Animal Farm and Russian Revolution

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Have you read a book that talks about a specific event in the past? Eric Arthur Blair is one of the novelists who used satire to reflect such an occurrence. He's known in his pet name, George Orwell, and his works are marked by democracy and resistance to totalitarianism. And so, George Orwell did not fail to mirror the Russian Revolution in his book, Animal Farm, unveiling the connections through leadership, power, and corruption.

In the novella, different types of leadership were seen. Mr. Jones represents Tsar Nicholas II, historically. During their rules, Russian people suffered tremendous hardships and instability, and Mr. Jones' animals lived from famine and desire. Orwell pointed out this situation in his book, 'His men were idle and dishonest, the fields were full of weeds, the buildings wanted roofing, the hedges were neglected, and the animals were underfed' (19). They both died years later when Nicholas II and his family were murdered by the Bolsheviks and because of Mr. Jones' addiction to alcohol. Old Major lead the Manor Farm that was changed to Animal Farm in the rebellion against Mr. Jones. Vladimir Lenin, the head of the Bolshevik Party, models him, for he took over control of the revolution. They led to what they believed. The principles of Animalism mirrors Karl Marx's theory of Communism. These inspired them to promote equality as they see it as good for the whole, 'All animals are equal (11). Old Major died before the outcomes of the revolution that he planned for as Lenin did before his followers observed his work for change. They were both remembered for years. Leon Trotsky was an ally of Vladimir Lenin. He goes by Snowball in the allegory and supports Marx's theories. Using his analytical disposition, he's trying to figure out how can these theories be applied for the better. Reflecting Snowball that seeks to promote Animalism and increase the infrastructure for the benefit of the farm and his comrades through his plan, 'Snowball declared that this was just the place for a windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power (48). Napoleon opposed his plan and exiled him, as Joseph Stalin did with Trotsky in the Russian Revolution. They counterpart because of terror and brutality in leading. Napoleon manipulates the animals as Stalin did in the Communist Party.

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Napoleon already has the power in Animal Farm. He's no longer one of the animals and becoming more like a typical dictator. He’s got numerous complimentary titles for his name as towns were renamed in Stalin's honor. Almost all the information is now announced by Squealer, who represents Vyacheslav Molotov, “All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once in a fortnight” (92).

Molotov is a Stalinist Soviet Politician, and diplomat of Stalin’s protégé, like Squealer that supports Napoleon's ideas and propaganda. When Napoleon walks around, his dogs will guard and protect him. He also has his apartment and a place to eat. Napoleon has a comfortable life while the other animals are starving because of a load of work. Napoleon’s characteristics parallel with Joseph Stalin in the Russian Revolution. They are both greedy and frightful leaders. They both have guards that secure and defend them, such as the dogs and the KGB secret police for Stalin. In the novel, Napoleon killed the chickens because they didn't want to give their eggs, while Stalin assassinated the peasants who did not give up their land. They care about the power that they have rather than their comrades.

As time goes by on Animal Farm, the commandments are changing too. In chapter 6, the pigs started to live in a farmhouse and sleep in a bed that violated the Fourth Commandment. The pigs changed it to “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets” (67). After the bloody confessions and killings in chapter 7, the Sixth Commandment became “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause” (91). While in chapter 8, the pigs got too drunk because of whiskey. They realized that alcohol is not that bad after they had recovered from their hangover. And so, the Fifth Commandment was also changed to “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess” (109). The pigs violated the commandments and secretly added words to defend themselves. They fooled the other animals because they know that they are naive and ignorant. Due to this corrupt environment, food production decreased in chapter 9 of the book. The dogs and pigs get the most out of it, that’s why the other animals are starving to death. This situation parallels Stalin’s leadership in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He believed that food production would accelerate because his people work so hard as the animals did. On the other hand, they lost a lot of lands, and many died because of working hard without eating the right amount of food that they need to accomplish their tasks. Besides, they do corrupt not only the government but also their people's minds. They fool them that everything will be fine after all the hardships. That's why Minimus created songs and poems all about praising Napoleon for his leadership, and Stalin was part of the Soviet national anthem, which he had flattering artworks, literature, and music.

George Orwell had shown the ties through authority, wealth, and oppression in his novel, Animal Farm, and the Russian Revolution. The goal of the animals in the allegory was to better their lives after the rebellion against humanity. Nonetheless, it made their lives even worse, as Stalin did in his Communist Party. If a leader just wants power, money, and control, the country they're living in will never change, and people will more likely suffer than before because of corruption. Be educated and know when to fight for life and liberty.

Works cited

  1. Orwell, George. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. London: Secker and Warburg, 1945.
  2. Hingley, Ronald. "Orwell and the Stalinist Russia." Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 6, no. 3, 1971, pp. 61-79.
  3. Hollis, Christopher. "Orwell and the Left." Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 11, no. 3, 1976, pp. 577-590.
  4. Rodden, John. George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2001.
  5. Meyers, Jeffrey. Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation. New York: Norton, 2000.
  6. Goldman, Wendy Z. "Animal Farm and the Literary Rediscovery of Totalitarianism." Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 35, no. 1, 1989, pp. 97-115.
  7. Atwood, Margaret. "Why I Write." The Guardian, 7 Mar. 2009,
  8. Trotsky, Leon. History of the Russian Revolution. New York: Pathfinder Press, 2008.
  9. Service, Robert. Stalin: A Biography. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.
  10. Figes, Orlando. A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.

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