Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution of 1917

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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. 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...
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