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Yoora Jung

Period 5
Animal Farm and 1984 Book Reviews
Animal Farm is a 176-paged political satire written by George Orwell in 1945. The story
takes place in Manor Farm, later renamed Animal Farm by the animals, and located in England
during the years of the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s control. The main characters include Old
Major, Napoleon, Snowball, Squealer, and Boxer. In the beginning of the plot, the farm animals
realize that their lives have been oppressed through the cruel acts of human beings and plan a
rebellion. After their successful rebellion, the pigs set up commandments and control meetings to
rule the farm under “equal” terms. Later on, as the story progresses, the pigs become more and
more corrupt as they gain power until they become to completely resemble humans.
Life on Animal Farm basically represented Russia under the rule of Stalin. Old Major, the
old pig who first influences the animals into thinking of rebellion, is Karl Marx. His main ideas are
preached through Animalism (Marxism) in the farm. Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm who is
kicked out by the animals, represents Tsar Nicholas II, the inefficient leader of Russia who ruled
under the great crises of Russia while remaining oblivious of reality. Snowball, the initial leader of
the farm after the rebellion, represents Leon Trotsky. He carries out meetings and plans to
modernize the farm but is later driven out of the farm, just like Trotsky was expelled from Russia.
Napoleon, the character of Stalin, uses brute force to assert his power over the animals. He uses
his nine dogs to instill fear and intimidate the other animals into obeying the rules. He also uses
Squealer as a propaganda source to blame Snowball for any misfortunes that occur on the farm.
The ignorant, uneducated animals are easily persuaded by the eloquence of Squealer’s speeches.
Squealer’s speeches reflect Stalin’s propaganda techniques that he used to gain support of the
mass. The majority of the farm animals represent the working class, Boxer being the most devout
worker of them all. Boxer has slogans supporting Napoleon such as “Napoleon is always right”
and “I will work harder”. Boxer always abides to Napoleon’s rules and works his hardest to please
him. Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, the owners of farms neighboring Animal Farm, represent
Britain and Germany. Their unfriendly attitudes toward the conditions in the farm show the
contempt of Britain and Germany towards the spread of communism. The insistence in building a
windmill despite the numerous failures and obstacles faced shows how Russian leaders hoped to
modernize and industrialize the Soviet Union. The death of Boxer along with other dissidents in
the farm represents how Stalin executed people who were served as threats to his position as an
absolute dictator.
This dystopian novel is written in the point of view of an anti-communist. The writer
wanted to exploit the realities of the communist regime under the dictator and reveal the
corruption involved with the so-called equality throughout the nation. The way the story is told
unfolds sympathy toward the ignorant working class and