Animal Farm Analysis Essay

Submitted By AliDiamond
Words: 2305
Pages: 10

Ali Diamond
Max Gray
English Comp. 102
May 6, 2013

The Hunger for Power and the Journey towards It

George Orwell’s Animal Farm was written during World War II and had received an ample amount of controversy for its allegorical anti-Russia literary depiction, when it was published in 1945, because of its negative portrayal of the Russians. The novel is about a group of animals that devise and execute a revolution over the humans that own the farm of which they live. The animals accomplish their goal of working for themselves and being rewarded properly for the amount of work that they do. As the story progresses, the farm becomes a place of brutal tyranny brought upon by some of their own kind, caused by the hunger for power. Orwell wrote Animal Farm after his experiences with Stalinism and totalitarianism during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell successfully portrayed his views of totalitarianism throughout the novel, which depicted major events that took place in the Soviet Union during the Stalin Era. Norman Pereira, writer of “Stalin and the Communist Party in the 1920s,” offers insight and a re-evaluation of the road to totalitarianism and Stalin’s role in the Russian Revolution, which provides a solid background for the historical context laid out in Animal Farm. Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” also plays a part in lying out the foreground for the historical context referenced in this novel because it exemplifies the start of the Russian Revolution. Considering the history of Soviet Russia during the Russian Revolution, the ideas from the “Communist Manifesto” and the reign of Stalin over communist Russia are portrayed heavily throughout Orwell’s use of plot, characterization, and theme, which exemplifies the hunger for power as a key factor in the emergence of totalitarianism. The plot of Animal Farm relates heavily to the rise of Soviet Russia during the Russian Revolution, accompanied by the ideas of Marxism, the reign of Stalin, and all the groups and people involved, which pertains to Napoleon’s journey of his triumph into power. The novel opens with Old Major, “the prize Middle White Boar,” calling all of the animals together for a meeting, where he gives a speech about how the humans receive the award for the animals’ labor, ultimately bringing up the idea of a rebellion to overthrow the humans that own the farm of which they live. During his speech, Old Major stated, “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up into a single word—Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever” (Orwell 7). Old Major saw a problem with the fact that the humans were receiving the rewards for the animals hard work, while the animals barely got enough food to stay strong and able to even do their work. He offered a solution to that problem and shared his ideas of a rebellion in order to get everyone involved and in favor of his ideas to take down the enemy. Old Major’s speech provided a foreground for the rebellion over the humans just like Karl Marx and Fredric Engle’s provided the foundations of Socialism and Communism as a foreground for the Russian Revolution when they published the “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” The Manifesto begins by addressing the issue of the separation of classes where Marx wrote, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles" (Marx 14). A main driving force for writing the manifesto was to bring about change in Russia’s capitalist economic system because Marx believed that a capitalist economy brought about class separation. The separation of classes is a huge part of the plot of Animal Farm because of the way this idea digresses and progresses throughout the novel. After Old Major passes away, the rebellion takes place and the animals overthrow the humans and take over the Farm. The animals finally become happy working for themselves because all animals are