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The Russian Revolution and Animal Farm

The Russian Revolution and Animal Farm

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Published by Julie Johnson

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Published by: Julie Johnson on Jun 02, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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JOHNSON 1Juliana T. JohnsonMr. FlynnAP English-212/8/06The Russian Revolution and Animal FarmIn Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf he writes, “All propaganda has to be popular andhas to adapt to the perception of the least intelligent of those whom it intends to directitself.” No one proves this more than George Orwell in his book Animal Farm. This book, posing as a children’s fairy tale is actually a rebellion against the RussianRevolution and Stalin. Orwell shows how people can be fooled by tyrants to believinganything; in doing so and he attacks modern totalitarian governments around the globe.The animals in the story who act as the main characters may seem like regular animals toa child, but upon closer examination and historical reference these are actuallyrepresentatives for Communist leaders, such as Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, and others.Critic Bernard Grofman puts it best, “No reader can fully enjoy the book withoutknowing, for example, that the pig Snowball represents Trotsky and the pig Napoleonrepresents Stalin” (Grofman 5). This book was not just a fictional story but a completeand utter attack on totalitarianism.The story Animal Farm
 
 begins with a boar named Old Major gathering all theanimals together to tell them of a dream he experienced. He tells them that he dreamt of aworld where all animals lived together and there were no humans to rule over them. Hetells the animals that they must work towards establishing this paradise. After he dies,three pigs- Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer develop a concept called “Animalism.”
 
JOHNSON 2Animalism is in reality fictional substitute for Karl Marx’s communist vision. Soon allthe animals revolt and overthrow Mr. Jones’s farm. They rename it Animal Farm. AnimalFarm is an early success; in a collective effort, every animal works hard and remainscontent. Later Mr. Jones returns with friends to reclaim the farm. However the humans,the former ruling class, are rebuffed by the animals’ collective spirit at the Battle of Cowshed. Shortly thereafter that Animal Farm begins to collapse as internal politicsintervenes. Napoleon and Snowball start fighting with one another about the future of thefarm, and over who should have the most power. Tragically one day, during a debate over whether the animals should build a windmill, Napoleon’s dogs chase Snowball from thefarm. Snowball is never seen again. Napoleon, now in an uncontested position of power over the Animal Farm, reviles his corrupt nature. He changes his stance on the windmill building, declares pigs the supreme animal, and starves the other animals to further hisown means. As problems arise, Napoleon blames them on Snowball. Specifically, whenthe windmill tragically topples over, he tells all the animals that Snowball did it,emphasizing that they need to blame him.Soon Napoleon begins executing any animal that “conspires with Snowball.” Heconvinces the animals how evil Snowball is and his efforts to make Animal Farm fail.Snowball must be stopped. As time passes, Napoleon acts more and more like a human,departing from the original Animal Farm rules. Squealer justifies this behavior to theother animals by convincing them that everything Napoleon does is in the farm’s bestinterest. The situation gets progressively worse. The pigs begin wearing clothes, drinkingalcohol, carrying whips, and walking like humans. By this time, the animals’ laws are
 
gone; the only law remaining is, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal thanothers.”Deceivingly, George Orwell’s Animal Farm
 
is a political book. Critic BernardGrofman says, “There are two common mistakes in reading Animal Farm
.
The first is toconfuse the simplicity of form with simplicity of idea; the second is to fail to understandthe importance of the events in Animal Farm
 
as a form of political history” (Grofman 6).The novel
 
 brilliantly portrays the fundamental follies of communist Russia. “His book, besides a parody of Stalinist Russia, intends to show that Russia was not a truedemocratic Socialist country,” Critic Howard Unger explains, “The novel is deeply paralleled with the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s rule.” As George Orwell said himself,“Animal Farm
 
was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I wasdoing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.” This furthers the point that this book was not just written for pleasure, but was written was a solid goal inmind.Animal Farm draws parallels between the characters in the book to the leaders inthe Russian Revolution. Old Major mirrors Karl Marx because Old Major envisioned“Animalism” while Marx devised Communism. Animalism is comparable toCommunism; both declared everyone equal, no owners, no rich, and no poor. In addition, both died prior to their revolutions. One of the main characters, Snowball, can be bestcompared to Leon Trotsky. Both were very smart, genuinely wanted to improve life for all, and were chased away. Snowball was chased away by Napoleon’s dogs while Trotskywas chased away by the KGB. Napoleon represented Joseph Stalin. Both were poor speakers, corrupt, power hungry, and not as smart as their counterparts. Napoleon usedJOHNSON 3

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