George Orwell, author of the highly acclaimed Animal Farm, wrote this fable in hopes of informing not only children, but also the population as a whole, of his views on the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism in that nation. The fable, a literary composition conveying a moral truth, clearly guides the readers through the steps and outcome of the Russian Revolution. But instead of the battle being fought and won in the streets of Russia, Orwell chooses to portray the happenings of the Russian Revolution on a farm based during the beginnings of the Industrial
Revolution. The animals, unhappy with their day-to-day living conditions, rise and revolt against the tyrant Jones, the cruel and drunkard owner of the Jones’ farm. In Animal Farm, the barn was a place for the meetings that took place, and alternatively served as a shelter for all of the animals, except for the pigs. The schoolhouse was a place for the pigs, and rarely other animals, to learn to read and write and therefore grow in social power over the other less-intelligent animals that spent their days working in order to bring in enough food to keep the revolution alive.
The farmhouse was where the Jones family resided, before the revolution that forced them astray. According to the commandments set forth after the revolution, no animal was to use the farmhouse for their own personal gain, however, the pigs were able to distort this rule so that they were able to live in luxury in this house meant for the humans. Building the windmill proved to be an important icon and struggle for the animals of Animal Farm, as it was destroyed twice and never quite brought the gleefulness and comfortable life that the nimals were led to envision before-hand and during the construction by the sinister pig Napoleon.
Each character of Animal Farm represented an important character or type-of people in the Russian Revolution, a direct comparison between Animal Farm, and a strong political movement that shocked the world. Comrade Napoleon, as he insisted the other animals called him, represents Joseph Stalin, a cruel leader during and after the revolution, who exiled other political leaders and forced mass-executions upon the people, just as Napoleon does in Orwell’s fable.
Snowball, the opposing pig and leader of the farm to Napoleon, seemed a strong and just leader, until, Napoleon expelled him from the farm and set-off rumors about Napoleon’s false attempt to destroy the civilization they had worked to build after the revolution. Snowball links closely with the Soviet expatriate Leon Trotsky, who was expelled from Russia under the leadership of Stalin. Major, the wise pig that passed away days after he unveiled his plan for a new and better life on the farm, seems to portray traits of both Karl Marx and V.
I Lenin. Marx, because like this political thinker, Major brought about and created the idea of communism, or ‘animalism’, the Animal Farm version of this system of thought. In a way, Major is associated with Lenin of the Russian Revolution, the opportunist who brought and initiated the communist way of life on this land when it needed a new system-of-thought to help it’s troubled economy and the way-of-life it’s people were forced to live out every day.
Pilkington and Frederick, the human owners of neighboring arms, represent various world leaders during the time of the revolution, and the occurrences that happened between them and Russia, or between Animal Farm and the other farms. Boxer, a strong dedicated horse of Animal Farm, I believe represented all of the people of Russia. The poverty stricken, the homeless, who still work hard in order to make the system of communism or animalism work. Boxer is the representation of the workers who are pushed around, who are taken for all they are worth, and who are left for dead.
In the end of the Orwell’s tale, Animal Farm is much worse a place for the common animals then it had been previous to the revolution. The food is scarce, the leadership is harsh and unruly, the world-load is hard, and the conditions of life for the common animals had changed for the worse. The pigs, the leaders of animal farm, celebrate their victory and their entrance into high-society, as the lowly other animals still left on the farm look on. This is how history recorded the Russian Revolution, and Orwell illustrated the political aspects of this in the fable Animal Farm.