Animal Farm: Comparison of the Animal Characters with Their Human Counterparts

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Animal Farm: Comparison of Animal Characters with Human characters

Animal Farm by George Orwell is a political story concerning the concept of Leninist Marxism, written from an animal’s perspective. It is a story of dreams; dreams of freedom and equality that are dashed into pieces by greed and avarice for power and comfort. Basically, Orwell has incorporated his own political views in this book regarding Marxism and simultaneously he has spotlighted the major flaws in Marxist philosophy which he illustrates throughout the story. I first want to emphasize that the events in Animal Farm are comparable to the Russian Revolution of 1917. The book illustrates the ideals of the revolution and how the masses were maltreated by corrupt leaders and the false promises of a Utopian socialistic society. This goal of equality was what the animals sought, and despite their sacrifices and hard work, their leaders betrayed them.

Animal Farm is essentially a harsh criticism of totalitarianism. Orwell is portraying the noble goals of Marxism which were corrupted by a dictator’s avarice for power. As he notes in his study, “The book is not only a parody of Stalin’s Russia but also intends to show that Russia was not a true democratic Socialist country.”(1) Despite the apparent criticism, Orwell shares the viewpoints of Marxism as far as worldwide revolution was concerned. However, in the book, a utopian future seemed highly unlikely from the start. The idea of Animalism was a theory created by Old Major in his dream. Old Major was a highly respected and venerable boar. He managed to assemble the farm animals where he told all of them his dream of a revolution. As Major said, “our lives are miserable, laborious and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies and for those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant our usefulness has come to an end, we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.”(pg 7) This is particularly typical of what the Russian people faced during the Czarist days of Russia. The Bourgeoisie, or the rich, had full control over the Proletariats, who were the poor workers. The workers were treated poorly and they lived in utter poverty and misery. They were exploited and mistreated by the rich and lived a harsh life where even basic sustenance was impossible to find. It was through their labor that the Czar and the rich existed. Karl Marx noticed this problem and he wrote The Communist Manifesto, where he suggested that the workers of the world should unite and overthrow the tyrannical capitalist countries. Marx wanted the proletariat class to start a revolution and change the social structure and distribute the wealth among the masses. Old Major represented Karl Marx. They both were visionaries who called upon the tormented masses to rise up against their bourgeoisie masters, in Animal Farm’s case, Man. Yet, unfortunately both Marx and Major would never see their revolution commence. Old Major dies in three days after speaking to the animals and Marx died before the Russian Revolution began. There were only two capable leaders left on the farm who could start the revolution. Snowball was a young, intelligent and a vivacious pig with a brilliant talent for speaking. Whenever he spoke, he placed an incredible amount of emotion into his voice that pulled the animals toward him. Snowball’s objective was to carry out the last wishes of Old Major and to make life better for the animals. Snowball could be compared to Leon Trotsky who was a devout follower of Marxism and he wanted to improve the lives of the Russian people. Both Snowball and Trotsky were thrown out of power by their supposed comrades. Napoleon, a Berkshire boar, did not possess the skill and acumen of Snowball. However, Napoleon made up for this weak point by being ruthless, cruel, devious, and corrupt. His ambition was to have full control and power over...
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