Essay, Research Paper: Animal Farm

Literature: George Orwell

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George Orwell's novel Animal Farm does an excellent job of drawing parallels
from the situation leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Animal Farm is
a satire that uses its characters to symbolize leaders of the Russian
Revolution. The animals of "Manor Farm", the setting of this novel,
which symbolizes Russia, overthrow their human master after years of
mistreatment. Led by the pigs, the farm animals continue to do their work, only
with more pride, knowing that they are working for themselves, as opposed to
working for their human master, Farmer Jones. Slowly over time the pigs gain
power and take advantage of the other animals. They gain so much power that they
become just as power hungry and corrupt as their human master. The theme in the
novel being that in every society there are leaders who will, if given the
chance, likely abuse their position. Old Major is a prize white boar who helps
point out to the animals that no animal in England is free. He continues to tell
the animals that the their labor is stolen by man, who benefits alone. The
animals in return get near nothing, just enough to keep them away from
starvation. Old Major gave many speeches to the farm animals about hope and the
future. He is the main animal who got the rebellion started even though he died
before it actually began. Old Major's role compares to Lenin and Marx whose
ideas would spark the communist revolution. Lenin became the leader and teacher
of the working class in Russia, and their determination to struggle against
capitalism. Like Old Major, Lenin and Marx wrote essays and gave speeches to the
working class poor. The working class in Russia, as compared with the barnyard
animals in Animal Farm, were a laboring class of people that received low wages
for their work. Old major tells the animals that the source of the problem is
man, they must overthrow man to abolish tyranny and hunger. Soon Old Major does
die, but his words still echo in the hearts of all the animals. With the
leadership of the pigs, the smartest animals, they repel against the human and
gain complete control of the farm. This would symbolize the Russian Revolution.
Another parallel represented in the book is Farmer Jones. His character is
similar to the politician Czar Nicholas who treated his people similar to how
Farmer Jones treated his animals. The animal rebellion on the farm was started
because Farmer Jones was a drunk who never took care of the animals. This made
them very angry, fed by the words of Old Major the animals decided to rebel like
the Russians. Czar Nicholas was a very weak man who treated his people similar
to how Farmer Jones treated his animals. The Czar made his working class people
very uneasy with the way he used his authority and preached all the time, and
the people suffered and finally demanded reform by rebelling. The animal
Napoleon can be compared as a character representing Stalin in Russia. Both were
very mean looking, didn't talk very much but always got what they wanted through
force. In one part of the book Napoleon had the dogs charge Snowball, another
animal, as soon as he thought that the pigs were becoming corrupt. Stalin became
the Soviet Leader after the death of Lenin. He was underestimated by his
opponents who always became his victims, and he had one of the most ruthless,
regimes in history. In was not till very many years later that the world found
out about the many deaths that Stalin created in Russia during the Revolution.
Another strong parrael would is the character of Snowball with the Russian
leader Trotsky. Snowball was very enthusiastic and was a leader who organized
the defense of the farm. He gave speeches and instructions but was not very
beneficial. All the other animals liked him, but he was outsmarted by Napoleon.
Trotsky and Stalin's relationship was very much like Snowball's and Napoleons.
Trotsky organized the Red Army and gave speeches and everyone in Russia thought
he would win power over Stalin. After Lenin's death Trotsky lost all his power
to Stalin and was expelled from the communist party. George Orwell has created a
masterpiece which is excellent if it is read without any prior knowledge to the
situation in Russia. However the added element does wonders for this novel.
Orwell is a genius and he has cleverly hidden the satire in such an excellent
way, that everything fits into the picture like a jigsaw puzzle. I give this
book five stars. This rating is given for many reasons. It is a very easy read
and quite enjoyable to many levels of education.
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