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Political Satire in Anima
George Orwell, author of the highly acclaimed Animal Farm, wrote this fable
in hopes of informing not only children, but also the population as a
whole, of his views on the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism in
that nation. The fable, a literary composition conveying a moral truth,
clearly guides the readers through the steps and outcome of the Russian
Revolution. But instead of the battle being fought and won in the streets
of Russia, Orwell chooses to portray the happenings of the Russian
Revolution on a farm based during the beginnings of the Industrial
Revolution. The animals, unhappy with their day-to-day living conditions,
rise and revolt against the tyrant Jones, the cruel and drunkard owner of
the Jones' farm.
In Animal Farm, the barn was a place for the meetings that took place, and
alternatively served as a shelter for all of the animals, except for the
pigs. The schoolhouse was a place for the pigs, and rarely other animals,
to learn to read and write and therefore grow in social power over the
other less-intelligent animals that spent their days working in order to
bring in enough food to keep the revolution alive. The farmhouse was where
the Jones family resided, before the revolution that forced them astray.
According to the commandments set forth after the revolution, no animal was
to use the farmhouse for their own personal gain, however, the pigs were
able to distort this rule so that they were able to live in luxury in this
house meant for the humans. Building the windmill proved to be an important
icon and struggle for the animals of Animal Farm, as it was destroyed twice
and never quite brought the gleefulness and comfortable life that the
animals were led to envision before-hand and during the construction by the
sinister pig Napoleon. Each character of Animal Farm represented an
important character or type-of people in the Russian Revolution, a direct
comparison between Animal Farm, and a strong political movement that
shocked the world.
Comrade Napoleon, as he insisted the other animals called him, represents
Joseph Stalin, a cruel leader during and after the revolution, who exiled
other political leaders and forced mass-executions upon the people, just as
Napoleon does in Orwell's fable. Snowball, the opposing pig and leader of
the farm to Napoleon, seemed a strong and just leader, until, Napoleon
expelled him from the farm and set-off rumors about Napoleon's false
attempt to destroy the civilization they had worked to build after the
revolution. Snowball links closely with the Soviet expatriate Leon Trotsky,
who was expelled from Russia under the leadership of Stalin. Major, the
wise pig that passed away days after he unveiled his plan for a new and
better life on the farm, seems to portray traits of both Karl Marx and V.I
Lenin. Marx, because like this political thinker, Major brought about and
created the idea of communism, or 'animalism', the Animal Farm version of
this system of thought. In a way, Major is associated with Lenin of the
Russian Revolution, the opportunist who brought and initiated the communist
way of life on this land when it needed a new system-of-thought to help
it's troubled economy and the way-of-life it's people were forced to live
out every day. Pilkington and Frederick, the human owners of neighboring
farms, represent various world leaders during the time of the revolution,
and the occurrences that happened between them and Russia, or between
Animal Farm and the other farms. Boxer, a strong dedicated horse of Animal
Farm, I believe represented all of the people of Russia. The poverty
stricken, the homeless, who still work hard in order to make the system of
communism or animalism work. Boxer is the representation of the workers who
are pushed around, who are taken for all they are worth, and who are left
for dead.
        In the end of the Orwell's tale, Animal Farm is much worse a place for
the common animals then it had been previous to the revolution. The food is
scarce, the leadership is harsh and unruly, the world-load is hard, and the
conditions of life for the common animals had changed for the worse. The
pigs, the leaders of animal farm, celebrate their victory and their
entrance into high-society, as the lowly other animals still left on the
farm look on. This is how history recorded the Russian Revolution, and
Orwell illustrated the political aspects of this in the fable Animal Farm.
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