Homework Help

How does the windmill symbolize Stalin's five year plan?

user profile pic

Bench-Warmer | Student, Grade 8 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM via web

dislike 1 like

How does the windmill symbolize Stalin's five year plan?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 17, 2013 at 4:23 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Stalin's first Five Year Plan was an immense undertaking, meant to modernize the heavily agrarian Soviet Union. It involved the forced collectivization of farms, the construction (by a conscripted labor force) of infrastructure, and rapid industrialization. The windmill is at least analagous to the first Five Year Plan in that it was intended to modernize the farm, providing power to generate electricity, which would in turn provide the animals with the means to intensify their agricultural production. Also like the Five Year Plan, the windmill demanded immense amounts of labor from the animals, and was the product of planning by intelligentsia (Snowball.) The rapid pace of industrialization was controversial in the Soviet Union, though Stalin's ruthlessness saw the project through, albeit at an immense human cost. Similarly, the windmill became the focus of the power struggle between Snowball and Napoleon that resulted in the former being forced from the farm. The Five Year Plan necessitated foreign capital and machinery, and likewise Napoleon was forced to begin trading with other farms to obtain crucial supplies for the project. Finally, and perhaps most important, the effort required to build the windmill resulted in severe privations for the animals, who responded by protests that were quickly crushed by Napoleon. The hens, for example, refuse to give up their eggs:

Their method was to fly up to the rafters and there lay their eggs, which smashed to pieces on the floor. Napoleon acted swiftly and ruthlessly. He ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death. The dogs saw to it that these orders were carried out. For five days the hens held out, then they capitulated and went back to their nesting boxes. Nine hens had died in the meantime. 

This is a reference to peasant protests, especially in Ukraine, against collectivization. Like the hens, peasants destroyed their crops, and perished in large numbers, rather than give them up to meet Soviet quotas. Like Stalin, Napoleon saw to it that many of the rebels starved to death.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes