George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegory that mirrors events in Russia during the revolutions of 1917. Animal Farm was published in 1943, during the Second World War, as a fairy tale, because of the political stand point of Orwell. Orwell uses several characters that represent Russian figures, Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon.
Old Major is a prized Middle White Boar that Orwell used to represent Karl Marx. Old Major is introduced at the start of the book as a wise and respected pig. “He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was still a majestic- looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance.” (pg.26) During a meeting Old Major had assembled, he spoke of rebellion against the human race, and he taught the basics to animalism. “‘And, above all, no animal must ever tyrannize over his own kind... All animals are equal.’” He believed that the farm should ...view middle of the document...
However, Marx died in 1883, several years before the first revolution in February 1917.
Orwell uses a young pig, Snowball, to represent Leon Trotsky. Orwell introduces Snowball as an important character after Old Major died. “Snowball was a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive…” (pg.35) Snowball truly believed in a animalism and aimed to improve life for the working class and to spread animalism to other farms. He also led the animals to victory over Jones and his men, at the Battle of Cowshed. However, Snowball was ran off the farm by Napoleon’s dogs, for wanting to build the windmill.
Leon Trotsky was a Russian revolutionary and theorist, who wanted to improve life for every Russian. Trotsky believed in a permanant revolution and to spread rebellion throughout Russia. He led the Red Army (proletariat) to victory over the White Army (bourgeoisie), in the first Revolution in 1917 His views on communism caused a struggle between himself and Joseph Stalin. He was then exiled out of Russia and later murdered in Mexico.
Napoleon the only Berkshire pig on the farm, and represents Joseph Stalin. “Napoleon was a large, rather fierce- looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way.” (pg.35) Napoleon would use fear and his superior intelligence to take advantage of the weak and dumb. He would make small changes to the commandments to better life for the pigs, and not for the prosperity of the farm. He used his dogs to kill or run off and animals that opposed him, and became a dictator of Animal Farm.
Joseph Stalin was a leader of the Soviet Union and responsible for twenty million deaths. He passed several new policies allowing him to cut pays to pay for new weapons and industrial goods. During his dictatorship, Stalin would use secret police to arrest or murder anyone who opposed him.
In conclusion, Animal Farm is able to capture history in a lighter view. George Orwell used the characters on Animal Farm, to portray real life influences on the Russian Revolution.