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GEORGE ORWELL - Animal Farm englisch




GEORGE ORWELL - Animal Farm

CONTEXT:

Animal Farm by George Orwell is written in form of a fable and may be seen as a satire of the Russian Revolution in particular.

            The novel describes a revolution that went wrong. Cruelly treated and exploited by their masters, human beings, the animals plan a rebellion, inspired by the old boar "Old Major". When he dies, the three pigs Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer take over the leadership. They want to fulfil Old Major's dream and succeed. The most important thing is to follow the seven rules Major has suggested. The main-context of these rules is never to behave like man and to accept that all animals are equal. This philosophy they called 'Animalism'. This is a very important point also in the Soviet history. Communism means that all property wealth and work has to be divided equally. Finally they are just as cruel as the former masters were. They use their cleverness to increase their power and use the other animals for their interests.



            When winter comes Snowball decides to build a windmill to bring electricity to the farm. Napoleon disagrees and the animals become divided into two groups of supporters. Snowball is driven off the farm and Napoleon becomes the single leader.

One by one the original rules, developed from Old Major's dream, are changed but the animals are too stupid or too frightened to protest.

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION:

This novel has many parallels with the Russian Revolution. In USSR 1917 the revolution took place because of poverty and food shortage. After the rebellion a new government was formed. The leader was Lenin. He called Stalin and Trotsky to his side. They made a constitution. When other countries like France and England tried to reconquer the power, they did not succeed.

            The USSR should have been converted from an agricultural country to a leading industrial power. But when Lenin died a power struggle between Stalin and Trotsky began. In the end Stalin expelled Trotsky and became the leader.

FIGURES:

Farmer Jones is the man who originally owned Animal Farm, and who is overthrown by the animals at the beginning of the Revolution. He often is drunk and treats his animals badly. He represents the old imperial power, the lost Tsar.

Old Major is the oldest and most experienced animal on the farm as well as the most respected one. I think Old Major is the personification of Lenin who was like a father for the Russians. Lenin spread the idea of Karl Marx to the other people as Old Major spread his idea of the new world to the other animals. Karl Marx believed that the rich capitalist class exploited the lower proletariat. At one point the comparison of the Russian Revolution and Animal Farm is incorrect, because Old Major dies before the Rebellion while Lenin is alive.




Snowball is a brilliant idealistic pig and must be Trotsky, the intellectual, gifted leader. His ideas are not always practical, but they are always far reaching. Orwell describes him and Napoleon as very similar in the beginning. Both pigs want a leadership-position. Once they find out that only one can be the leader, they start arguing. Later on they disagreed at nearly every point. After the differences about the windmill, Snowball is driven off the farm by Napoleon. Trotsky too, was exiled to Mexico, where he spoke out against Stalin.

 Napoleon, an aggressive large pig, becomes the early leader of Animal Farm together with Snowball. He reflects Stalin who expelled Trotsky as Napoleon expelled Snowball. He is a clever organiser, but he is the military type of leader, who does everything for his own advantage. Under his leadership the animals suffer from hunger and are terrorized and oppose collectivisation as the farmers did in Russia. Napoleon has executed traitors the same way Stalin did.

Squealer is a young pig, who is a gifted speaker and can easily persuade the other animals. He stands for the general manipulation of facts with help of the media and the whole propaganda. He changes the bad things into good things by telling them different. So the animals mostly believe that everything is alright.

Boxer the cart-horse stands for the whole working class, the proletariat. He's able to work very hard and never doubts the words of his master. Since usually the lowest class has the lowest intelligence, it is not difficult to persuade them. Together with Clover Boxer is very good at convincing the other low animals that communism is a good idea.

Mollie is the young mare who runs away, because she thinks she cannot live without her coloured ribbons and the sugar lumps.  She doesn't care much about the politics of the whole situation. Many animals consider her a traitor, when they see a human being from the neighbourhood petting her. I think she represents the class of nobles who fled Russia after the Revolution, because also Mollie quietly leaves the farm.










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