Revolution and Dystopia
Eric Blair, known by his pen name George Orwell, was an Englishman whose writings attacked political and social oppression. One of his best-known works, Animal Farm, was written in 1945 and is a satire on abusive political power and an allegory of Russian history. George Orwell’s life experiences influenced Animal Farm; as a student, he was discriminated against, and as an adult he was often impoverished and rebelled against social and economic oppression. Napoleon, a huge Berkshire boar who becomes the dictator of Animal Farm, exhibits many of the traits of Stalin and other dictators as he constantly manipulates thought and belief, sets up a scapegoat, and proves his power by making others suffer. Napoleon uses his agent Squealer to manipulate thought and belief about he happenings on the farm just as Stalin used the communist newspaper, Pravda. Throughout the course of the novel, the animals all work on the windmill, the main project of the farm. At the very start, Napoleon had been opposed to the idea of the windmill, but through Squealer makes all the other animals believe “that [he] had never in reality been opposed to the windmill” (Orwell 71). Napoleon is probably opposed to the idea of the windmill because it was Snowball’s idea first. After Snowball was expelled, Napoleon takes the idea as his own so he can have the credit if it succeeds, and if it doesn’t then he can blame Snowball. Joseph Stalin did much of the same idea in that if anything worked, it was his idea and if it failed, he quickly found a scapegoat. Napoleon also uses Squealer to spread propaganda about his false feelings for the animals. He has Squealer give long speeches in which he “would talk with the tears rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon’s wisdom, the goodness of his heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals everywhere, even and especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance and slavery on other farms” (Orwell 100)....
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