George Orwell’s book Animal Farm (published in1943) is a children’s story, but when closely examined, it proves to be an allegory to the Russian Revolution. The events in the book are very closely related to the actual events from The Russian Revolution. Also, the animals (main-characters) are historically referring to the Communist leaders such as Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, and others. The book starts out with Old Major speaking to his fellow animals (representing the people during the Revolution). Old Major represents either V. I. Lenin or Karl Marx.
Either way, he is representing the father of Communism. His speech urges the animals (“workers of the world”) to unite against their economic oppressors (humans in the book, Hitler in the Revolution). Old Major dies before he can see the way his followers carried on, as Lenin also died before he was able to witness final results of the Revolution. After Old Major (Lenin) dies, the three pigs Napoleon (Joseph Stalin), Snowball (Leon Trotsky), and Squealer (Stalin’s propagandist) develop the concept “Animalism”. This concept was really a fictional way of explaining Karl Marx’s Communist vision.
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This is when the animals decide to rebel and take over Manor Farm, giving it the new name Animal Farm. Every animal worked hard on the farm, and the revolt started as a success, as the Russian Revolution did. Previously, the animals had lead hard lives. Under Jones’ (Nicholas’) reign, the lives of millions of Russians got worse. The farm is overtaken from Jones, representing when Nicholas’ own generals withdrew their support of him. Nicholas left his throne hoping to avoid a civil war, but the war arrived anyway (in the form of the Bolshevik Revolution).
Nicholas, like Jones, was removed from his place of rule. He died shortly after. Trotsky’s ideas were reflected when Snowball made plans to build the windmill. He thought it was the best way to put Old Major’s(Lenin/Marx) theories into practice. Trotsky’s army is also shown as the army of animals Snowball directs to get rebel against Jones. As Trotsky was exiled and killed by Stalin’s agents, Snowball was chased off the farm by Napoleon. Stalin gained powerful dictatorship; Napoleon gained powerful dictatorship. Power was valued, and cruel acts of terror and brutality broke out.
Napoleon’s dogs are like Stalin’s secret police that he used to eliminate to get in complete control. Using Squealer (propaganda), Napoleon gains control and is able to affect the animal’s lives. The plan to build the windmill after all reflects Stalin’s Five Year Plan for growing the worlds industry etc. When Napoleon digs up Old Major’s skull, it represents how Stalin ordered Lenin’s body to be placed in the shrine-like tomb for Lenin. Napoleon’s starting of the Order of the Green Banner is Stalin’s starting of the Order of Lenin. The Battle of the Cowshed represents the Civil War that occurred after the Revolution.
Adolf Hitler is represented by Frederick who formed an allegiance with Stalin(Napoleon), but somehow ended up fighting Stalin’s army later on. Frederick’s fake money revealed that he hadn’t been a true ally to Napoleon. Stalin’s purge is shown by Napoleon’s executions of the animals that confessed. Stalin conducted to rid himself of any possible threat, as Napoleon did in the book. As the hens began to rebel against Napoleon, so did the sailors at the Kronshdadt military base rebel against Communist rule… the attempts to rebel failed.
The Battle of the Windmill later on in the book reflects the U. S. S. R. ‘s involvement in World War II (but more specifically the Battle of Stalingrad-1943). Stalin’s forces defeated Hitler’s (as Napoleon’s forces defeated Frederick). At the end of the book, the card game represents the Tehran Conference, where Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Franklin Roosevelt met to discuss the ways to make a lasting peace after the war. Orwell mocks that peace in the book by having Napoleon and Pilkington flatter each other and then betray their natures by cheating in the card game.
Animal Farm was written to make fun of Stalin’s corrupt rule in Russia. It was written based on The Russian Revolution, but it definitely shows how any Revolution can go wrong and get out of hand, like in the book. MAIN THEME: “The theory of a country in which everyone is equal, free and happy is but an illusion, a deception of reality, which is, that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. That once tainted with the feeling of power, most will stoop to any level, and do whatever the cost to maintain that power. “