Feels animals should have a better life since they produce more than the humans who "own" them



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  1. Old Major

  2. Karl Marx



old, respected

feels animals should have a better life since they produce more than the humans who “own” them

“religion is the opiate of the people”

animals are good, man is bad

Communist Manifesto of 1848

Basic Premise: capitalism is the enemy of people; if people had control of what they produced, everyone would have a happy life.

Manifest ends with "The proletarians [common workers] have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, Unite!"


  1. Napoleon

  2. Stalin



fierce looking, usually gets what he wants

doesn’t talk much

works toward goals that will benefit him: milk, etc.

sneaky; sets up the eventual removal of Snowball

take more and more for himself and supporters

Hypocrisy: looks like man!

Lies about progress…makes it look good, but things are worse than ever; outside world doesn’t realize this


  1. Snowball

  2. Trotsky





Works toward goals that will benefit all the animals: windmill

Honest and straightforward; really believes in the vision

Sets up committees to insure that animals will have a part in the new regime

Plans for the windmill to ease life for the animals

Believes in educating all the animals

Less devious

Fault: Doesn’t understand that others may be more interesting in helping themselves than helping others.

He was exiled just as Trotsky was exiled to Mexico.

Trotsky’s picture was cut out of all pictures of the communist leaders.


  1. Squealer

  2. Propaganda



After the coup, he becomes Napoleon’s spokesman.

Revises history as necessary.

Propagandist.

A real talker; physical characteristic matches his ability to jump from side to side and brainwash other animals.

He will not tolerate other animals questioning what he says, including Boxer.

Threatens animals with the return of Mr. Jones if they do not cooperate and trust Napoleon



  1. Dogs

  2. KGB

  3. Secret Police



Educated by Napoleon to act as his support/security

Totally loyal to Napoleon, not the state




  1. Boxer

  2. Working

  3. class

  4. Proletariat





Downtrodden working class whose efforts benefit everyone but themselves

Blind loyalty to the cause

Strong, considerate of other animals

Expendable to leader when he is no longer able to contribute

No dignity; ends up with a knacker and is killed for very little money

Represents betrayal of the proliteriate



  1. Mollie

  2. Bourgeois



Not interested in hard work or the cause

Wants luxuries and easy life….deserts Animal Farm to join the humans



Benjamin



Oldest animal; has seen it all; typical of old men who feel no good will come of the revolution

Cynical; the skeptic; believes nothing good will come of any changes

Works as he must, but does not put forth great effort

Loyal to the worker, Boxer- his only weakness

Believes one side is as good as the other, and that neither side will really benefit him.

Realist: Revolution won’t change anything






  1. Mr. Jones

  2. Czar



Last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II; out of touch with the Russian people

In 1914, entered WWI unsuccessfully which caused famines across Russia (animals not being fed). Nicholas was weak, allowing quick revolution beginning with strikes and demonstrations in St. Petersburg. Nicholas sent in the military, but by then the workers were out of control

Vladimir Lenin suddenly returned from exile and outlined April Theses (the ‘Seven Commandments’). Ensuing govt was weak, not workable.

In October, the Bolsheviks (the majority of the Russian communist parties) overthrew the temporary government. Jones and his family escape, but Nicholas II and his family were executed and buried in a mass grave.


Scapegoat: the cause of all the ills of the animals

Driven off the farm by revolution

User of the animals, but so was Napoleon

Interested in his own advancement



  1. Mr. Frederick



Shrewd businessman

Runs an efficient operation, smaller but better than Foxwood

Represents Hitler and the bad things that Hitler did to the people in his country


  1. Mr. Pilkington

  2. Foxwood



A gentleman farmer who neglects his farm

Spends most of time on leisure activities such as hunting and fishing

Represents the West, particularly England; the West was afraid the revolution would spread to the west.

Winston Churchill famously put it, communism ought to be "strangled in its cradle."







  1. Moses

  2. Raven



Russian Orthodox Church

Tells animals stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, a wonderful place, a heaven, for the animals; makes a miserable life more bearable if you have something to believe in or look forward to.

At first he is not welcome to the Animal Farm – b/c of Old Major’s disdain for religion….but then Napoleon realizes that religion can keep his subjects calm and happy…not ready to revolt again. Moses is placated…offerd beer.


  1. Mr. Whymper



Lawyer who acts as agent between Animal Farm and men in trade deals.

  1. Hens

  2. Peasant farmers



Represent peasant farmers who were forced to give produce to the leaders to trade for money.

When farmers refused …. They were starved to death by the Russians…represent the Ukranian holocaust.



  1. Windmill



Symbol of Stalin’s “Five Year Plan” that was to improve Russia’s industry to make life better for all. It was a failure….and he kept adding Five Year Plans to solve all their problems. Goal: most highly industrialized nation in the world.

Also refers to argument about whether or not to tr to expand communism….Trotsky said yes, Stalin said not at that time.

Literary Allusion: Don Quixote’s Windmill….an improbable, frivolous, impractical dream






Battle of the

Cowshed




Russian Civil War: other nations were still in WWI, but Russia was out of the war at that point. They had withdrawn through the Treaty of Brest=Litovsk (1918). Trotsky was against pulling out. Czar was dead, but th military and White Russians were against the Communist Red Russians.

  1. Lenin



Died in early 1920s….allowing the Stalin-Trotsky feud to control events

  1. Great Purge



1936 – 1938; purpose: eliminate the opposition. Stalin executed or sent to Gulag labor camps those who associated with Trotsky, ex-kulaks, military leaders, and anyone that might possibly be labeled "anti-Soviet."

Purge deaths: 500,000 up to 2 million.



Forced Confessions: many forced to come forward and confess falsely to crimes that they never committed [severe psychological torment and outright torture]: "Moscow Show Trials."




Selling Timber

And


Windmill War



Stalin played Germany against England/Us

Non-Aggression Pact

Hitler: against communism

Stalin: against fascism

First, Stalin was to sign a pact with England/France in late 1930s

Second, he rethought that and signed a non-aggression pact with Germany to avoid being invaded….but then Germany invaded without warning….which is how Russia entered into alliance with Britain and France.

Germany might have won WWII and might have conquered Britain if they had not used up so many military forces in Russia.


Last Meeting



Tehran Conference

Russia, US, Britain in 1943…how to end the war

Trying to cheat each other in card game…

West agreed to launch D Day in 1944

Russia took part of Poland….a sellout?

Beginning of Cold War




  1. Theme




.Lord Acton: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Orwell warns that “any political enterprise—no matter how worthy—is doomed to failure if its leaders sniff too often from the bouquet of power.”

  1. Theme



“Unquestioning allegiance to authority invites abuse of power.’























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