Animal Satire


Final Essay


12-2-01


"Animal Farm" by George Orwell is a symbolical political satire in which animals take the place of humans. Animal Farm and the Russian Revolution have many similarities and ideas. The characters, settings, and the plots are the same. Animal Farm is a political satire, which was written to criticize totalitarian regimes and particularly, Stalin\'s practices in Russia. The events and characters in the book are comparative to important figures and affairs in the Russian Revolution. My essay will cover the characters in Animal Farm and compare them to the Russian Revolution, and explain why this novel is a satire and a symbol to the Revolution.


Old Major was a prized-boar that belonged to Farmer Jones. This character is cast as a boar to convey that radical change and revolution are, themselves, boring in the eyes of the proletariat. The proletariat are represented in the other barnyard animals and 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 started the rebellion, even though he died before it actually began. Old Major\'s role compares to Lenin and Karl Marx, whose ideas were to lead to the communist revolution. Animal Farm is a criticism of Marx, as well as a novel perpetuating his confidence of democratic Socialism. Lenin became the leader and the teacher of the working class in Russia’s, determination to struggle against capitalism. Like Old Major, Lenin and Marx wrote essays and gave speeches to the poor working class. 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 in Russia thought there would be no oppression in their new society because the working


class people, or animals, would own all the riches and hold all the power.


(Golubeva and Gellerstein, 1976, p. 168).


Another character in the book is Farmer Jones. He represents the Czar Nicholas of Russia who treated his people like Farmer Jones treated his animals. The animal rebellion on the farm started because Farmer Jones was a drunk who never took care of the animals. He 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 by the way he dealt with his authority and preached all the time. 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. (Clarkson, 1969, p.263).”


The boar Napoleon can be compared to Joseph Stalin in Russia. Both were very mean looking and did not 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 and they always became his victims. He was responsible for one of the most ruthless periods in history. In was until many years passed that the world found out about the many deaths that Stalin had caused in Russia during the Revolution. For almost fifty years the world thought that the Nazis had done the killing in Russia, when, in actuality, it was Stalin. (Clarkson, 1969, p.242).


The last characters that are symbolic of each other are the boar Snowball and the Russian leader Leon Trotsky. Snowball was a very enthusiastic leader who organized the defense of the farm. He gave speeches and instructions, but was not very helpful. All the other animals liked him but in the end 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. 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.