Animal Farm is an allegory, a story with a deeper meaning. Specifically, it uses the setting of an English farm and a number of animal and human characters to symbolize the Bolsheviks and their revolution, which took place in 1917.
We can see this clearly through the character of Old Major, who symbolizes Karl Marx, the philosopher whose works inspired the revolution, and also Vladimir Lenin, the man who organized it. In addition, just like Lenin, Old Major dies early in the story, leaving the running of the farm to somebody else. In history, this person was Joseph Stalin, who became the leader of the Soviet Union. In the story, this role is played by Napoleon, who takes charge of the farm early on and whose reign is characterized by violence and manipulation—again, just like the reign of Stalin.
So, to understand how Animal Farm functions as an allegory, it is...
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