What characters in the book represent Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky? How are they similar to their historical counterparts?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Stalin and Trotsky are represented by Napoleon and Snowball.  It is evident that Orwell wanted to create this parallel in a couple of ways.  The first is that both Napoleon and Snowball are descendants of the legacy that was represented by Old Major, who can be seen as a Marx/ Lenin figure.  Both Napoleon and Snowball are "torchbearers" of Old Major's legacy and in how they seek to execute it is where some of the greatest similarities like.  Snowball, like Trotsky, has a much more cerebral and theoretical commitment to his aims.  He approaches the task of leadership in a more theoretically consistent manner than Napoleon, who is more concerned with power and the trappings of it.  Napoleon represents the leader who exerts power on the farm for some time, similar to Snowball, and represents the consistent rule of Stalin.  Finally, Snowball is run off at the hands of Napoleon in a similar manner of how Trotsky was run off by Stalin.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial