Animal Farm, Not Just A Story

1125 words - 5 pages

Animal Farm, Not Just A Story George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm, is a great literary work, but it also possesses a great amount of historical value. Orwell expresses the weaknesses of Communism and his own opposition to the communist system created in Russia under Stalin. Orwell exposes the horrors that occurred under Soviet Communism through a creative plot and symbolic and metaphorical characterizations.The novel is set on a farm. The animals on the farm represent major participants and groups in the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism. The animals of Manor Farm suffer due to the irresponsibility and greed of the farm's owner, Mr. Jones who represents the czarist government that was in place previous to the Russian Revolution. The hungry animals rebel and attempt to establish freedom for all animals and a self-sufficient community renaming it "Animal Farm." The animals become the victims of the greed and desire for power of their leader, Napoleon, who corrupts the goals of the revolution. The corruption of their leader results in the suffering, injustice, and oppression of the animals. This novel successfully presents the reasons for Orwell's opposition to the communist system of Communism and the results of such a system. Orwell attacks the system of Soviet Communism through the use of metaphors. Each group of animals and each character that is named represent an element of the Soviet Communism. Old Major, who proposes the rebellion of the animals, is an aged and wise pig who wants equality for all animals. Old Major represents Karl Marx, the author of The Communist Manifesto, and Vladmir Lenin. Old Major, like Marx, establishes the basic principles for a system that he believes will produce equality among the animals. He states, "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. And remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices" (Orwell, 31).By stating this, Old Major not only establishes that there should be peace and equality among animals, but also that they should never mutate into resembling the oppressors that they are revolting against. The ideals of Old Major is corrupted by the greed and desire for power of Napoleon as Orwell believed Marx's ideals were corrupted by Stalin. Like Lenin inspired Leon Trotsky, Old Major inspires Snowball with his ideals. Following the rebellion and the death of Old Major, the farm prospers from the ideals that were developed much like Russia had. The animals were no longer suffering and the farm was self-sufficient, but that prosperity was only temporary and parallel to what occurred after the Russian Revolution. Continuing to use metaphors, Orwell uses two characters to represent Josef Stalin and Leon Trotsky, Napoleon and Snowball. The two disagreed on all aspects of managing the farm as Stalin and Trotsky had with Russia. Snowball...

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