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Essay: Animal Farm – horrors and injustice of the Soviet Union

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  • Subject area(s): Literature essays
  • Reading time: 3 minutes
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  • Published: June 16, 2021*
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  • Words: 781 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 4 (approx)
  • Tags: Animal Farm essays George Orwell Essays
  • Animal Farm - horrors and injustice of the Soviet Union
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, was and still is one of the best authors the world has ever known. In the year 1945, Orwell publish one of his final books called Animal Farm. His allegorical novel is best known for its representation of communist Russia under the rule of Stalin. Orwell decided to write his novel in order to share to the world the horrors and injustice the Soviet Union imposed on its people and others around it to help destroy it and strengthen the Socialist cause. In his book, Orwell criticizes the censorship of information distributed to the public and displays his dismay towards Russia’s totalitarian government. Through his use of symbolism, George Orwell, author of Animal Farm and many other well-known novels, uses an unconventional way of depicting the Russian subjects in his novel; he represents these Russian figures, during his time period, as farm animals on a farm that are led by the most “superior animals”, the pigs.

Throughout Eric Blair’s life, many events occurred that led him to dislike the totalitarian government set up of the Soviet Union. He opposed the Soviet Union’s attempts at misleading the people through its falsified propaganda. Moreover, in Orwell’s eyes, the Soviet Union was impeding the progression of the socialist movement. For this reason, He decided, in order to headway socialism, the Soviet Union must be gone; the only way he knew how to make that happen was through the power of the pen. He began to write, the now world famous, novella, Animal Farm. In the beginning there was one problem, no one wanted to publish his novel, but a few years later an opportunity arouse, and his book was put into publication. It was sold out in a matter of weeks. Orwell did very little commenting on his novel because as he stated, “if it does not speak for itself, it is a failure.”

In order to appeal to all persons of interest and allow for easier translation, Orwell decided to use a more reader friendly take on an otherwise oppressive event; He used animals. Orwell wanted his novel to reach a far and wide audience of readers. He strongly opposed the Russian government that he wanted the rest of Europe to know. “But on the other hand, it was of the utmost importance to me that people in western Europe should see the Soviet regime for what it really was.” To make a dull and complex subject more reader friendly, he simplified the major issues he wanted to focus on and used animals to create a humorous tone throughout.

For many reason, Orwell represented the leader of the Russian government, Stalin and other high-ranking officials as pigs. For one, they are known to be considered as filthy animals that eat anything in sight and wallow around in dirt all day. This refers to the corrupt nature of these officials and how low they will go for power. Another reason is because pigs are also known to be the most intelligent of the farm animals; which is why Napoleon, a pig, assumed the role of leader accompanied by his advisors, also pigs.

A major part of the novel, Animal Farm, included censorship towards the farm animals by the pigs. The main character responsible for the spread of edited and falsified news was squealer, under the order of Napoleon. Would the rebellion have worked had it not been for squealer? For every doubt the farm animals had, squealer was there to lay it to rest through his convincing and flowing speech. He relied on the animal’s bad memory in order to alter information and play with the minds of the animals. He manipulated them with every chance he had; he covered up the true motives and end goal of the pigs. Without squealer, the pigs would have surely been caught red handed from the beginning for breaking the commandments set by Old Major, their previous leader. This directly correlates to the Soviet Union’s attempts at spreading propaganda to its people and even the rest of the world. This made it difficult for the people to understand the motives and end goal of the Russian government. For an extended time, the government played on the confusion of the people and got away with their crimes. However, Orwell was brave enough to write and uncover the hidden truths and expose the Russian government to the world.

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