In Animal Farm, to what extent does Orwell succeed in decpiting political leaders of USSR as animals instead of just writing a political essay?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Orwell establishes great success in depicting the figure of the Russian Revolution through animals.  It would have been less effective for him to simply write a political essay about his opinions regarding the events of the Russian Revolution.  Through placing them in the animal context, Orwell is able to establish a thematic relevance to the Russian Revolution and the characters that formed it.  He is able to develop a sense of drama about it, and construct the idea that politics is a form of control.  In creating animals like Napoleon or Squealer, Orwell is successful in not only developing a narrative about the Russian Revolution, but one in which political power is assessed in general.  Orwell is able to bring out characteristics of Stalin, Trotsky, as well as Lenin (or Marx) and even the Czar through the animals and humans that play roles in the narrative.  An essay would not have had the same effect because in being able to construct a narrative in which these animals' roles are seen and witnessed, one possesses a greater understanding of not only the Russian Revolution, but all political rule in general.  It is for this reason that I think Orwell succeeds to a great extent.


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