George Orwell in Animal Farm use animals as characters in his portrayal of the evils of totalitarianism. The taking over of a farm by the animals represents the taking over of Russia by the communists, and the corruption of power exercised by the pigs in Orwell's book represents the corrupt and abusive leadership of Stalin and his fellow totalitarians in the Soviet Union. The work is meant to be a satirical blast both at the Soviet communists and at any in the West who still believed that communism offered an ideal approach to the achievement economic and political justice in the world.
In this story, Orwell deals with the most basic of human needs and how these needs are denied in the animal farm representing Soviet totalitarianism. The pig leaders on the animal farm gradually begin to grant themselves certain privileges, such as sleeping in beds, when previously all the animals had agreed that sleeping in beds was completely forbidden because such a practice is thoroughly human (i.e., capitalistic) and therefore despicable. The pigs finagle and rationalize their way around this commandment, and the other animals immediately are persuaded "and no more was said about the pigs sleeping in the farmhouse beds" (Orwell 80).
The reader might chuckle quietly at such a satirical, fairy tale send-up of the corruption of power and the rhetoric used by the pigs to justify both their own privileges and their abuse of power, but Orwell is trying to awaken the reader, through the form of a fairy tale, to what he sees as the true horror of the Soviet system. Orwell wants the reader to identify with the injustice and suffering experienced by the individuals (humans or animals) thus mistreated by those in power. Perhaps his choice of the fairy tale as the means for his message implies that the dream of communism as an ideal government and economic system is, in fact, nothing more than a fairy tale.
The animals in Orwell are simplified c...