November 17, 2008
Animal Farm by George Orwell is an exploration of the Russian Revolution in context of animals running a farm. George Orwell, a strong socialist, wrote the novel as a reflection of dictatorships of the Soviet Union, disgusted by his “disillusionment with Communism” (Animal Farm). In the beginning of Animal Farm, Old Major, a pig that represents Karl Marx, gives a speech convincing the farm animals to overthrow Mr. Jones, who does no work yet reaps all the benefits of the animals. The animals overthrow Mr. Jones in hopes of creating a socialist society where the animals worked for themselves instead of others. Although the first year after the rebellion ends successfully, it quickly makes a turn for worse under the merciless rule of Napoleon the pig. With each event in Animal Farm, it becomes more apparent that there are clear connections between what was becoming of Animal Farm under the pigs and the Soviet Union under Stalin.
There are many parallels between the characters in Animal Farm and important figures during the Russian Revolution. Old Major can be linked with Karl Marx through their speeches. Old Major’s speech preached the overthrow of Mr. Jones and the creation of an egalitarian society; likewise, Marx’s Communist Manifesto preached the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the creation of a socialist society. Marx’s and Major’s similar roles in each of their revolutions and their speeches present a clear parallel between the two. After the death of Old Major comes the rule of Snowball and Napoleon. Napoleon represents Stalin because of his corrupt rule and ruthlessness. He commenced trading with Frederick and Whymper although one of the rules of Animalism was “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy” (Orwell 17). Napoleon also brainwashed the sheep to use as propaganda to enforce his power. Stalin began trading because industrialization led to the drop in production of...