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Animal Farm by George Orwell

Orwells Animal Farm structure is based off of the events of the Russian Revolution which lasted from 1917-1944. Throughout the novella events from the Russian Revolution are mirrored into the plot and characters from the story represent people or ideas from the revolution. Orwell wrote Animal Farm to critique totalitarianism as a whole and show Stalinism as just one part of this broader idea with the use of an allegory.

Old Major’s dream bestows the animals with an apparition of a perfect world. “Beasts of England” which represents “Golden Future Time” elucidates this vision of no domination by man so much that the animals are unable to see the separation between their oasis and reality.
“Golden Future Time” also portrayed this to the people with the lyrics “Riches more than mind can picture” and “Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown.”

As the story continues the connection between the Russian Revolution and the Animal Farm plot become more transparent. Old Major represents both Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. Both Lenin and Marx believed in the idea of communism and both had a role in the promotion of it. Most of the animals represented serfs but Clover and Boxer were the main characters that represented Russia’s working class. Both Clover, Boxer and some of the other animals lack of education gave the leaders an advantage because they could be easily be manipulated into what the smarter animals wanted.

The pigs represent the controllers of the Russian Revolution and Squealer represents the ideas the controllers wanted everyone to see through media and propaganda. In the novella and the Russian Revolution, the power was taken by the ones who contributed to the society. The intelligentsia quickly turned the idea of communism to totalitarianism which is depicted by the pigs gradual takeover.

Later in the story Boxer develops the slogan “I will work harder.”(III) This motto is remembered by some of the least clever animals and is used to mask the animals misery and amplify attention on the pigs. The third chapter is where the good of the entire farm starts to become the good of the pigs.

In chapter five Snowball who represents Leon Trotsky suggests the production of a windmill. A meeting is hosted later where Napoleon who represents Stalin has Snowball chased out by the dogs he took as puppies and raised to be under his command. This leaves Napoleon as the one and only leader of the rebellion. This is similar to the actions of Stalin against Trotsky.

As the plot progresses the commandments ordered at the beginning of the novel start to change or be eliminated. This isn’t noticed by the animals until they overhear the pigs sleeping and drinking alcohol in the farmhouse. The animals begin to realize that the rebellion is not at all what they thought it would be and the pigs are becoming more and more like man.

In the final chapter the pigs walk out of the farmhouse on two legs, fully clothed , holding whips. The other animals couldn’t be more surprised when they saw that the pigs had hosted a meeting between the humans. Clover begged Benjamin the donkey to read her the commandments one last time and only one remained. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” (X)

The events that take place within Animal Farm are parallel to the events of the Russian Revolution. Both of these revolutions started out with the idea of communism but changed into a department of totalitarianism and failed to focus on the greater good.



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