Animal Farm: Animalism Vs. Marxism
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Animal Farm: Animalism Vs. Marxism
Characters, items, and events found in George Orwells book, Animal Farm,
can be compared to similar characters, items, and events found in Marxism and
the 1917 Russian Revolution. This comparison will be shown by using the
symbolism that is in the book with similarities found in the Russian Revolution.
Old Major was a prized-boar that belonged to Farmer Jones. The fact
that Old Major is himself a boar was to signify that radical change and
revolution are, themselves, boring in the eyes of the proletariat (represented
by the other barnyard animals), who are more prone to worrying about work and
survival in their everyday life. Old Major gave many speeches to the farm
animals about hope and the future. He is the main animal who got the rebellion
started even though he died before it actually began. Old Major\'s role
compares to Lenin and Marx whose ideas were to lead to the communist revolution.
Animal Farm is a criticism of Karl Marx, as well as a novel perpetuating his
convictions of democratic Socialism. (Zwerdling, 20). Lenin became leader and
teacher of the working class in Russia, and their determination to struggle
against capitalism. Like Old Major, Lenin and Marx wrote essays and gave
speeches to the working class poor. The working class in Russia, as compared
with the barnyard animals in Animal Farm, were a laboring class of people that
received low wages for their work. Like the animals in the farm yard, the
people is Russia thought there would be no oppression in a new society because
the working class people (or animals) would own all the riches and hold all the
power. (Golubeva and Gellerstein 168).
Another character represented in the book is Farmer Jones. He
represents the symbol of the Czar Nicholas in Russia who treated his people
like Farmer Jones treated his animals. The animal rebellion on the farm was
started because Farmer Jones was a drunk who never took care of the animals and
who came home one night, left the gate open and the animals rebelled. Czar
Nicholas was a very weak man who treated his people similar to how Farmer Jones
treated his animals. The Czar made his working class people very mad with the
way he wielded his authority and preached all the time, and the people suffered
and finally demanded reform by rebelling. The Czar said “The law will
henceforward be respected and obeyed not only by the nation but also the
authority that rules it - and that the law would stand above the changing views
of the individual instruments of the supreme power.” (Pares 420).
The animal Napoleon can be compared as a character representing Stalin
in Russia. Both were very mean looking, didn\'t talk very much but always got
what they wanted through force. In one part of the book Napoleon charged the
dogs on Snowball, another animal. Stalin became the Soviet Leader after the
death of Lenin. He was underestimated by his opponents who always became his
victims, and he had one of the most ruthless, regimes in history. In was not
till very many years later that the world found out about the many deaths that
Stalin created in Russia during the Revolution. For almost 50 years the world
thought that the Nazis had done the killing in Russia, when in fact it was
Stalin. (Imse 2).
The last characters that are symbolic of each other are the animal
Snowball with the Russian leader Trotsky. Snowball was very enthusiastic and
was a leader who organized the defense of the farm. He gave speeches and
instructions but was not very beneficial. All the other animals liked him, but
he was outsmarted by Napoleon. Trotsky and Stalin\'s relationship was very much
like Snowball\'s and Napoleons. Trotsky organized the Red Army and gave speeches
and everyone in Russia thought he would win power over Stalin. After Lenin\'s
death Trotsky lost all his power to Stalin and was expelled from the communist
party. He was at one time considered the second most powerful man in Russia.
(Trotsky” Comptons 290).
Besides characters there are many items that can be compared as symbols
in the book and in Russia. The whip that Napoleon used in the farmyard to
wield power can be compared to the power that Stalin used on the Russians.
Napoleon carried a whip in his trotter. Stalin used his power to starve the
Russian people and to have Lenin arrested. Stalin\'s main goal was to maximize
his personal power. (“Stalin,” Britannia 576). Stalin “whipped” his people into
shape by collectivizing agriculture, by police terror, and by destroying
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Literature, Fiction, Politics, Marxist theorists, Old Bolsheviks, British films, Cold War films, Anti-fascists, Animal Farm, Napoleon, Snowball, Squealer
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