Symbolism and Interpretation in Animal Farm Essay

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Symbolism and Interpretation in Animal Farm

When Orwell published Animal Farm in 1945, a popular belief held that the Soviet Union was an honorable nation. Orwell hoped to write a novel that exposed the murderous truth of the Soviet System; he employed allegory to show a truth that remained unclear to many.

As an allegory on early 20th Century Russia, ANIMAL FARM introduces its audience to a wide array of characters--each serving as a symbol.

The table below provides a list of fictional characters, events, and items from the film ANIMAL FARM, and the real-life counterparts they appear to represent. Consider how each character could also be interpreted to have a larger, broader meaning.

Farmer Jones : The farmer stands
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Trotsky was eventually killed in Mexico by the Russian internal police.

Napoleon: Not as clever as Snowball, Napoleon is also cruel, selfish and corrupt. Napoleon is most clearly representative of Joseph Stalin, who, like Napoleon, ruled with an iron fist and killed all those who opposed him. On a deeper level, he represents the human weaknesses which eventually undermine even the best political intentions. In much the same way that Napoleon used the dogs - and Squealer - to control animals, Stalin used the KGB and cleverly worded lies (called
"propaganda") to control his people.

Squealer: This pig is an extremely persuasive speaker. Squealer convinces all animals to follow the revolution; "he could turn black into white." Squealer is believed to represent Stalin's propaganda machine. Many identify Squealer with Pravda, the Russian newspaper of the 1930's.

Pigs: Orwell has chosen the pigs to represent the Communist Party loyalists. In the early years of the revolution they were concerned with the welfare of the common workers; as time passed, however, they began to take advantage of their role as leaders. By film's end, the ideals of the revolution have been sacrificed, and the pigs are indistinguishable from the farm's original masters.

Dogs: The dogs constitute the pigs' private army; the pigs used the dogs to maintain a climate of terror which silenced all opposition to their rule. The

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