Animal Farm, By George Orwell: An Allegory To The Russian Revolution

876 words - 4 pages

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the pigs take over Manor Farm and dominate the weaker animals by using a combination of strength, fear, and trickery. This book is an allegory to the Russian Revolution, which led to Josef Stalin’s rise to power and the beginning of his dictatorship. In the novel Farmer Jones symbolizes Czar Nicholas II and Napoleon symbolizes Josef Stalin. The animals overthrow their dictator, Farmer Jones, and eventually end up replacing him with another dictator, Napoleon the pig. Napoleon demonstrates how the other farm animals’ weakness can be dominated by strength, fear, and trickery, revealing one of George Orwell’s themes.
In the beginning, just as Czar Nicholas II exploits his subjects, Farmer Jones treats his animals likewise. He gives them “so much food as will keep the breath in their bodies” (28). Jones feeds his animals minimally whilst he eats abundantly. He forces the animals “to work to the last atom of their strength” (28). Czar Nicholas rules with an iron fist and does not tolerate even minor transgressions to his authority. Similarly, Farmer Jones rules his farm and tyrannizes his animals with whippings and backbreaking work. As soon as their “usefulness comes to an end they are slaughtered with hideous cruelty” (28). When Jones overworks and starves his animals to the point where they can go no further, he sends them to the slaughterer. Farmer Jones enslaves his animals, and is the sole benefactor of the animals’ produce and labor. He does not have any interest in providing better living conditions for the animals. Just like Czar Nicholas’ subjects, the animals on the farm are clearly weak, so Farmer Jones thoroughly dominates them.
The reign of terror comes to an end when Old Major inspires the farm animals to rebellion. He explains to the animals how Farmer Jones has tricked them into serving him blindly without question. Old Major helps the weak animals on the farm become strong by unifying them with a common vision promising a better life with dignity, a life of comfort and freedom. With the promise of a better life the animals overcome their fear and unite to overtake the farm.
After the successful revolution, they have a new set of commandments to live by. They give themselves a new identity with a constitution to guide them. The pigs fill the power vacuum left by the departure of Farmer Jones and soon a power struggle breaks out amongst the pigs. Snowball believes in democracy and the constitution inspired by Old Major’s teachings. Napoleon has the strength to lead with the help of his secret police dogs and Squealer who has a gift of persuasion. Napoleon...

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