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Orwell, a socialist, was convinced that the Russian Revolution had strayed from its original purpose, and he was appalled by the reports of repression and brutality that characterized the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin. He mean to underscore an age old theme, namely that power corrupts, and that we ought to be very careful about restricting individual liberties. Orwell chose an allegory (he called the book a "fairy story") in part because it enabled him to give an almost event-by-event description of the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union without simply rehashing the history. It was a powerful critique because the readers drew the parallels in their own minds, without Orwell being overly didactic.
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