Animal Farm

George Orwell's novel Animal Farm does an excellent job of

drawing parallels 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,

Farmer 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, likely abuse their

position. Old Major 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 started even 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 tyranny 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 parallel represented in the book is Farmer Jones.

His character is similar to the politician Czar Nicholas who

treated his people similar to how Farmer 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 reform 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 parrael 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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