Animal farm is a satirical fable which parody the history of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and criticizes Stalin’s dictatorship. The author uses a third-person narrator who describes events as animal perceive them without commenting directly.
The struggle for preeminence between Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs Snowball and Napoleon. In both cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure (represented by Trotsky and Snowball) is expelled, while the violent usurper of power (Stalin and Napoleon) emerged. Moreover, Stalin’s tyrannical rule and the abandonment of the founded principles are represented by pigs’ turn to violent government and adoption of human behaviors.
The story shows how classes are initially united to face a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, but become internal divided when the enemy is eliminated.
Another of Orwell’s central concerns is the way in which language can be manipulated as an instrument of control. Pigs gradually distort the principles of socialist revolution to justify their behavior. They twist the basic ideas of the rebellion and in the end they are just like men. They walk on two legs and oppress the other animals. At the end the principle of equality is completely reversed: ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.
The end of the story (animals realize that there aren’t differences between men or pig’s government) is an ironic way to emphasize the utopia of communism, because no man will ever eradicate the desire for power.
Every character of “Animal farm” symbolizes a historical figure.
Old Major represents Lenin and Marx because he expresses the theory of Animalism, convincing the other animals to rebel against the slavery and the exploitation.
Napoleon is a corrupt opportunist who embodies Stalin and his cruel dictatorship.
Snowball represents Trotsky. He elaborates seven principles to establish equality. But he is sent away by Napoleon.
Mr Jones represents Nicholas II who was the cause of the Russian revolution.
Moreover, the windmill symbolizes the pigs’ manipulation for their own gain. From an allegorical point of view, it stands for the enormous modernization project taken in Soviet Russia after Russian Revolution.
However, “Animal farm” isn’t only the representation of the Russian Soviet Union: it stands for any human society; in fact, it has the internal structure of a nation, with a government (the pigs), a police force (the dogs) and a working class (the other animals).