Animal Farm: The Russian Revolution

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Animal Farm by George Orwell was written in the year 1945. The novel is a play on the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the decline of communist Russia. Orwell combined major political points with his satire writing style in this novel considered part of what some call “Cold War literature”. Instead of the typical characters, Orwell uses animals as characters in his novel. These animals used in the novel represent important people whom had key roles in the Russian Revolution as well as the decline of communism.

George Orwell was born on June 25, 1903 in Bengal, India with the given name, Eric Arthur Blair. Orwell described his families status growing up as being in “the lower-upper-middle class” which exemplifies his obsession with class distinctions in which we see very prominently in his literary works, one major example being Animal Farm. (Heje, “George Orwell”) Orwell attended St. Cyprian’s, a private boarding school in the United Kingdom, on a scholarship. He later described his time at the school as constantly being reminded of his lesser importance than the other, wealthier students being that he attended St. Cyprian’s on a scholarship which had an influence on several of his literary works. (Heje, “George Orwell”) George Orwell’s upbringing and education did have a large impact on his writing and, we can see this especially in his 1945 novel, Animal Farm.

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Animal Farm is one of George Orwell’s most famous novels. The novel was written as a political joke and to portray the Russian Revolution. To distract from the heaviness of the political topic, Orwell makes the novel so it is “cast as a beast fable, thus giving the reader some distance from the specific political events.” (Robb, “Animal Farm: Overview”) Orwell sets Animal Farm up mirroring well known events that were going on at that time. He connects the real current events to those on a far, through animals to help readers see past the details of the Revolution but help them understand how human nature allows Stalin to gain power and rise in rink in the real world. (Robb, “Animal Farm: Overview”)

The Russian Revolution and the events that occur at Manor Farm, turned Animal Farm, are similar in that the characters imitate real life political leaders and powers. The high political leaders in this situation are the pigs, two of which are representing Joseph Stalin, through Napoleon, and Leon Trotsky, through Snowball. (Fitzpatrick, “An Overview of Animal Farm”) The initial owner of the farm, Mr. Jones, “represents the last Czar in Russia, whose dissolution and cruelty laid the groundwork for the workers’ rebellion.” (Fitzpatrick, “An Overview of Animal Farm”) The pigs are trying to better the farm by starting a rebellion where “all animals are equal” (Orwell,

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