Animal Farm : Realistic Character Portrayals on the Struggle for Power and Equality Essay

Introduction
The story of ‘Animal Farm’ was written during a time when President Roosevelt had just been ambushed, and Mussolini and Hitler had also vanished in a glimpse (Turner Learning, Inc. 1999).[1]  This story of ‘Animal Farm’ is a credible allegory that uses realistic character portrayals in depicting human nature’s struggle for political power and social equality.  In the following lines, the reasons behind why ‘Animal Farm’ is a realistic character portrayal shall be relayed.  Two concrete details or samples from the fable story that proves this point will be mentioned, along with the corresponding commentaries and necessary explanation.  In the final portion, there will be a summary of the stated facts and thesis, until the definitive close ends up the paper.

 Main Body

            The ‘Animal Farm’ written by George Orwell (or Eric Arthur Blair in reality) is an allegory that uses realistic character portrayals in depicting human nature’s struggle for power and equality.  This is clearly evident in the following portions of the story, specifically under the character Napoleon—a pig that becomes the leader of the Animal Farm; and the character Snowball—the pig that fights Napoleon and then ultimately wins the loyalty of many animals in the farm.  The following describes these two characters in succession:

             Napoleon stands for Joseph Stalin.  Just like the latter, Napoleon uses military—nine attack dogs—in order to control the farm by means of terrorism.  He uses force in order to drive out Snowball—the personification of Leon Trotsky.  Being more like a dictator, Napoleon controls the farm by means of shedding force and fear to the animals:

“No more delays, comrades…There is work to be done.  This very morning we begin rebuilding the windmill, and we will build all through the winter, rain or shine.  We will teach this miserable traitor that he cannot undo our work so easily.  Remember, comrades, there must be no alteration in our plans: they shall be carried out to the day” (Orwell, chapter 6, par.19).[2]

            Snowball, on the other hand, who stands for Leon Trotsky, is more like a ‘passionate intellectual’ who is honest and could easily win the loyalty of most of the animals.  Being driven out of the farm by Napoleon’s dogs, this links to the way Trotsky was sent out to be exiled in Mexico—the place where he was assassinated (Bookrags n.d.).[3]  It was clear as well how Snowball (Trotsky) believes in the words of Old Major, who stands for Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin (Bookrags n.d.).  Snowball’s understanding of true liberty reflected the beliefs of Marx and Lenin: “Comrade… those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery.  Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?” (Orwell, chapter 2, par.6).  Snowball is even knowledgeable, as he learned the concept of electricity, learned how to build buildings, and read books of Julius Caesar for knowledge on war strategies (Orwell, chapter 4).  Being depicted as Trotsky, he was among the few in former Soviet who ruled the revolutionists during war sometime in the 1920s.  Snowball was depicted here as brave yet tolerant, in the same way Trotsky led the revolution of the Red Army, in order to fight Russians who were loyal to the Czar and foreign troops (Irish 2006).[4]

            Aside from Napoleon who stood for Stalin, and Snowball who stood for Trotsky, there are other characters in the story that stood for a number of influential characters in the political arena during that time.  Squealer, for example, stands for Vyacheslav Molotov and the Russian Paper Pravda, since Squealer took the role of a speaker.  Boxer stands for the ‘proletariat’ working class that is loyal, dedicated, and strong (Bookrags n.d.).  Mollie, on the other hand, stands for the upper class, “the Bourgeoisie who fled from the U.S.S.R. after the Russian Revolution” (Bookrags n.d.).  It is evident that Orwell’s Animal Farm is actually filled with realistic character portrayals depicting human nature’s struggle for power and equality, specifically during the time of the war of the revolutionists in Russia sometime in the 1920s, when they fought the Russians who were true to Czar and the foreign troops.

Conclusion

            George Orwell’s credible allegory entitled ‘Animal Farm’ makes use of realistic character portrayals in representing the struggle for political power and social equality during the Russian War.  This is verily seen in the way Napoleon—a pig that represents Stalin—turns out to be strong in a forceful, terrorizing way.  This is also seen in Snowball—another pig that stands for Trotsky—who is a passionate intellectual and strong in the fact that he knows the true meaning of the word ‘liberty’.  Since realistic character portrayals are crucial to all believable stories, Orwell has made a magnificent piece in illustrating political condition in an allegory of farm animals.  The struggle for power and equality was pictured in a convincing, entertaining way.

Annotated Bibliography:

1.      Bookrags.  “Animal Farm.”  N.d.  18 November 2006 <http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Animal_Farm>.

Bookrags (n.d.) is a substantial source of information regarding the story, since it describes everything about—from the plot to the characters to the relationship between the events and the characters to real-time events.  There are also information on the history and geography of the animal farm, which is Russia.

2.      Irish.  “Animal Farm as Animal Satire.”  12 February 2006.  Slashdoc.com.  18 November 2006 <http://www.slashdoc.com/documents/46135>.

A writer of Slashdoc.com named Irish (2006) uploaded very substantial information regarding the history of the Russian war sometime in the 1920s.  It was from this source that data regarding the incidents have been noted and taken.  Thus, this source would also be substantial for researching students, as far as ‘Animal Farm’ and Soviet’s revolution war is concerned.

3.      Orwell, Georgy.  “Animal Farm.”  Rpt. in The Literature Network.  2000.  Jalic, Inc.  18 November 2006 <http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/1/>.

This source also tends to be very significant, especially for students who have no access to books of the ‘Animal Farm’.  The Literature Network displays the story in a chapter-by-chapter style, and relays more additional facts to help students comprehend the whole theme of the story.  There are even comparisons made between the characters, summaries per chapter, as well as a clear biography of Orwell.  There are also other literature books aside from the ‘Animal Farm’.

4.      Turner Learning, Inc.  “Historical Backdrop: Orwell and the Times in which He Lived.”  1999.  TNT Learning Educators Guide.  18 November 2006 <http://www.turnerlearning.com/tntlearning/animalfarm/afhistory.html>.

This source is also very helpful in that it clarifies the events during the time of Orwell, in order that the student may learn more, and unlike the source on Bookrags and Slashdoc.com, this source concentrates more on history and vividly displays the episodes that were most prominent during that time.  There is also an explanation on the roles of Marx, Trotsky and Stalin.

Works Cited:

Republished article:

Orwell, Georgy.  “Animal Farm.”  Rpt. in The Literature Network.  2000.  Jalic, Inc.  18 November 2006 <http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/1/>.

Web site:

Bookrags.  “Animal Farm.”  N.d.  18 November 2006 <http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Animal_Farm>.

Irish.  “Animal Farm as Animal Satire.”  12 February 2006.  Slashdoc.com.  18 November 2006 <http://www.slashdoc.com/documents/46135>.

Turner Learning, Inc.  “Historical Backdrop: Orwell and the Times in which He Lived.”  1999.  TNT Learning Educators Guide.  18 November 2006 <http://www.turnerlearning.com/tntlearning/animalfarm/afhistory.html>.

[1] Turner Learning, Inc.  “Historical Backdrop: Orwell and the Times in which He Lived.”  1999.  TNT Learning Educators Guide.  18 November 2006 <http://www.turnerlearning.com/tntlearning/animalfarm/afhistory.html>.
[2] Orwell, Georgy.  “Animal Farm.”  Rpt. in The Literature Network.  2000.  Jalic, Inc.  18 November 2006 <http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/animalfarm/1/>.
[3] Bookrags.  “Animal Farm.”  N.d.  18 November 2006 <http://www.bookrags.com/wiki/Animal_Farm>.
[4] Irish.  “Animal Farm as Animal Satire.”  12 February 2006.  Slashdoc.com.  18 November 2006 <http://www.slashdoc.com/documents/46135>.