What the Classic Novel “Animal Farm” teaches humanity about UTOPIA

Have you ever dreamt of a perfect world without hunger, pain, inequalities, poverty, diseases, pollution, and all of the other critical problems? 

If yes, you are not alone. I always have been dreaming about that so-called “Utopia” where the greatest dreams of humanity are achieved. However, that perfect world turns out to be an evil illusion that lures revolutionaries and great political leaders to establish a society that enslaves their very own citizens in the set of beliefs and ideologies that they believe would create the ultimate perfect society. 

This is the reason why many people believe that Utopia is an ideal that is an inherent/ a natural contradiction. 

Every reward comes with a price. If you want to create that perfect world, what are you willing to sacrifice? And when you put the Utopia and its cost on a scale, which one is heavier? Then, would you still think Utopia is the best world possible? 

In Animal Farm, the classic political allegory written by the famous British author, George Orwell, this idea of political Utopia is being deliberated through a simple satire of an animal group. By using symbolism, George Orwell shows the thought-provoking consequences of political revolutions and totalitarianism.   

Animal Farm” & the Evolution of the Dust Jacket — Studiolo secondari

Animal Farm mainly represents the history of the Russian Revolution, but it also serves as a reminder of human nature’s tyranny and hypocrisy. Through his stories, Orwell condemned how revolutionaries usually turn out to be inferior to those they overthrew and turn out to be hypocrites who practice the very ideologies the revolutions oppose in the first place. 

Given its genre as a political allegory, a strong/an influential use of symbolism can be seen throughout this novel. 

Character Symbolism: 

First of all, the characters symbolize the leaders of the Russian Revolution including Joseph Stalin (represented by Napoleon), Leon Trotsky (represented by Snowball) and  the visionaries who inspire the ideologies of communism which promise to bring equality and justice to the people, Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin (represented by Old Major), and the working people of Russia (represented by other animals on the farm). 

Plot Symbolism: 

Many of the plots also represent the events that took place in the real revolution. For example, in Chapter 4, how the other neighboring farms, which are known to symbolize the European countries, are frightened of the Revolution of the Animal Farm. This is known to be the “Red Terror” that took place soon after the Russian Revolution. Other plots include the expulsion of Snowball, which resembles the Assassination of Leon Trotsky by Joseph Stalin, represented by Napoleon, in a ruthless machination to seize power. 

Other General Symbolism: 

All are equal, but some are more equal then others.

The revolution wanted to abolish any form of inequality and sought to modernize its society with a unifying force of the population. However, these symbols in the story criticize this very core ideology of most revolutionists. 

Take the windmill for example; its literal purpose is to bring a more modern power source that will modernize the farm. It promises a better life, with hot water, endless electricity, fewer work hours and more benefits to the animals.

red and gray windmill on green grass field during daytime
Photo by Kai Dahms on Unsplash

However, if we look into its symbolism, the windmill represents an impossible dream of utopia which is impossible to achieve and comes with a greater cost than the ultimate result. As the animals work so hard like slaves and their lives are getting more painful to build the windmill, it has repeatedly fallen, just like their dreams of a better world. Not only has it fallen, but eventually workers, like Boxer, who are too blind to see their sacrifices for such an impossible dream lost their lives working too hard. 

Morals of the Story: 

This tragic story of Animal Farm tells the dystopian history of many revolutions we have seen. It should guide us away from those dark paths we have chosen in the past and walk more towards what will take us to a compromised greater good of society. 

Beware of the choices you make, and educate yourself of the facts to avoid falling into traps. As seen in the story, the people who are most vulnerable to manipulation are those who are uneducated and forget their very own history. Distinguish what are facts and what is propaganda. 

Most important of all, humanity must value individuality, identity and encourage the freedom of speech from everyone. We must speak and listen. No one should be suppressed of their thoughts and no one should have their fundamental human rights taken away. 

If we want a utopia, it is only possible if we define that world by ourselves and if we value other people’s definitions as well. 

Resource: Somers, Jeffrey. “‘Animal Farm’ Overview.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 11, 2020, thoughtco.com/animal-farm-study-guide-4588320.

On the 6th and 7th of February 2020, Liger Leadership Academy held a marvelous event which was the Khmer Model United Nation Conference. The vision was to empower Cambodian Formal Language Use. In addition to that, the event was a great example of collaboration between youths to create suitable solutions to the issues our world face today. 

The conference was divided into 5 different committees  consisting of 4 general assemblies and one committee of the security council. In each conference, there were two resolutions for the delegates of different nations to debate upon the proper solution. 

I attended the conference as the Delegate of the United States in the general assembly 3 which debated upon “The Elimination of Cybercrimes in Social Media. ” and “The Problems of Establishing the One Belt One Road Initiative”.  

To prepare for this conference, I finished two resolutions for the two topics which focused on creating sustainable and equal solutions for all countries in the committee. 

The main challenge for me in this Model United Nation experience was spending time to research, synthesize and analyse different data to fully understand all of the viewpoints towards a certain problem. For example, The Belt and Road Initiative established by president Xi-JinPing in 2013 was a topic which needs a deep research in order for us to understand all of the different political viewpoints. 

Overall, the conference was a really fruitful and collaborative event, empowering individuals to speak up through the perspective of a leader. This really enhance our public speaking, political understanding and international relation skills as high-school students with no experience in these fields at all. 

It was a huge success, when everyone in the conference was given a voice as a youth. Many thoughtful questions were raised, great enough that the real leaders involving the topics should’ve been there and listened. 

My dream is to see this Model United Nation Conference being organized in more schools, especially in government schools. 

Although we are young at age, together, our voices can amplify huge meaningful changes to the world around us. 

 

First MUN Conference | Giving Youth a Voice

In the opening ceremony of the Model United Nations Conference 2019, the secretary general speaks: “Model United Nations 2019’s theme is Giving Youth a Voice. But how do we can we give a platform for the youth to speak, if they aren’t willing to share their voice?” Those two sentences were the part that spoke to me the most throughout this year’s conference. 

As a first time delegate, I have to admit I was a little bit too audacious to sign up for the General Assembly 3 (GA3) when I could have signed up for the junior committee instead; but this risk I made actually made my first MUN experience more challenging and empowering. 

One of the reasons I signed up for GA3 committee is because of its theme that focuses on the 10th SDG goal which is Reduced Inequalities. I wanted to use my voice as the delegate of the Kingdom of France and also as a youth in the society, to contribute to the resolutions that aim to provide equality, justice, freedom and rights to all people. I tried my best to prepare in advance for this first conference. I spent hours on the computer reading articles, looking at data and any research I can find relating to the three topics of GA3 committee which are: “The question of reducing inequality towards the LGBTQ+ community.”, “The question of representation of youths in government.” and “The question of government censorship of social media”. The two resolutions that I chose to work on are on the question of reducing inequality towards the LGBTQ+ community and the question of representation of youths in government. I was able to speak in favor of the two topics I chose in my resolutions according to the positive support provided by my delegation nation, France. The structure of MUN that requires every delegate to speak from their nation’s viewpoint, and not their personal opinions, provides more challenges but also a powerful voice to delegates. It has given me the power to challenge delegates from nations with opposing point of views, to question their beliefs, but most importantly to compromise. 

The Liger Leadership Academy MUN participants in 2019

On the overall aspect, my first MUN conference was challenging but successful. It had given me memories, hope and strength. It tells me that I have the ability to voice my stance, to challenge and listen to different aspects in the world. Most importantly, it has given me a chance to work with new people towards the same goal which is creating a better world. 

But if there’s one thing I take away the most from this, it is that gathering truthful voices from people is not easy, and we need to really think about how society can better listen to their people. Back to the beginning, I mentioned the secretary general’s speech that has spoken to me the most because it represents the unfortunate truth we live in. Even in the conference, I saw delegates who were scared to speak, scared to ask questions or afraid to just raise their nation placards to express their stances and needs. Why are we afraid to speak? Is it merely the stage fright? Is it the fear resulting from indirect suppression from the society or governments? Is it the result caused by communism oppression that tends to silence rebellious reforms? Or is it because of societal discrimination, prejudice or stereotypes that we constantly battle?

Whatever reason it is, I believe we all need to hear and listen to the voices of the people that we live among, no matter who we are. I believe no real change can be made if those statements of the people themselves are not being heard. I believe there’s no way government actions can work if the people whom those laws apply to aren’t parts of the decisions. 

We need to fully and truthfully encourage, listen to each other, act upon the fully compromised opinions and ultimately creating a better world for all of us. 

Lessons in Math Class

Math is an essential part of our lives, no matter who you are. In Liger Leadership Academy, we take the math curriculum from Singapore to study. Mostly, we dive deeper into a certain topic each week or round. Problem-solving and teamwork is the two most important part of our Math class. I like the way we practice our maths in different ways including solving word problems and exercises in our workbooks, doing fun math games and activities, decoding riddles with math, etc. I have access to a wonderful math learning source online which is called Khan Academy which is introduced by our math teacher.

In these last several weeks, we have been reviewing about adding, subtracting and multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers. We did a lot of exercises both in the workbook and textbook to help us practice the lessons that we have learned. Algebra is also a new lesson that has been introduced several weeks ago. It is a new and efficient way to solve math problems that I have never learned about before. I am looking forward to learning new lessons in math class. 

Studying Etymology

In this first term of my third year at Liger, we are focusing on Root Words and Etymology in the literacy class. We have been learning different root words that originated from Greek and Latin. Those root words include bio, photo, Phil, sci, phon, aud, aqua, etc. This is a splendid opportunity for me to learn more about the literacy of English and it helps me more with my vocabulary skills. We have been reading articles and we had our first official peer discussion about the articles that we have read.
I read about a deaf couple who own an extremely successful business in spite of their disability and discrimination. The morals of this article are that even we are disabled or different from others, it doesn’t mean that you can’t pursue your dreams. Many disabled people gave up their dreams because of discrimination and difficulties. However, the article is an inspiration and I would highly encourage other people to do the same as the deaf-couple which overcame their great difficulties.

The inspiring article I read: https://newsela.com/assignment/8978054