THE ALLEGORY OF ANIMAL FARM
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THE ALLEGORY OF ANIMAL FARM
BY: JENNIFER ARNER
The introduction to Animal Farm states that the entire book is an allegory. C.M. Woodhouse makes it clear that the story is about Russia and Germany’s communist societies. Almost everything in the book stands for something else in the political world. Most prominently are the characters and their equals in the USSR. These characters are the basis of the story; therefore, they are influential in finding the meaning of the allegory of Animal Farm.
For instance, Snowball and Napoleon are meant to represent the dictators and dictatorships of the day. Both the characters of Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin become prominent as soon as the revolution is completed. The pigs’ similarities and differences show immensly. Everything from rations to electricity is argued while both of the leaders are constantly trying to find faults with the other’s ideas.
Snowball apparently represents Leon Trotsky. He is very eloquent in his speeches and by far the more convincing of the two leaders. Like Trotsky led the Bolshevik revolution, Snowball leads the Battle of the Cowshed. Both battles take place at the same time of year and both are much more successful than the revolution that took place before them. Both Trotsky and Snowball lack political skills, but because they are so persuasive they are extremely popular with the inhabitants of their “countries”. Needless to say, Snowball is thrown out of Animal Farm when Napoleon decides that he has had enough of Snowball’s antics and to get power for himself.
Napoleon is made to represent the ruthless dictator, Joseph Stalin, who is recognized for some of the most brutal killings in the world. Napoleon is a boar who is quiet but well known for getting his own way. His methods seem a little strange, but they always seem to help him get his way.
One of the best examples of Napoleon’s strange methods are the puppies that he takes away from their mother as soon as they were weaned. All the animals on the farm forget about them as does the reader. When they do reappear it is to chase Snowball from the farm. These puppies that are taken for such an unethical reason are used to represent secret police or, in Russia, the KGB. The actual people in these organizations were taken from their mothers at a very young age so that the Russians could make sure that they didn’t have any ideas put into their heads to make them doubt the society plan. In both cases, the people who have been forgotten by everyone but the leader are used to intimidate. Any time one of the animals asks a question or doubts anything the pigs say, they are answered not only by Squealer, but by the dogs’ growls. This is well shown when Clover doubts the fourth commandment’s change, and Squealer just “happens” to be passing by at that time with a few dogs. Understandibly Clover changes her mind very quickly.
Of course, after this, some might wonder where the beliefs of Snowball and Napolean come from. The answer lies in the first chapter of Animal Farm where Old Major tells the animals about his dream of a utopian society. He tells them that in this society they won’t have to work for humans and can keep whatever they make for themselves. Some people say Old Major is made to represent Karl Marx; others say that he represents Valdimar Ilich Lenin. Exploring both of these ideas is crucial.
Old Major represents Marx, in some ways, because he thinks up the initial idea, or dream, that is made into Animalism. He “writes the book” about what animals should and shouldn’t do. These principals help the animals know what is right. Even though the rules change over time, the animals still believe in what Old Major has said to them.
The other half of the argument about who Old Major represents, is Lenin. Lenin was the person that took the teachings of Marx and applied them to the Russians. He was extremely smart and could be called the Father of the USSR. In the same way Old Major can be called the Father of Animal Farm. They make their subjects believe that a utopian society was obtainable by their own hands. The other distinguishing part of the
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British films, Cold War films, Anti-fascists, Marxist theorists, Old Bolsheviks, Animal Farm, Napoleon, Jones, Snowball, Squealer, Boxer, Old Major
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