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Who is Joseph Stalin?

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jenna1b | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:03 AM via web

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Who is Joseph Stalin?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 14, 2010 at 7:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Joseph Stalin does not appear in the book "1984."  He was a real person who was the second ruler of the Soviet Union.  He ruled the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953.

Stalin is generally seen as one of the most brutal dictators in history.  He was very ruthless in imprisoning or killing anyone who seemed to him to be a threat to his rule or to the communist system in general. Although he did not target any specific group, he is said to be responsible for more deaths than Hitler was (of course, he ruled much longer).

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 14, 2010 at 8:16 AM (Answer #2)

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I am wondering if you have tripped across some criticism that included the name of Joseph Stalin because the author of 1984, George Orwell, also wrote Animal Farm which does characterize and criticize Stalin allegorically.

In Orwell's early years, he was increasingly impressed by the ideas of socialism, as defined by Karl Marx. However, when he begun to watch the execution of Communism and how terribly the idea of it got distorted he was mortified. This caused him to intensely criticize Stalin's perversion of socialism.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 14, 2010 at 8:50 AM (Answer #3)

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1984 was published just after World War II, and it is set in Oceania, a totalitarian state much like those seen in Germany, Italy, and the Soviet Union. Big Brother is very much like Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, the dictators of those countries. Stalin was known for his purges where he would round up innocent people and murder them, much like Big Brother's "vaporization" of Oceania's citizens. There is no doubt that Orwell uses Stalin and his tyrranical practices as a model for his novel.

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