Discuss the satire in Minimus's poem "Comrade Napoleon" in the novel Animal Farm.

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Although there is some debate about how closely Orwell modeled Animal Farm on the actual events and personalities of the Russian Revolution, it has often been suggested that the model for Minimus was the poet and playwright Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky. Although he was praised by Stalin as the greatest poet of the Soviet epoch, Mayakovsky was no vulgar propagandist, and the idea that Minimus was based on him would suggest that by no means all the satire in "Comrade Napoleon" is unconscious. Napoleon is not notable for his intellect and would be unlikely to protest at any of the hyperbole in the poem. Nor would he be likely to notice the absurdity, for instance, of his receiving extravagant praise in the second stanza for giving the animals no more than Mr. Jones did.

Some of the satire is clearly Orwell's alone. Much of this takes the form of bathos, as in the phrase "Lord of the swill-bucket." The title begins in grandeur and ends, quite literally, in garbage. This casts doubt on all the...

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