Animalism vs Marxism

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. 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