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There were actually two revolutions that occurred in Russia during 1917. The revolutions completely changed Russia into the Russia we know today. The two revolutions occurred in February and October of 1917. In the book Animal Farm by George Orwell, Mr. Orwell shows how the Russian Revolution of 1917 as one that resulted in a government more oppressive, totalitarian, and deadly than the one it overthrew. There is an abundance of characters in his book that corresponds to those of the Russian Revolution: Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon represent the ruling figures of the Russian Revolution (“CliffNotes”).
By 1917 most Russians had lost faith in the leadership of Tsar Nicholas II. The first part of the Russian Revolution of 1917 was Russia’s terrible involvement in World War I (1914-1918). Militarily, imperial Russia was no match for industrialized Germany, and the Russian death toll was greater than those sustained by any nation in any previous war. (“History. com”). The February Revolution started March 8, 1917 when rioters rioted for bread took to the streets in the Russian capital of Saint Petersburg. Troops were sent to Saint Petersburg to stop the riots; they opened fire and killed the people.
In response to the way the riots were being handled Tsar Nicholas II gave up the throne on March 15. The October Revolution or Bolshevik Revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin who launched a nearly bloodless battle against the ad hoc government (“History. “). The Bolsheviks and their allies occupied government buildings and other strategic locations in Saint Petersburg, and soon formed a new government with Lenin as its head; he became the virtual dictator of the first Marxist state in the world. In Animal Farm there are three main characters Old Major, Snowball, and Napoleon.
The Russian Revolution had three main rulers Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin. In the book, George Orwell states that the animals are campaigning animalism, just like the rulers of the Russia believed in communism. Both terms mean the same thing which is, all people are equal, no owners, no rich, and no poor. Old Major is the animal version of Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Party that seized control in the 1917 Revolution. Old Major taught the animals of Manor Farm the principle of animalism, just as Karl Marx taught the Russians communism. Lenin was inspired by Marx’s ideas of an all equal community.
Both Lenin and Old Major died before they could see their full work of the revolution (Spielvogel 610-646). Lenin was responsible for changing Russia into the U. S. S. R. , as old Major is responsible for transforming Manor Farm into Animal Farm. Leon Trotsky’s characteristics were shown through Animal Farm’s Snowball. Trotsky was a leader of the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the struggle for power following Lenin’s death, however, Joseph Stalin emerged as victor, while Trotsky was removed from all positions of power and later exiled until his assassination by a Stalinist agent in 1940 (“History. “).
Snowball is chased off the farm by Napoleon’s dogs. Napoleon’s dogs represent Stalin’s KGB. Snowball also appears as an intense fanatic who throws his heart and soul into the attempt to spread Animalism worldwide and to improve Animal Farm’s infrastructure (Sparknotes*). Snowball is also young, smart, and is a talented speaker. The last ruler of the communist Russia was Joseph Stalin. Stalin turned the Soviet Union into unimaginable superpower while not caring about how many lives it had cost. Joseph Stalin started a series of five-year plans intended to transform the Soviet Union from a peasant society into an industrial superpower.
His development plan was centered on government control of the economy and included the forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, in which the government took control of farms. Millions of farmers refused to cooperate with Stalin’s orders and were shot or exiled as punishment. The forced collectivization also led to widespread famine across the Soviet Union that killed millions (Spielvogel 610-646). Even after World War II, he prosecuted a reign of terror, purges, executions, exiles to labor camps and persecution in the postwar USSR, abolish all conflict and anything that showed of foreign influence.
Joseph Stalin is portrayed in Animal Farm as Napoleon. Napoleon is introduced as one of intelligent animals of the farm and does not get involved early in the revolution. George Orwell describes him as “A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his way” (Chapter2, page 35). We can see how he gets his way, for example when he takes nine puppies and raises them to carry out his orders, “It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr.
Jones” (Chapter5). Napoleon keeps a tight control over the meetings and what is spoken to the other animals. Joseph Stalin and Napoleon were both transfixed with power and money. Communism started out as a way to make all people equal but ended in one person controlling everything. As the leaders of the Russian Revolution and the leaders of Animal Farm both tried to create a perfect society through communism or animalism they got caught in the hunger of power. People can dream of utopias, but there is always going to be that one pig that comes along to dash that dream with their own hunger.
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