Animal Farm by George Orwell A Comparison of Characters to the Russian Revolution Animal Farm as Allegory As we know, George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm is an allegory. – A work that can be read on two levels. On one level, we can simply enjoy the stories of animals on the farm. On a deeper level, we can examine the symbolism behind these characters. Mr. Jones Irresponsible to his animals Sometimes cruel: beats them with a whip Sometimes kind: mixes milk in animals mash Czar Nicholas II A poor leader a best, compared with Western kings Sometimes cruel: brutal with opponents Sometimes kind: hired students as spies to make money Old Major Taught Animalism Workers do the work, the rich keep the money, animals revolt Dies before the revolution Karl Marx Invented Communism “Workers of the world unite!” Dies before the Russian Revolution Animalism No owners No rich, but no poor Workers get a better life; all animals equal Everyone owns the farm Communism Same All people equal Government owns everything People own the government Snowball Young, smart, good speaker, idealistic Really wants to make life better for all One of the leaders of the revolution Chased away into exile by Napoleon’s dogs Leon Trotsky Other leader of the “October Revolution” Pure Communist; followed Marx Wanted to improve life for all in Russia Chased away by Lenin’s KGB (Lenin’s secret police) Napoleon Not a good speaker; not clever like Snowball Cruel, brutal, selfish, devious, corrupt His ambition is for power; willing to kill opponents Uses dogs, Moses, and Squealer to control animals Joseph Stalin Not a good speaker; not educated like Trotsky Did not follow Marx’s ideas purely Killed all those that opposed him Used KGB and propaganda to control his people Squealer Big mouth Talks a lot Convinces animals to believe and follow Napoleon Changes and manipulates the commandments Stalin’s Propagandists Worked for Stalin to support his image Used lies to convince people to follow Stalin Benefited from the fact that education was controlled. Focus for Reading As you continue to read the novel, try to identify other places where Orwell uses allegorical symbolism. By doing some independent research on the Russian Revolution – or by paying attention in history class – you should be able to pick up on many more references to history in the novel.