Discuss Animal Farm as a political satire.
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In general, Animal Farm is a satire of the dangers inherent in the exercise of political power. Specifically, it was written as a critique of the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin, where a revolution aimed, at least in theory, at establishing a new order where human equality would be possible, had degenerated into a totalitarian nightmare. In Animal Farm, the animals begin with similar motives, but the society they create is unequal almost from the beginning. The pigs, as the leaders of the revolution, quickly subvert it to their own ends, and set themselves up as its leaders, "more equal" than the other animals. Like Stalin, Napoleon the pig uses terror and misinformation to maintain his power, until in the end, the inequalities are recreated in total, as the animals see that they cannot tell the difference between the pigs and the humans they fought to emancipate themselves from. His satire is successful because of its clarity. It is obvious to the reader who understands the development of totalitarian governments in Orwell's own time which animals represent which people.
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