What are some examples of allusions in the book Animal Farm?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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A reader can interpret allusions in a literary work whether or not they were intended by the author. For instance, since Animal Farmis a satire about a communal or socialist society gone wrong, this could be interpreted as an allusion to the Cuban Revolution. Having written the book in 1949, Orwell was clearly not making references to the Cuban Revolution, although it did occur shortly afterward (1953-59). The point is that an allusion can be inferred from the reader's perspective. 

However, if you want the allusion that Orwell had in mind when he wrote Animal Farm, the most significant allusion is with the U.S.S.R. (now Russia). Napoleon represents Stalin and Snowball is Trotsky. Animalism began with great hopes but ended up being as oppressive as the regime the animals had revolted against. The allusion is to the failed communist project in the U.S.S.R. Orwell couldn't agree with Stalin's pact with Hitler, not to mention Stalin's deportation of hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) of Russians. 

Orwell meant this story to be an allegory as well as an allusion so it could serve as a warning against any potential subsequent oppressive states. 


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