View Full Version : Look at this one and write anything that you thing will be useful to improv

Hayrullah Dindar
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
George Orwell gives a very clear and accurate account of what happened in Russia after Czar Nicholas II was forced to resign, in his book Animal Farm. Being an allegory, most of the characters and events have a parallel in Stalinist Russia. Minor characters in the story also symbolize things that are very relevant to the history of Russia. Mr. Jones is the symbol of the monarchy where the autocrat takes all without giving anything; he is the last of the Czars, Czar Nicholas II. Old Major symbolizes Karl Marx, the one who gives the soul of the rebellion to others. There are many other examples of similarities between the fairy story and history. Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky are surely one of the most important couple of people in Soviet History so Napoleon and Snowball, the pigs symbolizing Stalin and Trotsky, are dominant characters of the book.

Considering importance of Stalin and Stalinism, it is obvious that looking over the Napoleon character of Animal Farm can be very useful to understand politics and history. To have a clear view of Stalin’s character, I will study on differences between Stalin and Trotsky, give some information about Stalin’s policies in USSR and compare symbols of Animal Farm with real life.

After rebellion every job has to be done by animals without a master’s orders so animals begin to plan how to do the farm work. As pigs are considered to be the most intelligent among animals they become leaders just like that in USSR, country was governed by a small, well-educated group of intellectuals, named as Politburo. Snowball and Napoleon are leaders of the pigs and after an amount of time they begin struggling for power, likewise Stalin and Trotsky did the same. Stalin, the one better at getting in with influential people and in “politics”, got rid of his opponent in the end. Anybody trying to understand Stalin’s character better should catch on Trotsky because they lived together but in between their ideas were diametrically opposite to one another. Trotsky was a hero and a general in Soviets, in the same manner Snowball is one of the bravest animals in the Battle of Cowshed.

“The animals decided unanimously to create a military decoration, "Animal Hero, First Class" which was conferred there and then on Snowball and Boxer.” (Orwell.15). On the other hand Napoleon is not a real general because he is too fearful to fight in front lines to give confidence to his army when their courage fail,” For the moment even Napoleon seemed at a loss. He paced up and down without a word, his tail rigid and twitching.” (Orwell.32). Stalin had a hard childhood and this made him a paranoiac so he was unable to resume his trust in anyone from whom once he had removed it. At early ages he suffered various sicknesses including smallpox and septicemia, which left his left arm slightly disabled for life. "His personality and rule were--and still are--highly controversial, opinion ranging from complete, unbridled adulation expressed in the official Soviet press of his day to widespread denunciation as a pathological despot by many in the Western world.” (Soviet-Empire.1)

Snowball is also a real ideologist ready to sacrifice himself for the community’s benefaction so he concerns himself with organizing “Animal Committees”. As he is too busy to waste time on political relations he can’t notice Napoleon’s evil plans. On the other hand Napoleon is a political hack and his first terminus is to guarantee his position so he uses propaganda (Squealer) and military force (The dogs) to divest himself of anything or anyone “dangerous”. “Stalin spared neither his own relatives (the Svanidzes and Alliluyevs, most of whom came to a tragic end), nor former political comrades, nor even the families of his closest political associates. Polina Molotova, the wife of his foreign minister and closest colleague, was sentenced in 1948 to 10 years in prison.” (Soviet-Empire.5)

Obviously second way of analyzing someone’s character is to look at his/her studies. After Stalin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party, he made full use of his powers for getting rid of party members who are supporting Trotsky. But he still felt suspicious of anyone around him so he organized a special army, most known as the NKVD or KGB, to dispose of anyone against his policies and to prevent a counter-revolution. This is very much like that Napoleon and his dogs because the biggest achievement of both the dogs and NKVD was expulsion of the big rival, Trotsky (Snowball). After finishing up with security Napoleon repels the Sunday Meetings and he declares that all decisions about the farm would be made by a special group of pigs, needless to say that perfectly in control of Napoleon. Stalin made the Command Economy, in which the government made all economic decisions. His next decision was to Practice Trotsky’s Five year plans which is symbolized with realization of Snowball’s plan of the building of the windmill.

The deportation and execution of hundreds of thousands of the peasants and the forced entrance of the rest into collective farms, nationalization of all industry are some examples of Stalin’s crimes. One of the bordering farms, Pinchfield, is the symbol of Nazis Germany; furthermore trading of some lumber to Frederic (Owner of the Pinchfield) is the symbol of Non- Aggressive Pact with Hitler, ending with termination of the agreement by Hitler. As Frederick and his men attack Animal Farm, Napoleon tries to make alliance with other farms; Stalin did so with Western Countries. In war against Germany “of the 5,170,000 soldiers captured by the Germans, only 1,053,000 survived … faced with the choice of being executed or being killed fighting, the vast majority chose the latter. Unlike most other soldiers, when faced with defeat in battle, the Soviet army rarely surrendered.” (Education on the Internet & Teaching History Online.14) Similarly in Animal Farm when the windmill blew up and animals had nothing to worry about, they chose to attack their enemy bravely, “the animals' courage returned to them.” (Orwell. 34) and they attacked with all their power, just like in Russian soldiers` counterattack in the Battle of Stalingrad. Furthermore in both of this wars attacks, enemy is circled and than defeated.

All these symbols in Animal Farm show that the communism, the system of equality is good in theory but impossible to be practiced because individuals are corruptible by power. Orwell's idea of telling the history of USSR under Stalin with using speaking animals is a brilliant idea. As all characters and events have strong relations with USSR George Orwell's message can be deduced easily. “True appreciation of the book does come with an understanding of the Russian revolution, but those without can still interpret its message” (McCreaddie.1) I think Orwell's goal was to enlighten us of how we are being fooled by governments and politicians. I think especially the chapter where Boxer is sold to a horse slaughterer, is also about capitalism because in capitalism if your boss finds someone (workers in Mexico or China) who can do your job better or for less money he gets rid of you without thinking for a moment. George Orwell couldn’t give an alternative and ended his book with a dark end. But considering that he wrote his book when Stalin alive, it is nearly impossible to predict that what would be his further forecasts about the future of humanity if he had seen the collapse of USSR.


McCreaddie, Andrew. Guest book review by Andrew McCreaddie. Available: esotericlinks.com/orwell.shtml
Orwell, George. Animal Farm (1945)
Stalin, Joseph Vissarionovich. Available:soviet-empire.com/ussr/ussr_leaders/stalin.php
Joseph Stalin. Education on the Internet & Teaching History Online. Available:spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSstalin.htm

07-30-2005, 04:34 AM
Old Major represents Lenin IMHO, and Squealer's a mixture of Beria & Molotov also IMO Is it a lecture you're going to give, or homework?, good job anyway