Discuss two reasons why Old Major is important in the book? Who is old Major's historical parallel?

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Old Major's historical parallel is Karl Marx, who, along with Friedrich Engels, wrote the "Communist Manifest", on which Communism is based. In the novel, Old Major is responsible for the animal rebellion that forms the basis for the novel. He calls together the animals in the opening scene and tells them of his vision of a world ruled by animals. Like Marx, Old Major dies before the revolution occurs. The animals do rebel but, ironically, Old Major's vision is changed by the pigs. This also parallels the Communist Revolution, especially when Stalin began his reign of terror, The pigs, like Stalin, take over the role of the humans, so the animals remain victims of their leadership, just as they had been under human control.

west-man's profile pic

west-man | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

You guys forgot something, if old major was only Karl marx, than I would like to ask:

Where is Lenin than? Because in the story, in this case,  it would go from Karl Marx, directly to Trotski and Stalin...

I can't tell you the answer, i can only say that there still is a gap in the answers of the other ones.

I suggest that Old Major is a mix between Marx and Lenin...

aakashk's profile pic

aakashk | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Confused, I highly recommend you read ms-mcgregor's answer. It provides a general overview, yet to the point.

 Just a few things I'd like to develop on.

Old Major's initial idea was for all the animals to rule and live freely. Him, being a wise-old 'man', allows for the other animals to attentively listen to what he has to say.

But after his death (Old Major), the pigs developed on the idea that they should become the ruling party, despite the conditions laid out by Old Major.

Another interesting point to notice is how the author describes Old Major's head being buried. This further signfies that the original concept and idea that Old Major had, has gone with him (they are no longer there, and are as useless as the dirt he's burried it)

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