Animal Farm vs the Russian Revolution
As people are burdened with their social and economic situations, they tend to think that the government has no interest in responding to their legitimate complaints. Sooner or later, the only way to rectify their complaints is to revolt. The allegory Animal Farm, by George Owell is a great example of the rebellion between the animals and humans. The events in Animal Farm symbolize the Russian Revolution of the1900s to 1950s. Although many people were involved in the Russian Revolution, there were five instrumental men including Joseph Stalin, who was illustrated as Napoleon in Animal Farm.
The Russian Revolution was one of the most important revolutions; it was a revolution against economic oppression. The Russian Revolution was all began by the idea of the historian and revolutionary, Karl Marx. He was the most influential political philosopher of the 19th century (“The History Guide”, par. 1). Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto, it was published in 1848 (“The History Guide”, par. 6). His idea of communism explained that each individual person would work to endorse the country and not just for self gain. Marx was the one that inspired Russian radicals who opposed tsarist rule (Strickler 61).
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Through out his life, people did not acknowledge his social, economic and political ideas until his death in 1884(“The History Guide”, par. 1). The Russian history started badly after the death of Czar Alexander III in 1894. Nicholas II was then became the new czar. He was not prepared to rule; he was afraid of what’s going to happen to him and Russia (Strickler 70). Nicholas II was not attentive in sharing his power, but people were calling this to occur when he came in throne. Furthermore, he was physically weak, senseless, and he was a horrendous judge of people (“Background of”, par 5).
During his first ten years of Nicholas II’s ruling; peasants protested their poverty, factory workers struck against the brutal working conditions, and people demanded a better government (Strickler 70). At the same time, Russia was in a war with Japan, for control over Korea and Manchuria in northern China. In February 1904, the Japanese defeated the Russians. By the end of 1904 people realized without a doubt, they were going to lose the war. After the defeats by Japan, things changed. “People could no long tolerate their desperate living conditions” (Strickler 71).
In January 1905, thousands of Russians marched in St. Petersburg to deliver a petition. “They called for an eight-hour workday and for an increase in wages” (Strickler 71). As the broad crowd assembled, the government startled. They sent thousands of troops around the city. On Sunday, January 22, 1905, the troops and the protesters met; their meeting soon became destructive. As result, thousands of people died in what became known as “Bloody Sunday”. Strikes continued to take place; it was all over the country. Workers were on strikes, railways were paralyzed, and universities were taken down (Strickler 71).
In response to the protests; Nicholas agreed and published the “October Manifesto”. It granted freedom of conscience, speech, association, and promise people would not be imprison without trial (“Tsar Nicholas II”, par. 16). Nicholas II and his government avoided a revolution by creating a Duma. Even though the revolution was avoided, but people still drive for radical changes (“Russo-Japanese”, par. 4). In 1914, World War I broke out in Europe. The Russians was unprepared; they were lacked of leadership, food supplies, and weapons (Strickler 77). As more and more Russians got killed, supports for the war vanished.
Things were getting worse; transportation system was tied up and there was not enough food for the population. As result price went high up (Strickler 78). By March 15, 1917 Czar Nicholas II faced widespread oppositions, revolts, and lacking military supports (Strickler 79). Therefore, Nicholas II was abdicated. After Nicholas II abdicated, Russia was ruled by a temporary government led by Aleksandr Kerensky (Strickler 80). Unfortunately, he was overthrown on November 7, 1917 by a political group called Bolsheviks (Strickler 79). The leader of the Bolsheviks was Vladimir Lenin.
He followed Marx’s ideas of communism. Lenin quickly solved the problems facing Russia. Within only a year, the new government ended the World War I. Lands were returned to peasants and workers had the power to run their factories (Strickler 80). Later, the Bolsheviks became known as the Reds. Their rivals were the Whites, a variety of groups by their opposition to the Bolsheviks (Strickler 80). France, United States, and Great Britain were afraid of the spread of communism, so they supported the Whites. To help overthrow the Bolsheviks, Japan and United States sent troops to invade Russia from the east.
In spite of these foreign troops, the Reds won the war (Strickler, 81). In 1922, Russia and their neighbors formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, also known as the Soviet Union (Strickler, 81). After Lenin’s death in 1924, there was a power struggle between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky. Stalin wanted to continue establishing the power of the Communist Party through out the country for the next twenty years. On the other hand, Trotsky wanted to build weapons to resist the West because they were trying to destroy Communism (“The Death of Lenin”, par. ). In august 1917, Trotsky was the member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik, which had Lenin as a quixotic leader. Trotsky became second in command after Lenin (“Trotsky”, par1). He was assigned People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs in 1918(“Trotsky”, par2). Trotsky also managed the founding of the Red Army (“Trotsky”, par1). Unfortunately, after the death of Lenin, Joseph Stalin prevailed and Trotsky was exiled to Mexico (Trueman, par5-6). Under the power of Stalin, “Workers had little real power to control their workplaces.
The government did not allow for civil rights” (Strickler 81). Stalin continued his ruling until his death in 1953 (Strickler 82). Through out the Russian revolutions, Marx’s idea influenced many revolutionists to use his ideas of communism to lead a revolution that changed the history of Russia. The idea of communism did not work because the society is not perfect. Everybody has his or her own way of living; they are different individuals. Joseph Stalin was one of the important roles in the Russian Revolution after the death of Lenin in 1924 (Strickler 81).
Stalin was the second leader of the Soviet Union (“Joseph Stalin”, par1). His real name was Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili. When he was young he was already interested in politics (Gibson, 15). From that moment, he was associated with the political underground in the Caucasus. He soon followed Vladimir Lenin. Stalin’s experience made him useful in the Bolshevik party (“Joseph Stalin”, par3). After Lenin’s death, Stalin had a great opportunity to take his claim to become the leader of Communist Party. Stalin’s effort to bend the country to his conviction caused gargantuan suffering.
Six million people die during the famine in the 1920s and 1930s. Many also died from hard labor. He also executed everyone that opposed him (Strickler 82). The ruling body of the Communist Party; Zinoviev and Kamenev joined force with Stalin against Trotsky (Gibson 26). In 1926, Trotsky was expelled from the Politburo, the ruling body of the communist Party. With Trotsky gone, he no longer need of Kamenev and Zinoviev. In order to get rid of them, he allied himself with Bukharin, Rykov, and Tomsky (Gibson, 26). Little by little, all of his opponents were dead and Stalin had the power over Russia.
By 1930s eight million political opponents were arrested and eight hundred was executed (Strickler 82). In total, Stalin was responsible for the death of forty million people within the borders of the Soviet Union (“Joseph Stalin”, par. 7). In 1928, Stalin launched the first Five Year Plan; it was created to manufacture the USSR in the shortest time and, in the process, to precipitate the collectivization of farms (Gibson, 28). The plan was put in action brutally; it was aimed to make USSR self-sufficient. Stalin’s first Five Year Plan was completed by 1933.
His second five year Plan (1933-1938) continued and expanded the first (Gibson 36). Stalin’s third Five year Plan was interrupted by the World War II. It was known as the bloodiest war in human history. Great Britain, France, and the United States joined Stalin to fight against Germany, Italy, and Japan. Through out the war, forty million people died. Of these, half were Soviet citizens (Strickler 82). Following World War II, Stalin continued his ruthless control over the Soviet Union until his death on March 5, 1953(“Joseph Stalin”, par. 7).
Although he was a heartless ruler, he did bring consequential economic progress to Russia during the 1920s and1930s. During those years, the Soviet Union was becoming a powerful, industrialize country. The education, health, and equality for women were much better (Strickler 82). Stalin did a lot to help Russia but murdered millions and millions in pursuit of his dictatorship. “To his calloused heart, a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” (Nosoro 10). The pig – Napoleon in Animal Farm is a reflection of Joseph Stalin.
In the book, Owell described Napoleon as a tyrant. Napoleon enjoyed his luxury life with the other pigs by abusing the power that he’s given to hypnotize the animals; he made them do all the works. The animals worked relentlessly on his windmill plan and they hardly get any food. While Napoleon stayed in his farm house and enjoying all the apples and milk alone (Owell 73, 85). Just like Napoleon, Stalin had all the power to himself and living in a blissful live while the peasants suffered. Many people endured the bad working conditions and famine during Stalin’s Five Year Plan (Gibson 53).
Both Napoleon and Stalin got their way often. After Lenin’s death, Stalin successfully exiled Trotsky to Mexico and had the power of Russia in his hand. Similarly, Napoleon managed to get Snowball out of farm and he became the leader of Animal Farm (Orwell 68). Even after when Snowball was off the farm; Napoleon continued to blame on him when things on the farm went wrong. He blamed on Snowball when the wind knocked down the windmill that they built (Orwell 82). In Stalin’s situation, he evoked Trotsky as a threat after he murdered him (Gibson, 30).
Although Napoleon and Stalin were clever, both were lousy speakers. Since Napoleon was not a good speaker, he used Squealer as his mouthpiece. Squealer is a good mouth pig. He knows how to twist and change things around and makes it sound good. ““I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labor upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility”, said Squealer” (Orwell 69). The purpose of it was to make Napoleon look good.
Indeed, like Napoleon, Stalin also has his own resource. His resource was the propagandas; it’s documentaries and films that made him look like a hero and a father to the country. Although Owell described Napoleon based on Stalin, but there are a few differences between them. Before Stalin becomes the dictator of Russia, he took many steps to get there. He allied with the Politburo (the ruling body Communist) to get rid of one and another (Gibson 23, 26). Unlike Napoleon; whose became the leader of the Animal Farm right after he ran Snowball off the farm.
In the Russian Revolution History, Stalin exiled Trotsky and murdered him because he was afraid that he might come back and overthrown him (Gibson 23). It was never mentioned in the allegory that Stalin killed Snowball. Throughout the Russian Revolution and Animal Farm, both Napoleon and Stalin weren’t able to achieve the goal of communism or equality. George Orwell created Napoleon under Stalin’s image, despite that fact that everyone is not exactly the same. George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, simply to explain the connection between the live of the animals on the farm and the Russian Revolution.
The allegory mainly target Joseph Stalin. Through out the Russian revolution, Stalin tried to make Russia a better country, but failed. He abolished the idea of communism and ruled his country as a tyrant. If Stalin didn’t kill Trotsky, Trotsky might’ve been the leader of Russia. With Trotsky’s warm heart and intelligent Russia would’ve been better. Stalin may look good on the outside, but he truly is hypocrite. Works Cited “Background of the Russian Revolution. ” Saskschools. ca. World War One and the Destruction of the Old Order. 11 March 2011
Gibson, Micheal. Russia Under Stalin. England: Wayland, 1972 “Joseph Stalin. ” Jewishvirtuallibrary. org. 11 March 2011 “Karl Marx and the Theory of Communism. ” Saskschools. ca. World War One and the Destruction of the Old Order. 12 March 2011 Nosotro, Rit. “Brutal ruler of communist Russia. ” Hyperhistory. net 9 October 2010. 12 March 2011 Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Penguin Group, 1946 “Russo-Japanese War and the Revolution of 1905. ” Saskschools. ca. World War One and the Destruction of the Old Order. 12 March 2011 Strickler, James.
Russia of the Tsars. California: Luccent Books, 1998 “The Death of Lenin and the Problem of a Replacement. ” Saskschools. ca. World War One and the Destruction of the Old Order. 12 March 2011 Nguyen 8 ; http://www. saskschools. ca/curr_content/history20/unit1/sec6_11. html; “The History Guide: Karl Marx. ” Historyguide. org 30 January 2008. 12 March 2011 “Trotsky. ” Trotsky. net. 11 March 2011 Trueman, Chris. “Leon Trotsky. ” Historylearningsite. co. uk. 12 March 2011 “Tsar Nicholas II: Biography. ” Spartacus. schoolnet. co. uk. 11 March 2011