Symbolism is used to support the satire and irony that runs through the book.
Humans are not depicted favorably in this novel, which is written from the animals’ perspective. They symbolize evil and they use instruments of terror to control the
animals, e.g. whips, harnesses, bits and so on.
The fact that they walk on two legs is a characteristic that is distinctly human and is referred to in the slogan bleated by the sheep, “Four legs good, two legs bad”.
When the pigs adopt the posture of walking on two legs holding whips, the full circle has been achieved.
The windmill symbolizes the success of Animal Farm and that is why it is destroyed by the neighboring farmers, but it also symbolizes the conflict between Snowball and
Napoleon. For the animals the windmill symbolizes the chance of an easier life, and that is why they are determined to see it completed. To the pigs, it symbolizes ‘the good life’ for them.
Orwell makes a particular symbolic reference to the suffering of the Soviet people in the 1930’s when farms were put under State control in the form of collectives.
Many farmers opposed this and killed their cattle just as the hens on Animal Farm destroyed their eggs. It is though that between ten and fifteen million peasants died as a result of the famine during these years.
There are many more examples of symbolism in this novel.