Animal Farm Essay

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George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegory about the state of the Soviet Union leading up to and during World War II. George Orwell’s novel is a scathing critique of the dystopian distortion of the socialist ideal. This book was written during Stalin’s rise to power and the growing influence of communism on the world. The leaders of the Soviet Union (Stalin, Trotsky) are depicted as animals on a farm in Britain. George Orwell’s classic novel is a study into the corruption of socialist ideals and the manipulation of the masses by the elite.
The story begins when Old Major gathers the animals of the Farm for a meeting and tells them of a dream he has had in which all animals live together with no human beings to oppress or control them.
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Eventually the principles of Animalism are reduced to one principle: “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. (Orwell, 1945) ”
It is important to note that in Animal Farm Orwell is not attacking the underlying principles of Socialism that are propagated by Karl Marx and Lenin, but rather the perversion of these principles by leaders like Stalin. Although Animal Farm is written as a critique of Stalin era Soviet Union, it could be widely viewed as a critique of any system of government in which the working class is oppressed. Lenin and Marx the founder of the original principles of Socialism as a leadership theory in which all members of a society are equal and property and wealth are distributed equally (Sakwa, 1999). The book begins as a representation of early 20th century Russia with the working class (Animals) being ruled by the aristocrats (humans). Old Major (Marx, Lenin) promotes the principles of Socialism in which there is no ruling class but instead all Animals work together, as equals, for the common good. In theory this idea of leadership is noble and utopian, but as depicted in the novel its principles are perverted to by the pigs (ruling class) to manipulate the other animals (working class). Napoleon and the other pigs use the principles of Animalism to justify taking more power and gaining the obedience of the workers. The leader in this novel (Napoleon) possesses a

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