Question-How important is knowledge of the Russian Revolution have a solid understanding of Animal Farm?
The whole point of Orwell's 'Animal Farm' is to portray by means of a fable-allegory the events leading up to and following the Russian Revolution. The story may indeed be read and understood as a simple tale, but it is meant to convey much more than that.
For a young child it is not important to understand the political significance of the story. However, for an adolescent or adult, they need to pay attention to this essential message.
In my opinion, it is important for students to know the historical background and inspiration for the story in order to know the author's intent. However, students do not need to know one thing about the Russian revolution in order to understand the message of "Animal Farm": communism does not work. In practice, though, one group of people will always be a little more equal than all the rest, and they will always be the ruling class that decides what all the rest will get.
Animal Farm highlights the mistakes of The Soviet Union under the leadership of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. It does not follow that Orwell was damning all forms of communism. He was trying to find a way to make it work and to draw attention to the pitfalls.
I think the book would have limited appeal if you had to understand any historical moment for it to make sense. I have always thought that the book is about language and propaganda, and…