the way they think is best. There are two groups of teachers in this school. One group is the teachers. The other group is made up of student teachers. Mr. Snowball is the leader of the teachers. Mr. Napoleon is the leader of the student teachers. Mr. Snowball and Mr. Napoleon jointly lead. Then comes a disagreement. Mr. Napoleon thinks the school should use the flipped classroom model. Mr Snowball thinks the traditional classroom model is best. Mr. Napoleon goes to the student jocks and convinces them to help him make Mr. Snowball’s life miserable. The student jocks harass Mr. Snowball mercilessly. Mr. Snowball finally decides to quit working at the school and leaves. He makes this decision because he is being treated so badly by Mr. Napoleon and the student jocks. Now Mr. Napoleon is free to run the school the way he thinks is best. This means he does not pay attention to anyone else’s ideas or concerns. In the end, he is no different than Principal Jones was.
The themes I want to explore are “Ideologies of Liberation Often Lead to Tyrannies” and “Humans Will Split into Different Classes…and One Class Will Take Advantage of the Other”. I’d like to use these themes because they help explain how power can corrupt people and how people will manipulate others to get what they want. Animal Farm uses these themes throughout the story to enhance the plot and push the book forward. I can use these themes in the same way to push my parallel story forward with slightly different situations. I like these two themes because you can use them in many different situations and keep the same basic story line.
Ideologies of Liberation Often Lead to Tyrannies
My first theme is that “Ideologies of Liberation Often Lead to Tyrannies.” In my Animal Farm, the first supposed liberation comes when the teachers get the students to help them get Principal Jones fired. The teachers did this by telling the students that things would be better at the school if the principal was gone. Now Mr. Snowball and Mr. Napoleon are in charge. For a short time, things seem to be better for everyone who is left. Unfortunately, Mr. Snowball and Mr. Napoleon then disagree on the best system of education to use in the school. Mr. Napoleon decides he wants to get rid of Mr. Snowball. Mr. Napoleon convinces the student jocks to threaten Mr. Snowball by telling them that Mr. Snowball wants things to be just like they were while Principal Jones was there. The student jocks harass Mr. Snowball until he is so miserable that he decides to quit. Mr. Napoleon is now in charge. No one else has as any power. Mr. Napoleon will not listen to anyone who has ideas that differ from his. Mr. Napoleon and the student teachers keep talking about how much better things are now. The students believe them. Then one day the students the students have a problem and they to to talk to Mr. Napoleon about it. Mr. Napoleon dismisses everything they say. The students realize that nothing has actually changed.
Humans Will Split Into Different Classes…And One Class Will Take Advantage Of The Other
My second theme is that “Humans Will Split into Different Classes…and One Class Will Take Advantage of the Other.” In my Animal Farm, the students are taken advantage of by the teachers and the student teachers. The teachers and student teachers use the students to get rid of Principal Jones. This does not make things any better for the students. It does make things better for the teachers and student teachers. In another example, Mr. Napoleon and the student teachers take advantage of the student jocks to help them get rid of Mr. Snowball. This does not help the student jocks. It does help Mr. Napoleon and the student teachers.
My mankind is Principal Jones and the Superintendent. These are the people who have power at the beginning of my Animal Farm. The principal ignores the student and teachers. This compares to Mr. Jones ignoring the needs of the animals on his farm. This causes the teachers to complain and get the principal fired, much like the animals run Mr. Jones and his family off of the farm.
My Mr. Jones is Principal Jones. He is the first to take advantage of the students and the faculty. He overworked the students and teachers and didn’t pay attention to their needs. In Animal Farm Mr. Jones was drunk all the time and wasn’t paying attention to the farm. In my Animal Farm, Principal Jones was gone all the time and wasn’t paying attention to the school. Just as Mr. Jones was run off by the animals, Principal Jones is run off by the faculty and students.
In my Animal Farm, the Pigs are the teachers and student teachers. Just as the Pigs took over control of the farm, the teachers and student teachers took over control of the school. This group was smarter than the students. The teachers and student teachers were more educated than the students and used their greater knowledge to manipulate the students.
My Old Major is a really old teacher who is about to retire. His name is Mr. Major. One day in the teacher’s lounge Mr. Major makes a speech to the teachers and student teachers about how Principal Jones is ignoring them and they should get him fired. This starts the teachers and student teachers thinking about how they should do that. Mr. Major then retires.
My Napoleon is Mr. Napoleon. Mr. Napoleon is one of the two teachers at the school. Mr. Napoleon started out by co-leading the effort against Principal Jones with Mr. Snowball. Mr. Napoleon thinks the flipped classroom model is the best. Mr. Snowball prefers the traditional classroom model. When Mr. Napoleon and Mr. Snowball fight about which is better, Mr. Napoleon decides he wants to be the one in power instead of having to compromise. Once he has all the power, Mr. Napoleon begins to act no differently than Principal Jones did.
My Snowball is Mr. Snowball. When Mr. Snowball and Mr. Napoleon had their disagreement, Mr. Snowball did not try to gain power over Mr. Napoleon. This resulted in Mr. Snowball being run out of the school.
My Squealer is a student teacher. He helps Mr. Napoleon by talking to the students and convincing them that Mr. Napoleon is right and Mr. Snowball is wrong. He stayed on Mr. Napoleon’s good side throughout everything. He never questioned Mr. Napoleon’s right to be in charge.
The horses in my Animal Farm are the students. The students do whatever the person in charge tells them to do. They are not aware of all the manipulation and power grabbing going on. They are just there to go to school.
My Boxer is an eighth grade student. He works hard despite everything going on around him. He was happy to do whatever the person in charge told him to do as long as he could still finish and move on to high school. In the end that is what he does.
My dogs are the student jocks. They are the ones that Mr. Napoleon uses to gain power. They do this by harassing Mr. Snowball until he leaves the school. This makes Mr. Napoleon the only person with power in the school. They do this because Mr. Napoleon convinces them that things will be better if Mr. Snowball is gone.
The Animal Farm/Manor Farm
My Animal Farm is the unnamed middle school. I chose a middle school for my setting because there are many different levels of power in a school. This power difference provides a setting in which people can be manipulated by others who want more power for themselves.
My Farmhouse is the principal’s office. This is where the person who runs a school spends their time and where all the decisions are made. After Principal Jones is made to leave, Mr. Napoleon and Mr. Snowball share the office. By the end, Mr. Napoleon has the principal’s office all to himself. The principal’s office is a symbol of power.