Communist Russia, the Pig Sty: Satire in Animal Farm

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“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!" Like Marx and many other prominent figures in the Russian Revolution, the animals dreamt of the “Golden Age” when their cruel, human proprietors would be vanquished. Thus the failure of the “Golden Dream” made the Russian revolution a clear target for satire, or, in other words, mocking a historical event, idea, or literary work. The dark, humorous classic Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, draws on parody and irony to mock Communist leadership in Russia and autocratic rulers in general. The pride and avarice of the pigs, specifically Napoleon, mimic the self-absorbed attitude of Communist leaders in their corrupted attempts to supposedly achieve the Golden Dream of Communism. On the few occasions that Napoleon appears in front of his animals, he has “a black cockerel who… [lets] out a loud ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’” each time Napoleon speaks and at all times he totes along “his retinue of dogs” (99). When comparing each animal of the entourage to character traits, roosters represent arrogance and intelligence, while dogs represent loyalty, and Napoleon appears to believe that these animals could present a better image of how he wants the farm animals to view him. Napoleon heightens such an effect to the point of snobbery by actually having the procession in the first place, showing off his luxuries to rub it in their faces, ironically similar to the attitude of a socialite. Originally, one of the Seven Commandments stated that “No animal shall drink alcohol” (43), yet when the pigs started drinking and brewing alcohol, “the Commandment read, ‘No animals shall drink alcohol to excess’” (113). Knowing that the other animals might notice that the pigs were breaking the original laws, the pigs have to resort to editing the Seven Commandments so that hardly anyone complains, especially since...
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