How does Animalism represent Communism in the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell?

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shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Orwell did indeed want to comment on Communism with his allegorical fable Animal Farm. The society that the animals set up is analogous to the beginnings of the Russian Revolution. The ideas that everybody should share equally in the wealth created by their collective labor is at the heart of Marx's ideology.

But Orwell had more than that in mind. Marxism was already well known by the time he was writing Animal Farm in the 1930's. Nobody needed to have communism explained to them at that time. Orwell's goal was to show how the pursuit of an ideal can be derailed by power-hungry individuals. The way we see it happen to animalism is similar to the way it happened with communism. 

With this in mind, he invented the character of Snowball to correlate with the historical personage of Leon Trotsky. Like Trotsky, Snowball remained idealistic and more committed to the welfare of the common people, until he was run off by Napoleon (Stalin in real life).

The Battle of Cowshed also represents the military struggle Russia faced in the early days of its communist revolution. 

Orwell then attempts to foreshadow the demise of communism, as Animal Farm falls apart under the weight of Napoleon's corruption, he offers the idea that communism will do the same thing. 

Did it really happen that way? Well, sort of. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics did break apart in the 80's and 90's, and Russia did attempt to throw off communism and become a capitalist country. However, they had quite a difficult time of it, and we have seen Vladimir Putin exert more centralized authority in the last several decades. So Orwell was partly right, which is pretty good considering how long ago he wrote it. 

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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In its original form, expounded by Old Major, Animalism celebrates equality among all animals with no class distinctions between, say, pigs and horses. This loosely corresponds to Marx’s vision of the collapse of class distinction between the owner of capital and the proletariat. With Animalism, animals will no longer work for humans, and all animals will be equal; with communism, workers will no longer work for capitalists, and all workers will be equal.  And in both cases, the workers will own the means and the products of production, with the state / farm providing for them in old age or sickness.  Of course, Orwell criticizes this idea, arguing in the novel that it does not work because of the propensity in humans for power.

mehwishkhan's profile pic

mehwishkhan | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

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animalisim is a reflection of communisim because they both are same like are people are equal and all animal are equal their shoul be a proper life style and are people are have same life style Russian Revolution: Russian Revolution Leon Trotsky Other leader of “October Revolution” Pure communist, followed Marx Wanted to improve life for all in Russia Chased away by Lenin’s KGB (secret police)

Animal Farm : Animal Farm Napoleon Not a good speaker, not as clever as Snowball Cruel, brutal, selfish, devious, corrupt His ambition is for power, killed opponents Used dog, Moses, and Squealer to control the animals

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