Mr. Jones – a parallel for Czar Nicholas II, the last Russian ruler
Old Major – the old pig, an allegory for Marx/Lenin
Snowball – Napoleon’s partner at first, an allegory for Leon Trotsky, had a good way of realizing socialism
Napoleon – the dictator pig, an allegory for Stalin, valued power for his own sake
Squealer – the propagandist; represents power of language in political manipulation
Mollie – the vane white mare, she’s apolitical, only cares about herself
Benjamin – the donkey, cynical, realizes what is really happening on the farm, but doesn’t take action
Moses – the raven, acts like a prophet/priest
Boxer – the working class hero, sacrifices his life for the benefit of community
Animal Farm is a political allegory on Russian Revolution, but it can also be applied to every revolution. This work attacks generally the quest for power. It observes the psychological foundation of revolution, its processes, and the irony of displacement of an oppressive regime by the new revolutionary order.
If we observe the farm as Russia, then Mr. Jones represents Czar Nicholas II, the last Russian ruler. Old Major (Marx/Lenin) gave his noble idea of equality of all animals and actuated the animals to unite and rebel against a common enemy, and so they did.
His philosophy is called Animalism, it represents the ideas of socialism/communism, but this ideology got perverted and misused by Napoleon (Stalin) – an individual greedy for power, without regard for fellow animals. He exiled his partner Snowball (Leon Trotsky) who had a good way of realizing socialism (he builds, educates…).
Napoleon gained absolute power step by step. He got control over food and suffocated every idea or debate. The working-class animals got gradually brainwashed with Squealer’s propaganda, which could turn black into white. The history is being rewritten, so the next generations would believe a lie, due to Squealer’s persuasion, the animals’ memories become less and less reliable.
Napoleon also uses sheep, who are there to outvote every different opinion, Moses, and Minimus (the official poet) to additionally brainwash the animals. Finally, tyranny becomes extreme when Napoleon starts to evoke fear with the dogs (KGB), who kill everybody who tries to disagree. Via their intelligence, pigs gain power and exploit the less intelligent animals. But Orwell doesn’t only criticize the authority, but also the types of citizens who allow such tyrants to do so.
POWER OF LANGUAGE
A language is a powerful tool that can be used to manipulate and control people in order to bring about change. Napoleon and Squealer maximally abuse the power of language to manipulate the animals. The initial, noble ideology of Old Major is being twisted and distorted.
The word ‘’equal’’ is abused the most because the pigs preach equality all the time, and do the opposite, and finally, there is the paradox ‘’All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than the others.’’, which emphasizes the corruption of the authority. Songs, poems, and slogans serve as propaganda and idealize the leader/dictator.
They are another form of social control and enforce loyalty. Accusing Snowball of everything bad that happens on the farm, pigs focus the animals on a supposed common enemy and away from their manipulation.
There are also the yes-men; the sheep whose role is to outvote everybody with a different opinion. Memories of animals are also being influenced, e.g. pigs gradually change the Seven Commandments and through persuasion, Squealer makes it hard for animals to rely on their own memory, and the next generation will believe the lie completely. Totalitarianism is achieved by telling people exactly what to think.
Very interesting how the author narrated this epic. Only fiew people would understand this scripture. I’m flattered
This is an awesome book. I remember my Political Science professor recommending this book. But my dad gave me the skunk eye when he saw me reading it. An eighteen year old reading a kindergarten students book. The title can be misleading.