What does Animal Farm tell us about George Orwell’s attitude to Communism under Stalin
‘Animal Farm’ is a novel written by George Orwell in the 1940’s. In ‘Animal Farm’, Major, is an old white boar, who represents Carl Marx.
Napoleon, who is a younger pig, represents the Russian dictator Stalin. Other animals represent the common people of Russia. ‘Animal Farm is a political allegory; this means that there is a surface story and another story underneath. This political allegory tells the story of Communism in Russia under Stalin through the story of the animals on the farm.The story is about how the animals get rid of the farmer because they think he has too much power over them, just as the Russians did with their ruler, the Tsar.
When Major dies there is a fight for the top spot between the pigs. Napoleon is the most respected and is voted by the rest of the animals to be not a ruler, but a leader. Animalism is supposed to be an ideal; commandments were made up to tell the animals what to do and what not to do. Animal farm should be a farm with freedom.
There are quotes from ‘Beasts of England’ like ‘and the fruitful fields of England shall be trod by beasts alone. ‘ There should also be equality meaning that all the animals will get the same amount of food, they should also have to do the same amount of work and they should be able to sleep for the same length. ‘This single farm of ours would support twelve horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep and all of them living in comfort. ‘ Prosperity means riches and lots of food.
‘Riches more that the mind can picture, wheat, barley and mangel-wurzels. Major said there would be plenty of food for everyone and they would have left over to sell and by better things such as better tools to work on the land with, just as the ideals of Communism were lost under Stalin. We are told there will be peace on the farm and the sixth commandment is ‘no animal shall every kill another animal. ‘ However power goes to Napoleon’s head and he corrupts ideals of Animalism. When Napoleon took over he promised freedom.
The reality is that Napoleon and all the other pigs order everyone around and take more for themselves. George Orwell tells us that ‘all year round the animals worked like slaves’.Napoleon also ‘carried a whip in his trotter. ‘ Also Napoleon promised peace between all animals, but in the reality there is a lot of murder and no forgiveness. There is one case where all the animals gathered in the yard and Napoleon told his dogs to rip pigs, chickens and sheep apart before putting them in a pile in the middle of the yard. The sheep were all ‘slain on the spot.
‘ Equality is one of the most important things in Animalism, however it is the pigs that change the seven Commandments so that they can sleep in beds, drink lots of alcohol and kill other animals.The pigs take most of the food. George Orwell quotes that ‘all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. ‘ Also he says that ‘Once again all rations were reduced accept for those of the pigs and the dogs.
‘ Animalism should be like heaven, but it is actually more like hell. There is not enough food so Napoleon fills the buckets with sand and meanwhile ‘life was hard. Winter was as cold as the last one had been and food was even shorter. ‘From reading animal farm as an allegory I think that George Orwell thinks that communism is a good idea and would have worked well if the leader was not a dictator like Napoleon or Stalin was. The allegory works well and represents well what happened in Russia during the 1940s.
Stalin got rid of people who disagreed with him, just like Napoleon. In the end when the animals look in through the window and see Napoleon and the human arguing they don’t know who the animal is and who the human is. He is saying that life in Russia under Stalin was no better, in fact, it was worse.