The novel Animal Farm was written by George Orwell as a way to parallel the political characters and other factors that contributed to the Russian Revolution with animal characters and life on the farm. The novel depicts many events that happened during the Russian Revolution using symbolism. The beginning of the Animal Rebellion mirrors the starting of the Russian Revolution. The pigs on Animal Farm represent the Russian Soviet government, with Napoleon resembling Stalin, the deceitful political leader of Russia during the revolution.
Squealer’s use of propaganda is based on the use of manipulation of information by Stalin’s Russian newspaper Pravda. Snowball is a parallel for Leon Trotsky as both were exiled from the Revolution. Napoleon is directly modeled after Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, an immoral political leader who manipulated to gain power. From the beginning of the novel the reader can observe how Napoleon never shows interest in the development and advancement of Animal Farm. He only shows interest in the strength of his power over it. Joseph Stalin, whom Napoleon was modeled after, was leader of the Soviet Union during the Russian Revolution.
He was devious, manipulative and corrupted the Russian army with false statements that led the army to publically prosecute officers and peasants whom he considered guilty of treason. Stalin also ordered the burning of villages in order to intimidate the peasants. Napoleon exemplifies one of the worst political tyrants in history, as he performed acts in the novel similar to those of Stalin’s. Napoleon trains a litter of puppies that eventually become his own private army. Because they are trained under him, he can manipulate the ferocious grown dogs to obey his every command.
Like Stalin did before him, Napoleon had animals lower than him prosecuted by his private army of dogs for the entire farm to see. In the book the less intelligent and more naive animals symbolize the peasant working class of Russia. Together, at the beginning of the novel, the animals create commandments that are to be strictly followed. The Seven Commandments were designed to unite the animals together against the humans and prevent animals from following the humans’ evil habits. One of the seven original commandments states that ‘No animal shall kill any other animal. However, Napoleon uses the animals’ lack of intelligence to his advantage and has it changed. His reasoning is that no animals other than pigs have the brain capacity to realise the commandment has changed. Many animals were executed by the dog army in chapter 7, but could not do anything about it due to Napoleon’s superiority in power and intelligence, “… the tale of confessions and executions went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been unknown there since the expulsion of Jones. ” (7. 6)Like Napoleon’s forerunner Stalin once said, “Education is a weapon, and who is affected depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. ” Snowball is a depiction of Leon Trotsky, a revolutionary Soviet Politician. Snowball emerged throughout the novel as a passionate supporter of improving the infrastructure of Animal Farm. He also made grand attempts to spread animalism throughout the farm and the world. In the novel, animalism is comparable to communism or socialism. Leon Trotsky was a firm believer in both communism and socialism and trusted they would be practiced in Russia.
He led the Soviet delegation during peace negotiations, and was very optimistic things would become peaceful in Russia. However, like Snowball in Animal Farm, it was his idealism that led to his downfall. Napoleon, who is symbolic of Joseph Stalin, had Snowball exiled from the farm by force of his army of trained dogs. The dogs are a representation of the secret police Stalin controlled in Russia during the revolution. Later, after Trotsky was exiled, he was then assassinated and killed on Stalin’s orders.
Had Snowball not escaped after being attacked by Napoleon’s dogs, it is guaranteed based on previous actions that Napoleon would have had Snowball executed for the whole farm to see. In chapter five, Napoleon ordered his vicious dogs on Snowball, because Napoleon wanted superiority of the farm, and Snowball stood in his way. “He [Snowball] was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than ever, and then the dogs were gaining on him again.
One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball’s tail, but Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge and was seen no more. ”(5. 14) Leon Trotsky was once quoted declaring, “Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one’s enemies. ” It is unfortunate that neither he nor Snowball learned soon enough. The pig Squealer does not represent a single person in history, but rather the idea of propaganda in the political system.
During the Russian Revolution, Stalin (portrayed by Napoleon) had Trotsky (Snowball) exiled from Russia. It was Stalin’s newspaper Pravda that made sure of the fact that all known information of Trotsky was erased from Russia. Almost all of the articles published in Pravda were about Stalin’s Soviet Dictation, and how his leadership was proven to be beneficial to Russia. Snowball was like Napoleon’s ‘newspaper’. Rather than publishing false information, Squealer served as Napoleon’s personal spokesperson. Because the less intelligent animals were naive, he would read unravel-able statistics to the animals that were completely false. Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he [Squealer] proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones’s day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas. ” Chapter 9, pg. 93. The animals were so gullible that they believed Squealer’s every word. During the revolution, the people of Russia were not so easy to fool.
In fact, a popular Russian saying about the Newspaper Pravda was “v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy” English translation: “In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth. ” Orwell had a keen knowledge of the politics involved during the Russian Revolution. He wrote animal farm as a way to express that knowledge to the world. Throughout his entire career, Orwell explored how politicians manipulate language in an age of mass media. One of the messages in Animal Farm is how the greediness associated with power corrupts the most unassuming of people.
The characters in Animal Farm mirror those of figures in history. It is apparent that based on their actions, if we do not change our ways, history is going to undoubtedly repeat itself. Works Cited Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Penguin, 1996. Bibliography: http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/authors/l/leon_trotsky. html#ixzz1Ojqo7RDr http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/publications/l/pravda. html#ixvv13uhg9RTt http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/authors/l/joseph_stalin. html#ixyy11toy4SCw http://bookstove. com/classics/animal-farm-book-review/ www. sparknotes. com/lit/animalfarm/canalysis. html