This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
George Orwell, the pen name for Eric Blair, was born in Bengal, India in 1903. His work is greatly influenced by his political beliefs turned against the Communism, Fascism and Totalitarianism. Being a socialist himself, he despised Russian Communism and what it stood for. He could not accept the cruelty and hypocrisy of Joseph Stalin’s dictatorial reign so he became an advocate of freedom, that led him to write two of his most famous anti-communist works, Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949).
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION To understand Animal Farm, we must look at the political situation in Russia starting from February 23, 1917, when women workers in Petrograd, started their protest on International Women’s day. Around 90,000 women marched on the streets for the change of their miserable working conditions. The following day, more than 150,000 men and women joined the protest and by next day Petrograd was completely paralyzed. This wasn’t enough for Czar Nicolas II to take the situation seriously but it was made official on March 2 when he was forced to abdicate. Left without a monarchy, Russia was in need for new leader. Two groups emerged from the chaos to claim leadership. The first was formed from former Duma members (elected legislative body) who were representatives of middle and upper class and the second was Petrograd Soviet which consisted mainly from workers and soldiers. In the end, former Duma members formed a Provisional Government which officially ran the country. Within the first two weeks, the new government abolished the death penalty, ended religious and ethnic discrimination, granted amnesty for all political prisoners and exiles, and granted civil liberties, while they were less interested in land reform and better quality of life for the Russian people. Giving the amnesty for all political exiles, they opened the door of Russia for Vladimir Ilych Lenin, leader of Bolsheviks. On April 3, 1817, he arrived in Petrograd, where tens of thousands of workers and soldiers had come to welcome him. Not being able to get through
which encouraged the Allies to intervene. beginning by congratulating the Russian people on their successful revolution. with the mission to help the Czechoslovakian Legion. In September. took the responsibility for peace negotiations with Germany. obtained the first Soviet success with the defeat of the Czechs and the recon quest of Kazan. In August. saying that the new government had done nothing to get the country out of war and that the people are still hungry and with no land for cultivation. In June. Trotsky. Lenin jumped on top of the car and gave a speech. he shocked everyone by denouncing the Provisional Government and calling for a new revolution. Never the less. They soon reached the Volga. composed of fifty thousand soldiers under French commanders. followed by Brest-Litovsk Treaty. 1918. Peace was immediately declared. which was a trigger for a bitter polemic between those who wanted peace at any price and those who advocated spreading the revolutionary war to Europe. The rights of national minorities were recognized and a decree of land nationalization had begun. but he worked ceaselessly over the following few months until the people began to listen. In the South.the crowd. The inevitable civil war began in May 1918. the creator of the Red Army. the Allies landed one hundred thousand men in Vladivostok. Soon everybody wanted “Peace. Lenin was elected president of the Council of Peoples Commissars. the Second Soviet Congress elected the revolutionary government. signed on March. but within the few hours. with a purpose of crushing the revolution and restoring the Czarist regime. In 1919 the French seized Odessa. with the revolt of the Czechoslovakian Legion. the 2 . At first. Trotsky. as a new elected Commissar of Foreign Affairs. the workers insurrection was also victorious in Moscow. the Czarist general Denikin formed an army of volunteers with British supplies and material: this was the origin of the White Guard. and a few weeks later it had spread to all of Russia. Lenin didn’t have much support. Anglo-French troops landed at Murmansk and Archangel. the new government was still facing the radical opposition from the extreme Czarist right to the Mensheviks. The truce was signed on December. Between October 28 and November 2. This conflict threatened to split the Bolshevik Party. composed in its majority by Bolsheviks and Left SRs. On that same morning of October 26. Bread”. Land.
the English took over the oil wells of the Caucasus and the Don Basin. The civil war had left the country in ruins. By the end of Second World War. crushed by the working people which can be linked to Animal revolution which started when Old Major reveals his feelings about Jones when he says: “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing.Ukraine and Crimea. But dissensions among the Allies and the political incapacity of the generals of the White Guard. He does not give milk. Yet he is lord of all the animals. Animal characters are based directly on Communist leaders in Russia. the uncontrolled printing of paper money caused inflation. were condemned to death or disgrace. Clemenceau’s plan to encircle the Bolsheviks was fulfilled. along with the Bolsheviks leaders. the production of steel and iron was at its lowest. German and Serbian troops. in order to obtain their support. he can not run fast enough to catch rabbits. Just before the invasion of Poland in 1939. There was no government revenue. The situation was getting worst by the hour. He sets them to work. Hundreds of thousands of dissidents. he is too weak to pull the plough. he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent 3 . a bureaucracy arose and in 1923. famine and epidemic devastated the cities. the revolutionary wave that shook Europe and the military successes of the Reds led to the signing of another armistice. regardless of their ideologies. the leader before Stalin. the industrial workers were mobilized. thus introducing a totalitarian regime. Stalinism grotesquely deformed the concept of socialism. and imposed a dictatorship over the party. Stalin embodied this new bureaucracy of the Party-State that led a brutal political counterrevolution. Polish. Russian soil was also occupied by American. who were incapable of making any concessions of autonomy to the national minorities or of land to the peasants. the Hitler-Stalin Pact was signed. He represents the old government. allowed the Red Army to resist for the thirty months the civil war lasted. As a result of all disasters. These Stalinist regimes lasted until the fall of the Berlin wall that occurred in October 1989. A SATIRE OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION Animal Farm tells the history of Soviet Communism as a fable taking place on en English farm. Mr. The situation was desperate. the Red Army occupied half of Europe. abolished the last trace of workers democracy. he does not lay eggs. Finally. Jones symbolizes Czar Nicolas II.
and fearing for their own lives. Orwell explains this phenomenon in Animal Farm stating: “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer—except. During the reign of Joseph Stalin. (2005) : Communist Manifesto. Old Major is an obvious metaphor for Karl Marx. it can never be successfully adopted due to the uncontrollable sins of human nature. G. His dream foresees their future in the farm once “Man” is thrown out.com Publishing. Stalin did the same by ignoring Marx’s political and social theory. In general. Brace and Company. Stilwell. 35 5 Orwell. “that the ruling middle class will be overthrown by the working class”4. Harcourt. at the beginning. Marx predicted similar scene in his Manifesto of the Communist Party. New York p. G. (1946): Animal Farm. Brace and Company. New York p. Brace and Company. K. 1 2 Orwell. Their governance was brutal and vicious. New York p. G. Just like Karl Marx was the grandfather to communism. Harcourt. (1946): Animal Farm. G. Old Major was first to invent animalism. the pig. Harcourt. Old Major inspires a rebellion with his great barn-yard speech but the rebellion doesn’t happen until three days after his death. as a chief villain symbolizes Stalin.5 Killing political dissenters. Remove Man from the scene. Stalin uses KGB and police to do the same. Stalin’s ruling confirmed Orwell’s believes that although socialism is good as an ideal. is yet another thing they have in common since they both had food tasters. 1 3 Orwell. 2 Orwell. this describes the ruling of Nicolas II and the state of the Russian nation. New York p. they seemed like a good leaders. Napoleon. The two have so many similarities. While Napoleon used dogs to terrify other animals. of course for the pigs and the dogs”. It seems like Napoleon and Squealer used Old Major’s inspiration and good intentions for their own benefit. He says: “Man is the only real enemy we have. p. Russian nation was getting poorer and poorer while their leader enjoyed luxury. Harcourt. Napoleon represents the human frailties of any revolution. At the very beginning of Animal Farm it was announced that Old Major “had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals”2. 49 4 . 2 4 Marx. Digireads. (1946): Animal Farm. They both become greedy and hungry for power even thou. (1946): Animal Farm. Brace and Company.them from starving and the rest he keeps for himself”1. and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever” 3.
7 New York p. Harcourt. Orwell narrates. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. G. much like Snowball was expelled from the farm. New York p. and toward the end of the book he emphasizes. the pigs and the dogs. Brace and Company. Orwell. Boxer with his personal motto “I will work harder”7 pictures the lowest class and their lack of intelligence. but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers. (1946): Animal Farm. Since there was no television or radio. Orwell supports this contention when he narrates. who never believed in Marx’s socialist utopian society.”8 Pigs symbolize the communist party loyalists. Orwell narrates.Squealer can be correlated to Pravda. Boxer and Clover. (1946): Animal Farm. G. live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the society they help to control. the newspaper was a primary source of information. Harcourt. Those two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves. the animals crept back into the barn. to be more accurate. 6 New York p. Brace and Company. Propaganda is a big part of every dictatorship and Squealer was that voice for Napoleon. Eventually Stalin exiled him from Russia. Boxer and Clover are clear metaphor for working class. Trotsky was one of the original revolutionaries and a great threat to Stalin’s regime. who could mask all the evil intentions and manipulate the animals to create minimum of resistance. At first no one had been able to imagine where these 6 7 Orwell. “Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer except. and that they could only benefit from it. 8 Orwell. They are easily persuaded into thinking that communism is a good idea. Terror is most powerful weapon of tyranny. (1946): Animal Farm. The pigs. Stalin used KGB to find and assassinate Leon Trotsky. “He could turn black into white”. of course. and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments. 9 Orwell. Brace and Company. G.6 Snowball represents Leon Trotsky. Harcourt. Snowball. they absorbed everything that they were told. This is an obvious metaphor for the KGB. G. (1946): Animal Farm. Harcourt.”9 Dogs are used as a brutal force for intimidation of other animals. 49 5 . “Their most faithful disciples were the two carthorses. the Russian newspaper or. Stalin’s newspaper. as well as Russian parliament. 12 New York p. “Silent and terrified. Brace and Company. unlike the other animals. Napoleon used the dogs to chase away his greatest opponent. The inequality and true hypocrisy of communism is expressed here by Orwell.
to which all animals went when they died. they were huge dogs. This raven is the only animal who doesn’t work. “The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses. It was situated somewhere up in the sky. (1946): Animal Farm. Harcourt. clover was in season all the year round. They kept close to Napoleon. but the problem was soon solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. 10 11 Orwell. She just wants to tie her hair with ribbons and eat sugar. Brace and Company.creatures came from. The animals hated Moses because he told tales and did no work but some of them believed in Sugarcandy Mountain.”11 Moses represents Orwell’s very cynical and harsh view of the Church. was a spy and a tale-bearer. and who doesn’t listen to Old Major’s speech of rebellion. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr Jones. Though not yet full-grown. In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week. who was Mr Jones’s especial pet. a little distance beyond the clouds. Brace and Company. Moses. G. but he was also a clever talker. Orwell narrates. New York p.”10 Mollie characterizes the typical middle-class worker who suffers from this new communism concept. Moses said. Muriel is a knowledgeable goat who reads the commandments for Clover. but she is unable to. because her status is changed from the middle to a lower class. (1946): Animal Farm. and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them that there was no such place. G. She doesn’t care much about politics. 21 Orwell. and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges. the tame raven. 7 6 . Harcourt. New York p. Moses is one of the most intriguing characters in Animal Farm. She represents the minority of educated working class people who are smart enough to decide things for themselves and find critical and hypocritical deficiencies of their leaders but are not charismatic or inspired enough to take action and oppose tyranny. and as fierce-looking as wolves. She has been considered a traitor when she is seen being petted by human from a neighboring farm. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain. She is soon forced to leave the farm and she does it quietly.
New York p.”12 Pigeons symbolize Soviet propaganda to other countries. “Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been. it makes sense that there are always those who never totally embrace the revolution. he couldn’t care less about Napoleon and the Animal Farm. He tries to warm others of Boxer’s faith but the rescue came too late. In a way. Communism reached many countries. Governments were scared of its influence on people. The only time he gets involved is when Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. the critics of any new rebellion. hunger. England. 12 13 Orwell. At the end he is the only one who confronts Napoleon and his evil intentions. Harcourt. like Germany. as though. so he said. Brace and Company.Old Benjamin. hardship. never too excited or too disappointed about anything that has passed. Although there is no clear metaphoric relationship between Benjamin and Orwell’s critique of communism. It seems. While other animals have forgotten Jones and their past lives. Benjamin remembers everything. The reality is the terror and poverty of dictatorship in which some individuals are “more equal”13 than the others. nor even could be much better or much worse. 50 Orwell. 52 7 . is described as rather unchanged since the rebellion. He thinks that this ideal that begins as utopia is doomed to failure since human nature is corrupt. and even the United States. Harcourt. Orwell mentions the fact that the other farmers became suspicious and worried when their animals began to sing Beasts of England. France. (1946): Animal Farm. and disappointment being. almost as if he could see into the future and knows that revolt is only temporary change that won’t do any good to anyone except the pigs. the unalterable law of life. New York p. (1946): Animal Farm. Orwell directs his satiric attack on the events of the Russian Revolution and on the totalitarian regime through a humorous and affective animal allegory. Brace and Company. Benjamin symbolizes the older generation. which is interesting because he had been completely independent the whole time. Orwell states. CONCLUSION Animal Farm is an animal satire through which Orwell indirectly attacks on the Russian Communism. G. G. an elderly donkey.
(1998): Readings on Animal Farm. T. Brown and Company. New York . Gale Research Company. (1980): George Orwell The First Complete Biography. (1962): Modern Satire. B. Detroit O’Neill. (1946): Animal Farm. Greenhaven Press. Little. New York Lewis. 8 . C. University Press. (1979): Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. San Diego Orwell. Harcourt. Brace and Company. Boston Hollis.BIBLIOGRAPHY Crick. G.S. C.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.