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What does the windmill in Animal Farm represent in Stalin's era?

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hommer60 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM via web

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What does the windmill in Animal Farm represent in Stalin's era?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 8, 2010 at 2:13 PM (Answer #1)

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There was no one particular thing (like one dam or one electric power plant) that is represented by the windmill.  Instead, the windmill represents the Soviets' attempts to make their country more modern in terms of its economy.

During Stalin's era, the Soviet Union ran its economy on a series of Five Year Plans.  These plans were aimed mainly at making the country industrialized.  Russia had been a very agrarian and backwards country and Stalin wanted it to be an industrial power as soon as possible.

So the animals' attempts to build the windmill represent these efforts to modernize.  They also represent the ways in which these efforts ended up making the people's lives difficult because resources were being put in to modernizing the economy rather than into giving the people a better standard of living.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:47 PM (Answer #2)

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One other important aspect of the windmill and what it represents were the promises made by Stalin and others about what would happen with the progress and the "profit" from their great endeavors.  The peasants and the laborers were promised better lives just as the animals were, that this great machinery of the state in terms of production and growth would be used to fuel a new and better life for everyone.

And just like the windmill, once the machinery was up and running, those that benefitted the most were the party elite and the folks that did all the work noticed that the lines were just as long and their apartments just as cold in the winter as before.

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted September 9, 2010 at 12:19 AM (Answer #3)

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The windmill in Orwell's "Animal Farm" is usually considered to represent 'electricity' which was expected to make Communist Russia a modern industrialized nation. Electricity, of course, was only a means to modernize the agrarian economy of Russia at the time of the Communist Revolution. In Ch. 5 Snowball's plans for the construction of the windmill are explained in the following manner:

After surveying the ground, Snowball declared that this was just the place for a windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power. This would light the stalls and warm them in winter, and would also run a circular saw, a chaff-cutter, a mangel-slicer, and an electric milking machine. The animals had never heard of anything of this kind before (for the farm was an old-fashioned one and had only the most primitive machinery), and they listened in astonishment while Snowball conjured up pictures of fantastic machines which would do their work for them while they grazed at their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and conversation.

The windmill could represent a universal symbol for the tall promises which every politician makes to his gullible electorate. Most of these promises are never fulfilled by the politicians and even if they are fulfilled they do not work to the satisfaction of the general public.

This was also the case with Communist Russia. Electricity was generated and the country was industrialized and modernized but there was no improvement in the standard of living of the ordinary people.

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kenanliew | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM (Answer #4)

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It represents Stanlin's 5 year food plan which invested alot of work into making food for future use.When the Germans invaded Russia and destroyed crops and wheatfields ect. this caused the starvation of many people.

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