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Stalin's Farm Essay

1969 words - 8 pages

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is infamous for its direct representation of the 1917 Russian Revolution and its aftermath leading up to the Cold War. As stated by Tony Shaw in his Some Writers are More Equal than Others, “Orwell in fact aimed… to show that the Stalinists had betrayed the Bolsheviks’ original intentions and thereby to express his faith in the ultimate achievability in Socialism” (). In his novel, Orwell represents the major characters of the revolution namely in the form of farm animals. Through his representation of other major countries, the populace, and the leaders, George Orwell’s Animal Farm directly parallels the Russian Revolution.
Throughout the novel, the populace ...view middle of the document...

The sheep continued to bleat the statement when other animals attempt to express opposing opinions, showing their ignorant, unwavering support for Napoleon. It is not until later, however, that their motto is changed from “Four legs good, two legs bad” to “Four legs good, two legs better” (55) as the pigs begin to walk on their hind legs. Unaware of the ultimate tyranny they are supporting, the sheep mindlessly bleat their new statement of inequality, thus proving their blindness to the corruption at hand. Boxer and Clover, however, are not as blind and ignorant as the sheep. The two work horses, representing the blue-collar working class, do not express their disagreements with the leaders. When a conflict or disagreement with the leaders arises, Boxer keeps his head low. He continues to follow his mantra of “I will work harder” (13) in hopes that hard work will improve the bleak conditions descending upon the farm. Clover, however, does not follow Boxer’s mantra. While she, too, keeps her head low during times of conflict and disagreement, she quietly questions the decisions being made about the farm. Each time a commandment changes, she notices a changes in the appearance on the board and asks her more literate friend, Muriel, to read the commandment. Clover, clever enough to notice a change in the appearance of the commandments, is unfortunately not smart enough to remember the original line. As she notices the second change, she believes she is remembering the commandments wrong, and she merely had forgotten the last two words. While this causes a small amount of concern to Clover, she remains under the pigs’ radar, not questioning their decisions out loud.
Just as the populace is represented through the sheep and horses, two other major worldly powers are presented. Two neighboring farms play an important role in the livelihood of Animal Farm: Foxwood, owned by Pilkington, and Pinchfield, owned by Frederick. While the two farms appear to be simple neighbors of Animal Farm, the owners represent the two major powers that interacted with the Soviet Union during and after its revolution. Pilkington, “an easy-going gentleman farmer” (17), represents the Allies of this time period, namely the United States and the United Kingdom. Frederick, however, epitomizes Adolf Hitler as he practices horrid abuses on his animals. Just as Hitler is responsible for the attempted eradication of an entire race, Frederick is knows to flog horses to death, starve his cows, kill dogs by throwing them into the furnace, and by forcing roosters to fights with razors tied to their spurs (40). The parallels between the farmers and the historical characters are seen namely through trade. Pilkington, late in the novel, toys with ideas of trade between himself and Animal Farm. This closely resembles the ideas of trade between the Allies and the Soviet Union. Pilkington originally plans to purchase timber from Animal Farm and to eventually enter into...

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