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Animal Farm Politics

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Animal Farm Politics

"Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely" -Lord Acton (1834-1902). It is believed and can be notably seen in the past that many great people become dangerous and corrupt under vast amounts of power. It is this which is usually the greatest cause of their downfall. As we know many people fail, lose their status, or reputation when they are in a higher position. People of status, who have large amounts of control seem to become "power-hungry" and find it necessary to have it in their everyday lives, they need this power to function. Unfortunately in these types of situations, the well being of the "lower classes" becomes irrelevant and the only beings of importance are the ruler and his "comrades" and associates who benefit from agreeing with and enforcing the beliefs of their higher figure.

George Orwell reveals the effects, evils, and corrupt actions behind communist regime throughout his novel Animal Farm. Orwell accomplishes this by exposing, indirectly, the relation of past historical figures and communism through his characters, power, and situation.

George Orwell created a character, Napoleon the pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion, who best paralleled the attitudes and characteristics of Soviet Leader Joseph Stalin. Napoleon, very much like Stalin, seems at first to be a good leader; unfortunately he is eventually overcome and is immensely steeped in greed and desire for power. Stalin, after suspecting many people in his empire to be followers of Trotsky (George Orwell's character Snowball, who is intelligent, passionate, persuasive, and less conniving than his rival, Napoleon), methodically murders many. Napoleon decides that Snowball must be eliminated, much like the situation where Stalin felt these emotions towards Trotsky. (Stalin Ref. Archive, 2)

Old Major, the prize-winning boar whose vision of a socialist utopia serves as the initial inspiration for the Rebellion, as a character, best parallels the philosopher, social scientist, historian, and revolutionary, Karl Marx. This "pure-bred" of pigs is the "kind, grandfatherly philosopher of change" - an obvious metaphor for Karl Marx. Both Marx and Old Major were convinced that they should proclaim their visions of having a society filled with equality. Marx developed a belief that he identified as "Marxism". Marxism regards property as evil. Old Major very similarly created a name for his beliefs he identified as "Animalism". Karl Marx was an idealist, imagining a heaven on earth in which all men and women were equal and could enjoy an adequate standard of living. (Alkiviadou, 3)

"The necessary stages to reach this paradise were as follows:

1. The revolution of the common man.

2. The direct leadership of the common men by which Marx meant that after the revolution, those among the ordinary men who were members of the Communist party to assume complete leadership to ensure that the capitalists could not return.

3. Eventually this dictatorship would wither away and would disappear and all men would be free and equal."

Marx never explained how this process of "withering away" was to come about. (Guysboroug, 2)

All people who heard of this great equal land felt compelled to reach that standard of living and the end cause was a revolt against their leader at that time. (Kreis, 4)

To express and depict the style and attitude of Lev Dawidowich Trotsky, the author George Orwell created the character Snowball. Snowball was an articulate, innovative, brilliant strategist, and idealist. Snowball at the beginning, was similar to Napoleon, who best represents Stalin, but as the novel progressed it was apparent that one of the two would have to step down and allow for the other to take control. To have the opponent eliminated, as it was seen necessary, Napoleon exiles Snowball from the farm. Trotsky was also exiled, to Mexico. While away on exile the both of them take the time to speak out against their arch-rivals. (Orwell) (Woods, 4)

Napoleon, much like the Soviet leader J. Stalin did, becomes "power-hungry" and cares little for people other than his immediate "comrades". The way that Napoleon was able to come to power was through the exile of his opponent and rival, Snowball. This method was much like the one that Stalin had used to receive his power, when he had Trotsky exiled and assassinated. The other pigs who surround and support Napoleon could also be described as a symbol for communist party loyalists, thus enforcing his power. Another thing that intensified his power was when he took a litter of puppies from their mother to "educate" them. The "education" fed to the puppies would be an intense form of propaganda. Unknown to the mother, these puppies would soon turn on her, because of the



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