Animal Farm and The Russian Revolution



Animal Farm and The Russian RevolutionThe novel Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, can be compared to the Russian Revolution of 1917. The idea of a revolution came from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto that he wrote with Fredrick Engels. It was 1924 when Vladimir Lenin died and left Trotsky alone to lead the Russian people. Joseph Stalin, another high-powered man, knew of Trotsky’s loss and tried to take over as ruler of the Russian people. Stalin prevailed and Trotsky was overpowered, exiled, and later killed, possibly through Stalin’s instigation. It was not until Germany attacked Russia in World War II that Stalin had no other option but to join forces with those whom he revolted against in the first place, namely Britain and America. In the novel Animal Farm there were many similar events that took place. An old pig by the name of Old Major gave a very significant speech to the other animals, which spoke of a revolt against human beings. Snowball was the leader of the revolution. Napoleon, another pig, took over and ruled over the other animals. The animals were soon unable to survive. They had to rely on the humans, whom they had revolted against at the beginning, for existence. In the novel Animal Farm the characters, Old Major, Benjamin, Snowball and Napoleon can be directly compared to the real figures of Marx, the Russian population, Trotsky and Stalin. The old and wise pig Old Major, from Animal Farm, can be directly compared to the real figure of Karl Marx. Old Major gave a great and inspiring speech about a better life for animals, just as Marx had written in the Manifesto. Old Major’s words were very powerful and they were the foundation of the animal revolution. Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” was an influential piece of literature written to the Russia people. This is similar to Old Major. He was respected and looked up to for his wisdom and great thoughts. All the animals on the farm listened to him and hung onto every word he said. When Marx wrote the “Communist Manifesto”, the Russian people would read his work and take heed because of his great wisdom and plans. In the novel Animal Farm, Old Major dies shortly after he gives his influential speech. The Russian people also suffered a great loss when Karl Marx passed away in 1883 and only left his ideas from the Manifesto to keep the idea of a Revolution alive. This, then, proves the similarity between Old Major and Karl Marx. The character of Benjamin the donkey, from the novel Animal Farm, is a symbolic figure for the Russian population. The Russian people read what Karl Marx had written in his Manifesto and used it to guide them through their revolution. This can be compared to the novel Animal Farm where Benjamin and the other animals listened to Old Major and all of his plans for a better life. Benjamin and the animals from the farm worked very hard for the leaders, Napoleon and Snowball. They would do any work that they were told to do. They felt that whatever Snowball or Napoleon said was a good idea and would only benefit the farm. The Russian population also did what was told of them. They were ignorant and thought that everything they were told was only for the welfare of the country. It was the animals from the farm and Benjamin that were betrayed by Napoleon, just as Stalin betrayed the Russian people. For example, Napoleon did not take care of his workers on the farm. He sold the hardest worker, Boxer, a stallion, to the glue factory when he was not able to work anymore. Stalin betrayed the Russian people when he started trading with other non-communist countries. Therefore it can be stated that Benjamin’s character demonstrates similar qualities of the Russian population. The historical figure of Trotsky is represented as a pig in the novel Animal Farm and goes by the name of Snowball. Snowball took action in reference to what Old Major said, as did Trotsky with what was written by Marx. Snowball led the other animals from Animal Farm into the revolution, successfully defeating the humans that treated them like prisoners. Trotsky was