Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution being one of the most recognized events in the world history had been opinionated and criticized throughout many writing pieces. Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a metaphoric and detailed novel published in 1956, reflecting the Russian revolution of the 1917. George Orwell the son of a British civil servant, born as Eric Arthur Blair, gained popularity and a boost of financial holdings after publishing the novel; Animal Farm. The novel is an anti-Soviet satire that takes place in a farm where the idea of animalism has been presented to the animals by a pig named Old Major. He dies soon after his inspiring speech and leaves the rest of the farm with the idea of freeing themselves and owning the farm without the presence of Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm at the time. After Old Major’s death the animals rebelliously plan to throw Mr. Jones out of the farm and they finally take advantage of the night when he forgets to feed the animals. The pigs, who taught themselves how to read, rename Manor Farm to Animal Farm. They also come up with seven commandments that all the animals must follow and print them on the barn wall (George, p.19).
Snowball begins planning to build a windmill that would provide electricity and therefore give them more leisure time. Since building the windmill would reduce crop productivity, Snowball decides to take a vote from the animals to make the final decision. Napoleon however, orders the dogs to chase Snowball off the farm and uses him a scapegoat for any hardship the animals face later on. Soon after, the pigs take all the milk and the apples and the idea of equality fades by time. Mr. Jones’ house, which meant to be kept as a museum, becomes the shelter for the pigs. Since most of the animals did not know how to read, the commandments started changing slowly in the advantage of the pigs. The pigs started getting drunk and sleeping in human made beds (Daniel, p.33).
As a result of trading with the neighboring farms, and expanding the farm’s boundaries, Napoleon meets Pilkington which is a neighbor farmer. Eventually the pigs develop the qualities of human owners and the animals are not able to tell the difference between the two anymore. The farm name changes back to Manor Farm and the commandments shrink down to one single commandment; “All the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (George, p. 12). The series of events in the book are metaphoric reflections of the actual events taking place during the revolution and every character in the book represents one of the people who have been involved in this revolution in one way or another.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyyanov, father of the Russian revolution, also known as Lenin, brought the idea of a country with no social class. Old major in this novel is a character created to represent Lenin’s involvement in the revolution. Mr. Jones reflecting Czar Nicolas II is an irresponsible and drunken farmer whose cruelty becomes one of the reasons why a revolution forms at the farm. Snowball and Napoleon present themselves as capable and intelligent members of the farm and prove to the rest of the animals that they should be leading and approving any final decisions the animals make. Their thirst for power grows, especially in Napoleon and eventually leaves a great negative impact on the farm. Snowball a metaphoric character representing Leon Trotsky, is a smart Animalist who tries to improve life for each and every animal in the farm and eventually gets chased away by the dogs at the farm because of his intelligence. He aimed at educating the animals at the farm, and even to those who were not capable of learning, “four legs good, two legs bad” was enough to make them understand the basic rules of “Animalism.”Lenin represented by Old Major in the Animal Farm studied Karl Max’s writing and his ideas of a world without any class borders, where all the humans are equal (George, p.25).
Napoleon, a character created to represent Stalin, is a selfish, cruel and devious pig whose thirst for power grows continuously. He used dogs and Squealer, to control the animals as Stalin would use KBG, (Комитет государственной безопасности), translated in English as Committee for State Security, to control the people. As Stalin killed his opponents only to protect his power, Napoleon also made his sight clear of any animal that was unable to benefit him. Squealer convinces the animals to believe and follow the orders of Napoleon; on the other hand it was the job of the Ministry of Information to do the same to the people of Russia. The Ministry of Information lied to people in support of Stalin and also benefited from government control of education. The changing of the commandments is a reflection of the benefits The Ministry of Information received from government’s control of education. Napoleon used dogs to kill or intimidate his opponents, as Stalin would use KBG, the secret police, to force and often kill anyone disobedient of his rules (Jeffrey, 19).
Marx said religion was the “opium of masses.” People where enforced to believe that complaining about life would get them nowhere because soon they will be in heaven anyway. This lie, and Stalin’s enforcement of religion in general, was used to calm down the public and to avoid their complaints about dissatisfaction with the circumstances of Stalin’s actions. George Orwell metaphorically expresses this through Moses and Raven who lie to animals about Sugar Candy Mountain-Heaven to trick them into working harder, taught the animals to work harder and not complain (Jeffrey, 56).
Mollie a vain horse, only concerned about ribbons and sugar symbolizes the people of Russia running away to countries that would offer more. Mollie, a self centered horse loved her beauty and herself and so did the people of Russia who were not concerned about the situation of their country. Other than the careless people who left the country there were also ones who were dedicated to the revolution and gave their all in order to support Stalin. In this novel Boxer is a strong and hardworking horse, who believes in Animalism, but eventually gets betrayed and sent off to the glue factory. The groups of people in Russia who believed in communism and stayed loyal and committed to Stalin were also ignored and they were killed at times. Another member of the farm, Benjamin, is an old, wise donkey who is suspicious of Napoleon’s actions and eventually his guesses get proved true. Benjamin symbolizes the people living outside of Russia who were certainly wiser about their thoughts and ideas about communism and knew communism wouldn’t change anything because Tyrants enforced it (Bradbury, p.88).
The revolution started because of a number of reasons. Many people gave life in the war and the Russians were not happy with the overall status of the country. Russian authorities were overwhelmed in the war with Germans, as the results were not to the favor of their country. Bread was held back and many were starving. Women from the factories, hungry, went on strike because of bread shortage. Soon after, men joined on the 23rd of February 1917 to protest against their rights. What seemed to be a demand for bread suddenly changed to a protest asking for the removal of Czar Nicolas II from power. St. Petersburg was outrageously filled with thousands of people and the crowd got larger day after day. To disperse the crowd, the police shot men, women and children, but people became more angry and violent. Cossacks, the fearsome unit of the army, proved their royalty to the Czar otherwise when they chose to come to peace with the protestors. As a result of this bond, people started calling them Comrade Cossacks. On the other hand, the soldiers were no longer accepting orders from higher authorities to shoot and control the crowd with violence; therefore, Czar Nicolas II was no longer capable of fighting back to save 300 years of ruling the Russian empire, by his ancestors. Russia was under the control of its own people. The soviets became Russian’s local counsel. Institutions and committees were set up in order to reflect the needs and values of the Russian citizens.
After all, democrats and landowners created a temporary provisional government and the ministers were strongly committed to continuing the war with Germany. Joseph Stalin used the opportunity and came to power. The Russians respected and obeyed his laws and were grateful for the fact that he saved Russia from the hands of Hitler and Nazis, not knowing he murdered thousands of his own people. Lenin being the head of the communist party suffered from a stroke and died on January 1924. Staling used his power as the general secretary to his advantage after Lenin’s death. He then ousted his opponents and became the supreme leader of the Soviet Union.
Overall, the Russian Revolution was meant to make the lives of the people better and in fact, it made it worse than it was. Communism was supposed to correct the rules Czar enforced and in fact, the changes Stalin created, made Czar look like the better ruler for Russia. The idea of “Animalism” is closely tied with Communism in Russia during the revolution. Some of the animals adapted to the new situation immediately and some didn’t really understand but followed the rules as they were told. They called each other “comrade” (Daniel, p.17).
Animal Farm is a figurative and utopian novel by George Orwell, distributed in England on 17th August 1945. As stated by Orwell, the book reflects occasions paving the way to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and afterward on into the Stalin time in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a fair socialist, was a frank pundit of Joseph Stalin and, particularly after encounters with the NKVD (Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennih Del) and the Spanish Civil War; he was eagerly contradicted to the questionable belief system of Revolution. The Soviet Union, he accepted, had turned into a severe fascism, based upon a religion of identity and implemented by a rule of fear. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell depicted Animal Farm as a sarcastic story against Stalin "un conte satirique contre Staline", and in his article "Why I Write" (1946), he composed that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had attempted, with full awareness of what he was doing, "to combine political reason and creative reason into one entity" (Bradbury, p 3).
Old Major, the old pig on the Manor Farm, summons other animals on the homestead together for a gathering, throughout which he alludes to people as parasites and instructs the creatures a revolutionary tune called Beasts of England. At the point when Major dies, two youthful pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, expect charge and think as of it an obligation to plan for the Rebellion. The creatures revolt and drive the smashed and untrustworthy rancher Mr. Jones from the homestead, renaming it “Animal Farm" (George, p. 16). They receive Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most critical of which is, "All animals are equivalent" (George, p. 7).
Snowball educates the animals to peruse and compose, while Napoleon teaches junior puppies on the standards of Animalism. Sustenance is ample, and the homestead runs easily. The pigs raise themselves to positions of authority and put aside extraordinary nourishment things, apparently for their individual well being. Napoleon and Snowball battle for overwhelming nature. At the point when Snowball declares his arrangements to assemble a windmill, Napoleon has his canines pursue Snowball away and thus announces himself the leader of the Animal Farm. ((Bradbury, p. 8).
Napoleon sanctions progressions to the influence structure of the ranch, reinstating gatherings with an advisory group of pigs who will run the homestead. Through a youthful pig named Squealer, Napoleon cases credit for the windmill thought. The creatures work harder with the guarantee of simpler lives with the windmill. At the point when the creatures find the windmill caved in after a vicious storm, Napoleon and Squealer persuade the creatures that Snowball is attempting to harm their undertaking. When Snowball turns into a substitute, Napoleon starts to cleanse the ranch with his pooches, executing creatures he blames for partnering with his old adversary. Mammoths of England are displaced by a hymn commending Napoleon, who has all the earmarks of being embracing the lifestyle of a man. The creatures remain persuaded that they are preferred off over they were under Mr. Jones (Bradbury, p 13)
Frederick, one of the neighboring ranchers, strikes the homestead, utilizing impacting powder to explode the restored windmill. Despite the fact that the creatures win the fight, they do so at extraordinary expense, as a lot of people, including Boxer the workhorse, are injured. Regardless of his damages, Boxer keeps working increasingly hard, until he falls while dealing with the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the veterinary specialist, clarifying that better mind might be given there. Benjamin, the pessimistic animal who "could read than any pig", recognizes that the van belongs to a knacker, and endeavors a vain salvage. Squealer reports that the van was obtained by the doctor's facility and the composition from the past holder had not been repainted. However truly, Napoleon has sold his most reliable and tolerant specialist for cash to purchase himself whisky (George, p 14).
A long time pass, and the pigs begin to look like people, as they walk upright, convey whips, and wear dress. The Seven Commandments are condensed to a solitary expression: "All animals are equivalent, yet a few animals are more equal than others". Napoleon holds a supper party for the pigs and nearby ranchers, with whom he praises collusion. He cancels the act of the revolutionary customs and restores the name "The Manor Farm". As the creatures look from pigs to people, they understand they can no more recognize the two (Bradbury, p 15).
One of the principle plans in George Orwell's "Animal Farm" is the way every occasion in it parallels an occasion in the Russian Revolution. Numerous people may not be acquainted with these subtle elements. Below, some of the occasions which parallel with Russian Revolution activities are discussed below (Bradbury, p 16).
Old Major’s Vision is one of them. Old Major's vision of a homestead where creatures ruled, where there were no human oppressors, is an immediate match to Marx's vision of a socialist public opinion. In his Communist Manifesto, Marx imagines a world where everybody is equivalent, and where those on the easier rungs of pop culture have to the extent that as those on the upper rungs (Bradbury, p 16).
Although both ideas are decent in principle, "Animal Farm" demonstrates that a lot of force can degenerate anybody. At the point when Old Major's vision, later called "Animalism" was put into practice, the pigs in control assumed control and got self centered and savage, turning the rationality until it scarcely held a reverberation of the first expectation. The same thing happened with socialism, as Stalin left a significant part of the nation poor and defenseless, and put individuals to death in the event that they demonstrated the smallest imperviousness to his administration (George, p 17).
Napoleon and Snowball can also be considered. The parallels between Napoleon and Stalin, and Snowball and Trotsky, are generally clear. At the starting, the two pigs lead the upheaval against Mr. Jones, in the same way that Stalin and Trotsky assumed instrumental parts in the Russian Revolution under Lenin. In the end, Stalin banishes Trotsky by utilizing constrain, the same way that Napoleon drives out Snowball through the utilization of a pack of rough mutts. For more insights about the imagery of Napoleon and Snowball (Bradbury, p 17).
Napoleon’s Leadership is yet another point. At the point when Napoleon assumes control Animal Farm, he rapidly demonstrates his lip service. In spite of the fact that he sways the creatures to work harder than at any other time in recent memory, his sole stress when sustenance gets rare is about open support. He subsequently fills the sustenance receptacles with sand so that the outside world won't understand that the creatures are starving. Stalin did basically the same thing when his collectivization of horticulture prompted an across the board starvation, executing a huge number of Russians (Bradbury, p 18).
The Rebellion of the Hens is yet another point. At the point when the hens decline to give the pigs their eggs, Napoleon starves them until a few die, and the rest surrender. He later sets the canines on a gathering of pigs who have communicated discontent, and also a few other conceivably honest creatures. This conceivable parallels Stalin's Great Purge, which happened between 1936 and 1938, in which Stalin murdered or ousted any individual who may have perhaps challenged him (Bradbury, p 18).
Jones is very irresponsible and lets his animals to starve. He is cruel to them and beats them up sometimes with the whip. He again is kind and he sometimes mixes milk with animal mash. On the comparison bit of it, Czar Nicholas II, is very poor in leading compared to other Western Kings. He is very cruel and sometimes he is brutal to his opponents(Daniel, p 6). Old Major, in the book, teaches animalism. The workers are shown to do all the work while the rich keep and maintain the dollar. Later, all the animals revolted against the authority of Jones. Old Major dies even before revolution period. In comparison bit of it, Karl Marx from Russia invented and taught communism. Then all the Russian workers unite and they over throw the government. Later, Karl Marx dies just before the period of Russian revolution(Daniel, p 8).
About the Animalism, all the workers acquire better lives and equity I established. There are no rich, poor nor owners. Everybody appears to have ownership of the farm. In comparison part of it, in communism, all people are same and equal. The citizens own the government and the government has ownership of everything. There are no poor, rich nor self- owners (Jeffrey, p 9).
Snowball in the book, is young but very smart. He is idealistic and a very good speaker. He aspires to improve the lives of all people. He is among the revolution leaders. Finally, he is forced into exile by the dogs of Napoleon. In comparison bit of it, Leon Trotsky is a pure communist who follows Marx. He aspired to make life better for all Russians. He appears among the revolution leaders. He ends up being chased away following orders from Lenin to his KGB; a secret police force (Daniel, p 12).
In the book, Napoleon is not clever as Snowball is. Again he is not a very good speaker. He appears to be very corrupt, selfish, devious, brutal and cruel. He kills many opponents and he has ambitions for power. In controlling the animals, he makes use of dogs and squealers. In comparison bit of it, Joseph, Stalin is not very educated and is a poor speaker compared to Trotsky. He fails to follow Marx’s idea of Communism. His ambition is only for power and he killed his opposers. He made use of KGB and propaganda to control people (Daniel, p 13).
Squealer, a character in the book, talks too much and convinces all animals to follow and believe in Napoleon. He alters the commandments through manipulation. In comparison bit of it, Lenin’s government has a Propaganda department. It works for Stalin and helps support and maintain his image. It uses lies and propaganda to convince citizens to be loyal and follow Stalin. It benefits from control of education and education system in the country (Daniel, p 14).
In the book, the dogs appear as a private army which is used to control the animals. They force the other animals to work. They killed those who opposed Napoleon. In comparison bit of it, KBG is a private and secret army owned by Lenin. They work and support Stalin. They are used to control citizens and they kill those who oppose Stalin. They are very loyal to the corrupt government of Russia (Daniel, p 15).
Moses the Raven, a character in the book, lets the animals learn of the Sugar candy Mountain where they would go in case they worked hard. Napoleon supports him while Snowball and Major are totally against him because this was just an excuse to force animals work without any complains. In Russia, religion is used to compel people to work and not complain. It tells them about heaven as Marx says. Stalin understands that religion will help stop revolutions which are violence based (Daniel, p 18).
In the book, Benjamin is an old but wise donkey. He grows very suspicious about the revolution process. His suspicions came true about revolutions. In Russia, some skeptical individuals in and out of Russia grew very suspicious about revolution. They did understand that any leader would refer to himself as a communist. They understood that communism would never work in presence of those power hungry Russian leaders (Daniel, p 20).
Mollie, a character in the book fails to consider anything about the animal farm. He goes with anyone who gives to him what he wants. In Russia, Bourgeoisie shows that a number of people failed to care about revolution and Russia in general. They only think about their own selves. These people move to other countries which offered more to them (Daniel, p 21).
In the book, Boxer is a strong and hardworking horse. He totally believes in animal farm. Napoleon betrays him by selling him yet he is ready to give all he can. In Russia there were some supporters who were dedicated but they were however tricked. They believed in Stalin because he claimed to be a communist. Most of them remained royal even after Stalin was declared a tyrant. They were betrayed by their leaders who killed most of them (Daniel, p 23).
Finally, the overall overview of revolution shows that, in animal farm, revolution was meant for good will and was aimed to improving the lives of all the animals. As the book ends, life grows harder and worse than even before. Leaders grow worse and very hostiles to their juniors and workers rebel against the government. In Russia, a similar situation prevails. Revolution was meant to improve the lives of the people and their living standards. After revolution, lives grows harder and even worse. Leaders grow more corrupt and terror intensifies. Czar is made by Stalin to appear like a nice person (Daniel, p 24).
In conclusion, these are just many illustrations of how "Animal Farm" matches the Russian Revolution. Orwell's whole novel is basically a purposeful anecdote, in which each one subtle element speaks to an alternate part of this verifiable occasion and the scenes encompassing it. Everything that George Orwell wrote in his book “Animal Farm” is correlated to everything that happened in Russia during the Russian revolution. Every character and every character trait exhibited in the book are similar to those exhibited by the then leaders who ruled during the Russian revolution period
Bradbury, Malcolm. “Essay on Animal Farm” .Penguin edition, 1989
Orwell, George. “Animal Farm”. London: Penguin Group, (1946)
Daniel J. Leab, “Orwell Subverted”. Penn State Press, 2007.
Jeffrey, Meyers. “A Reader's Guide to George Orwell”, 2008
http://www.hbo.com/#/schedule/detail/Oz+15%3A+Animal+Farm/78280 Retrieved on 4/23/2014 3:52:33 PM