Animal Farm: Stalin And Napoleon

Animal Farm: Stalin And Napoleon

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The novel Animal Farm, by George Orwell, was an allegory about the Russian Revolution in which the author used a farm and it’s members to symbolize major characters and their actions. In this composition, I will reveal to you many of Joseph Stalin’ s important contributions and how they relate to the actions of Napoleon from Animal Farm. I will break this topic down into the following three parts, their rise to power, Stalin’s Five Year Plan, and their use and abuse of authority.

When Lenin died in 1924, a struggle for power began between Trotsky (Snowball) and Stalin (Napoleon). Trotsky was a brilliant individual, but Stalin was just a simple person whose power was based on allegiances with other members of the communist party rather than on ideas. This is contrary to how Snowball was the more intelligent one of the two and all the sheep and pigs were loyal to Napoleon. Trotsky believed in Russia’s trying to spread communism all over the world as Snowball’s purpose with animalism and Stalin was more focused on the prosperity of Russia, as was Napoleon about the wellness of the farm. By 1929, Stalin had gathered enough resources to exile Trotsky from Russia just as Napoleon did to Snowball.

Stalin believed that Russia was one hundred years behind the west. He devised his Five Year Plan to bring Russia up to speed with the rest of the world. This plan included many of Trotsky’s ideas, which Stalin had previously opposed. We can relate this to the building of the windmill in Animal Farm and how Napoleon was against the idea until after the expulsion of Snowball. Russia’s economy was centralized on agriculture with over twenty five million farms. Unfortunately, the majority of these barely produced enough to feed the families of those who worked them. Farmers who had a surplus of produce were called kulaks. Stalin decided he would "liquidate the kulaks as a class" under collective agriculture. He believed that once the population of "those just getting by" saw the benefits that they would receive from these state-run farms, they would immediately approve, and that’s just what they did. Unfortunately for Stalin, the kulaks did not like this idea. In protest, they destroyed their livestock and tools and burned their crops or let them rot in the fields. This event is displayed in Animal Farm when Napoleon decides to sell the chickens' eggs for the benefit of the farm.

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The chickens protested this act by laying their eggs in the rafters and letting them fall to the ground and shatter. To end this, Napoleon cuts off the chicken’s food supply until they give into him. To end the kulaks’ protest, Stalin surrounded the villages with military units and forced them to surrender. Under the concept of collectivization, the Russian government took over all businesses and farms. Each business, factory, or farm was given a target, which they had to meet every year for the five-year period. The "Gosplan" was formed to do nothing but set targets for all of these factories and farms and then check to see how much they actually produced. Such was the jobs of the pigs in Animal Farm who did nothing but sit around and write down ideas that were immediately burned and come up with figures that showed what the farm was producing.

Once Stalin had come to power, he had the Soviet histories rewritten in order to make his parts in former happenings appear substantially superior to what they actually were. An instance where this happened is when Stalin took credit for a military victory at Tsaritsyn and when his role was significantly exaggerated. Napoleon committed a similar act when, after Snowball was exiled, took credit for the Battle of the Cowshed and when it was debated, he had Squealer explain to the other animals that they had remembered it incorrectly. Stalin and Napoleon both led by always being feared by their subjects. An example of this from Animal Farm was when the young pigs protested the leadership of Napoleon, "but suddenly the dogs sitting round Napoleon let out deep menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent and sat down again." Another shared leadership characteristic between Napoleon and Stalin was that it was very important that they ensured they remained in power. During their reign, they both organized "show trials" in which numerous people, animals in Napoleon’s situation "confessed" to committing very serious crimes and were executed. Eventually, Stalin began trading with non-communist countries in Western Europe. Napoleon performed a similar act when he sold the pile of timber to a neighboring farm. On one occasion, Stalin suddenly signed a non-aggression pact with Adolf Hitler. It was long afterward though, that Hitler broke this agreement and attacked Russia. This event was paralleled in Animal Farm when Napoleon is on similar terms with Fredrick, who soon after, attacks and blows up the windmill.

It should by now be plain to see many of the similarities between the to characters and how much of an allegory Animal Farm was. Both of these cruel, brutal, selfish, and corrupt personalities saw a chance at power, took it for all it was worth, and got everything they wanted out of it. Their leadership styles were not as clever as they were effective, by ruling through the fear their people had of them, they wallowed in prosperity and power until the day they died.
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