How does Animal Farm relate to the Russian revolution?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an intelligent question. Animal Farm is an allegory. This means that the characters in the work can refer to historical people.

Here are a few clear examples. Old Major refers to Karl Marx. They are both great thinkers who invented a new political philosophy, “workers unite,” and they both died before the revolution.

Animalism is communism. In short, in both systems the government owns everything, at least in theory. Snowball refers to Trotsky, who had good intentions,] but was chased away. Lenin chased away Trotsky, and Napoleon chased away Snowball.

Napoleon, the often brutal leader of animalism, is Joseph Stalin. Napoleon uses the dogs and Squealer to get his work done. This refers to the force and propaganda that Stalin used to entrench his government. 

All of these characters show that what is happening on the farm mimics what has happened in Russia. In this sense, the work is an allegory of the Russian revolution.