Answered by Jarrod Fong, Year 8, Tutor Group 809.
1: Old Major represents Karl Marx, the “father of communism”. Summarise Major’s political and ideological beliefs.
Old Major was the true founder of the philosophy of Communism, or, in this book, Animalism. He believed that humans stole the animal’s labour and caused the unhappiness on Manor Farm, or, as the animals call it, Animal Farm. Old Major also believed that humans were unnecessary in the running of their community, and wished that all animals rebel against humans. His beliefs that were shared with the rest of the farm were that all animals were equal, wild or not. He believed that everyone needed to work equally and get equal respect for their work. On the political spectrum, Old major’s ideological beliefs were strongly left and down. He was in favour of extreme equality, and he was very against suppression and control by the government.
2: Mr Jones Represents Tsar Nicholas II, the monarch overturned during the Russian Revolution. What kind of leadership was in place in Manor Farm when Mr Jones was in charge? Why do you think the animals wanted a change of leadership?
Mr Jones was in charge of all of the animal’s basic needs. For example, if he didn’t want to feed them, they would starve. Most of the animal’s labour went to him, and he cared little for the wellbeing and happiness of his animals. The animals wanted a change in leadership because most of the fruits of their labour were going to Mr Jones, a human, and they saw no reason why they couldn’t have a better life. They worked hard, but received little, and this is why I believe the animals wanted to overturn the leadership of Manor Farm.
3: Snowball represents Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was eventually exiled by Stalin when he became leader of the Communist Party. Explain why the animals turn against Snowball.
Snowball was a genuine Animalist, and followed Old Major’s principles’ very closely. He was willing to sacrifice his own pleasures for the good of the farm. Snowball was chased out of the farm by Napoleon’s dog army, which bears resemblance to the KGB. After the animals were shocked by this display, Napoleon and his followers were quick to justify his actions. After Napoleon and his followers spread propaganda and lies about Snowball, and by creating rumours and stories about him, the animals were angered. After the collapse of the windmill, for example, Napoleon blamed its destruction on Snowball, when, in reality, it was cause by natural disasters.
4: Which rules for Animal Farm does Napoleon eventually go against? Explain why you think this happened.
Napoleon felt that the current rules and commandments of Animal Farm were too restricting on his power, and had Squealer change them. Later on, he was caught by the others, but he changed some of the laws. The addendum “ No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.”, was obviously a part of their “editing”. The original commandment was that animals were not allowed to sleep in a bed, with no exceptions. In the end, all the commandments are removed, and replaced with a single one. “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”, which, in itself, is an oxymoron. The pigs are suggesting that they are superior to the other animals, which goes against the very idea of Animalism, which states that all animals are equal, regardless of societal status. In essence, he becomes another Mr Jones, in what started as a freedom for all animals ended with almost all animals serving the pigs. This is, obviously, not what Old major had envisioned. In fact, it may be worse than the times of Mr Jones.
5: What are some of the methods Napoleon uses to control the animals? Napoleon employed the use of many tactics, many of which are not acceptable in today’s society. The coup de foudre, public executions, shocked many of the smarter animals. He spreads lies and propaganda to the animals, instilling fear into the masses. This…