Message

A highly political novel

There is no question that George Orwell intended Animal Farm to be a strong work of political criticism, and it can be vi…

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Criticism of the Russian Revolution and Stalin’s rule

Animal Farm is entirely framed as a direct criticism of various events surrounding the Russian Revolution, especially related to Stalin’s (symbolised by Napoleon) role in pulling the newly formed Soviet Union in the direction of a dictatorship.

Interestingly, the Russian Revolution itself is at first presented in a relatively positive light. The initial ideals of ‘Animalism’ (= Communism) are very sympathetic - and Mr. Jones (= Tsar Nicholas II) is described as tyrant who does not care about his …

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Criticism of revolutions in general

Orwell himself stated that it would be a mistake if one just read Animal Farm as a specific criticism of the Soviet Union.

He also intended the novel to make the more general point that any revolution may be vulnerable to the issues described in the novel. Specifically, Orwell emphasises the risk that the new rulers who gain control after a revolution may turn out to be just as corrupt and power-hungry as the ones they replace (which is directly seen when the pigs turn into humans at the very end, p. 9…

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Criticism of class discrimination

Animal Farm also contains some criticism of class discrimination in Britain, particularly the upper class and its treatment of the lower classes. This message is presented in a more indirect way than the others mentioned above, but it is clearly present.

We see it gener…

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