George Orwell's novel Animal Farm does an excellent job of drawing association from the situation leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Animal Farm is a satire that uses its characters to symbolize leaders of the Russian Revolution. The animals of "Manor Farm", the setting of this novel, which symbolizes Russia, overthrow their human master after years of mistreatment. Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue to do their work, only with more pride, knowing that they are working for themselves, as opposed to working for their human master, Mr. Jones. Slowly over time the pigs gain power and take advantage of the other animals. They gain so much power that they become just as power hungry and corrupt as their human master. The theme in the novel being that in every society there are leaders who will, if given the chance, likelyabuse their position. Old Major who represents Lenin is a prize white boar who helps point out to the animals that no animal in England is free. He continues to tell the animals that the their labor is stolen by man, who benefits alone. The animals in return get near nothing, just enough to keep them away from starvation. Old Major gave many speeches to the farm animals about hope and the future. He is the main animal who got the rebellion startedeven though he died before it actually began. Old Major's role compares to Lenin and Marx whose ideas would spark the communist revolution. Lenin became the leader and teacher of the working class in Russia, and their determination to struggle against capitalism. Like Old Major, Lenin and Marx wrote essays and gave speeches to the working class poor. The working class in Russia, as compared with the barnyard animals in Animal Farm, were a laboring class of people that received low wages for their work. Old Major tells the animals that the source of the problem is man, they must overthrow man to abolish cruelty and hunger. Soon Old Major does die, but his words still echo in the hearts of all the animals. With the leadership of the pigs, the smartest animals, they repel against the human and gain complete control of the farm. This would symbolize the Russian Revolution. Another comparison represented in the book is Mr. Jones. His character is similar to the politician Czar Nicholas who treated his people similar to how Mr. Jones treated his animals. The animal rebellion on the farm was started because Farmer Jones was a drunk who never took care of the animals. This made them very angry, fed by the words of Old Major the animals decided to rebel like the Russians. Czar Nicholas was a very weak man who treated his people similar to how Farmer Jones treated his animals. The Czar made his working class people very uneasy with the way he used his authority and preached all the time, and the people suffered and finally demanded change by rebelling.
The animal Napoleon can be compared as a character representing Stalin in Russia. Both were very mean looking, didn't talk very much but always got what they wanted through force. In one part of the book Napoleon had the dogs charge Snowball, another animal, as soon as he thought that the pigs were becoming corrupt. Stalin became the Soviet Leader after the death of Lenin. He was underestimated by his opponents who always became his victims, and he had one of the most ruthless, regimes in history. In was not till very many years later that the world found out about the many deaths that Stalin created in Russia during the Revolution. Another strong comparison would is the character of Snowball with the Russian leader Trotsky. Snowball was very enthusiastic and was a leader who organized the defense of the farm. He gave speeches and instructions but was not very beneficial. All the other animals liked him, but he was outsmarted by Napoleon. Trotsky and Stalin's relationship was very much like Snowball's and Napoleons. Trotsky organized the Red Army and gave speeches and everyone in Russia thought he would win power over Stalin. After Lenin's death Trotsky lost all his power to Stalin and was expelled from the communist party. George Orwell has created a masterpiece which is excellent if it is read without any prior knowledge to the situation in Russia. However the added element does wonders for this novel. Orwell is a genius and he has cleverly hidden the satire in such an excellent way, that everything fits into the picture like a jigsaw puzzle. I give this book five stars. This rating is given for many reasons. It is a very easy read and quite enjoyable to many levels of education
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