What satire in George Orwell's Animal Farm is based on the theory of communism?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Communism is a socialist ideology that began to emerge just as the European system of feudalism began to break down. Feudal peasants and workers began forming workers' organizations and communal lifestyles to try to thwart some of the oppression of the aristocracy. When feudalism gave way to a more capitalistic society, the business owners became the primary oppressors along with the aristocracy, and the workers continued to be oppressed. When Karl Marx began developing his communist ideology much later in the 1800s, he specifically preached about abolishing "the State," which represented any elitist group that lorded over the masses, like the aristocracy and the business owners. He further taught that when the State no longer existed, then people could live together as complete equals and work in harmony without any oppression ("Communism and Marxism").

In Animal Farm, George Orwell satirized the State through the farmers, especially Mr. Jones. Marx's communist ideologies are also satirized in a speech given in the very first chapter by Old Major, who satirizes Karl Marx. It also becomes clear that Orwell is using the suffering of the animals to satirize Marx's argument that the masses suffer oppression when Old Major states, "The life of an animal is misery and slavery; that is the plain truth." It even becomes clear Orwell is using man to satirize the State, which can particularly be the aristocracy, and satirizing the communist ideology of removing the State when Old Major says, "Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever."

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