The Parallels Between Animal Farm and Soviet History Essay

The Parallels Between Animal Farm and Soviet History Essay

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The Parallels Between Animal Farm and Soviet History

Prior to writing Animal Farm, George Orwell had stated: "History
consists of a series of swindles, in which the masses are first lured
into revolt by the promise of Utopia, and then, when they have done
their job, enslaved over again as new masters" Together this statement
and Soviet History provided a basis for a political allegory which is
depicted through Animals and tells of the tribulations which surround
certain political ideals. In many ways, the story parallels to an era
of soviet history from the revolution in 1917 to the Teheran
Conference in 1943.

When many critiques review this book they fail to realize how each
significant detail parallels to an entity in soviet history. The
story, Animal Farm, begins with a speech by Old Major. Old Major
believes that 'man' is taking from the 'working' animals and he feels
that the animals should unite and commence a rebellion to overthrow
man. Similarly, Major's speech is an accurate account of Marxism and
it is very similar to the last paragraph of the Communist Manifesto

The communists openly declare that their ends can be attained only by
the forcible over throw of all existing social conditions. Let the
ruling classes tremble at the Communistic revolution. The proletarians
have nothing to lose but their chains; They have a world to win.

After the Animals had overtaken the farm and the Animal Farm was
established, "Everyone worked according to his capacity," (pg 27,
Orwell). The similarities between Russia and Animal farm are well
noted here, "From each according to his abilities, to each according
to his needs"; were the words used by Marx in his c...

... middle of paper ...

...mal Farm is a brilliantly allegorized political tale and the
significance of the story becomes much clearer when compared to the
actual political history. It tells the story of Russian history but at
the same time it can be compared to other countries in their struggle
for power. The struggle is not restricted to governments but people as
well. Animal Farm is just simply about power in different political
ideals and what it does to those that yield it. Lord Acton once said
in a letter that: "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts
absolutely, good men are always bad men. George Orwell did an
excellent job in portraying this reality through the animals of Animal


Orwell, George; Animal Farm (Great Britain: Martin Secker & Warburg,

Meyers, Jeffrey; A reader's guide to George Orwell (London: Thomas &
Hudson, 1975)

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