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.

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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 remnants of individual prosperity. He also led the
Soviet Union into the nuclear age (Clarkson 442).

Propaganda is another item that was used in the Russian
revolution. It can be compared to Squealer in Animal Farm.

Squealer brainwashed (a form of propaganda) the barnyard
animals into believing that they did not like apples and milk,
while he and Napoleon were stealing the food for
themselves. In Russia, the Bolsheviks carried out
propaganda on the people by passing out leaflets and putting
stories in the newspapers that were not true. They told
workers, soldiers, and peasants to not trust their own hands
and to take away land from the landowners. (Golubeva and
Gellerstein 80). Another item that is similar in both Animal
Farm and Russia are the dogs and the secret police.

Napoleon trained his dogs when they were puppies to guard
him and to obey his every command. They chased Snowball
away. Stalin trained his secret police to do his bidding
whenever he issued an order. Stalin had his secret police kill
between 60,000 to 70,000 people. These police were
called the Checka and the graves filled with bodies stacked
upon each other with bullets in each skull were found many
years later. (Imse, C2). Another symbolism that exists in the
book and in Russia is a similarity to events that took place.

The windmill that is present in Animal Farm can be
compared with the growth of industry in Russia or the
Industrial Revolution. Snowball first introduced the windmill
concept to the farm but Napoleon disagreed with him and
had the dogs chase him away. Napoleon then presented the
windmill as a good idea and the animals were presented with
hope that things would get better on the farm. When it blew
down, Napoleon blamed it on Snowball. Napoleon thought
that if he could keep the barnyard animals busy all the time
replacing the windmill that they would not realize how bad
their living conditions were, and he could blame the
destruction all the time on Snowball. The windmill is the only
thing that was holding the animals together as a unit. In
Russia the growth of factory and industry was very
depressing but depended on the obligatory labor of serfs.

Russia hoped that by keeping the serfs working all the time
and promising them a better world that they would not
realize how bad their living conditions were. The
Industrialists were pressing their own constitutional
demands. (Clarkson 352). None of the social classes were
fighting each other because there were no classes left. What
Russia got working was to make the people think that the
prospect of loss of potential improvements in conditions of
life of the here and now, could only be attained by
stimulating labor to unprecedented efforts. The last event
that was similar in the book and in Russia was the animal
rebellion on the farm and the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Farmer Jones was drunk a lot and would forget to feed the
animals on the farm. The withholding of this food is what
finally forced the animals on the farm to rebel against Farmer
Jones. In Russia, there were many food shortages which
caused the people to demonstrate and then the Russian
soldiers refused to suppress them and the leaders demanded
that Nicholas transfer his power to parliamentary
government because everything was getting out of control.

Soviet workers and soldiers formed a special committee and
established a government. The same day the emperor
abdicated. (“Russian Revolution,” Grolier npa). This actually
backfired in Russia and the war continued and the people
still starved. Many lessons can be learned by reading Animal
Farm that can help countries and governments around the
world from making mistakes in wielding their power against
their people. If a population is suppressed and not allowed
to accumulate things for themselves then an overthrow of the
government that is suppressing them will be the result.

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