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The parallels between Animal Farm and Soviet History

Autor referátu: Brent Reston

Confusion, hunger, anger, and the unknown ran through the minds of those whom were caught in the middle of the Russian Revolution. Their hard work towards their dream of a better life was put to shame by their once companion, turned leader, Stalin. The leader who the people of Russia believed, and were told, could be their equal and lead Russia to the glory of guaranteed jobs, food, hospitalisation, education, housing, and pension plans through Communism. Of course, as history would have it, this glory was short lived. The novel Animal Farm depicts the revolution by facilitating it so that it is easier to understand the mood and the events that occurred. The author, George Orwell, does this by using animals on a farm as the pawns of the Russian Revolution. Although this novel is seen as a well-written classic, the importance of the novel has been overlooked. This novel shows the results of what can happen when too much trust in given to one individual without being judged and held against his/her actions accordingly. It is important to not forget what happened to prevent future mistakes.

In Orwell’s Animal Farm a contributing factor to the confusion of the animals were that the pigs, which worked less, received more rations than the other animals. It was explained that the pigs needed more rations to stay healthy, as they were mandatory to the success of Animal Farm. This, to the animals, clarified why in an equal society one species was receiving more than another. The other animals respected this answer only because they trusted their leaders and were willing to sacrifice for a better life. In Russia the situation was more or less the same, as greedy leaders took advantage of the desperate commoners who were willing to sacrifice anything. Instead of asking questions to support the basic principles of Communism the people of Russia honored Stalin as their leader and superior instead as their equal. Stalin, in turn, used this to his advantage to impose a powerful Dictatorship.

In Animal Farm when Napoleon seized complete control of the farm by expelling Snowball it left Napoleon to lead without opposition. This allowed him to make decisions without asking for the approval of another. The dictatorship also allowed Napoleon to lie to his people without the truth being dug up by an associate. Stalin did the same thing in Russia. Trotsky, in fear of his life, fled to Mexico where he was hunted down and killed by Stalin’s secret police, creating a dictatorship. Without a voice against him, Stalin gained power and influence over his people. They believed everything he said and promised because they wanted to believe. Their goal of a better life was their weakness as Napoleon manipulated and used propaganda to get them to do what he wanted. The most awarding part about the dictatorship for Stalin was his ability to ignore the rules of communism without opposition and without question from his people. Anyone who did question him was sentenced to death as a tyrant to the leader.

One of the most important jobs of a leader is to see that rules are made and followed to benefit and unite the people of his/her constituency. In Animal Farm it showed how the leader, Napoleon, changed the rules to work with his needs, however, it did not show the results of changing them. Once the rules were changed it left the door open for the other animals to ignore the old rules, which could result in chaos. The leaders cannot simply make separate rules for themselves as it may turn their own people against them. In Russia many of the rules were broken for financial reasons, as trade was necessary with foreign countries for stability. Although this provides an excuse for breaking rules it showed how desperate the country was at the time creating turmoil within the people.

In our world, even in present time, it is known that one with absolute power, who rules in a dictatorship, cannot manage effectively and justly a successful nation. Without any opposition to demand explanations for unjust actions justice will never be served to one with a leadership position. Greed also comes with this power, as the leaders always want more and more. The novel Animal Farm was an incredible way to understand this confusion and hope that occurred in unison during the Russian Revolution. The novel makes the reader feel for the animals and what they are fighting for while hating the humans. The reader also welcomes the idea of “All animals are equal.” This is strange considering western civilization sees communism as something that should be shunned. This shows that one must look deeper than emotions and beliefs and focus on the big picture. This thought process must be remembered as well as that event in history. The only way to make good out of this event is to remember it, and not let the same mistake occur again

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