Animal Farm 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 Majorís
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,
didnít 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. All the other
animals liked him, but he was outsmarted by Napoleon.

Trotsky and Stalinís relationship was very much like

Snowballís and Napoleons. Trotsky organized the Red Army
and gave speeches and everyone in Russia thought he would
win power over Stalin. After Leninís 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. Stalinís 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