All of the characters in Animal farm have counterparts in real life. This book was based on the Russian Revolution, and all the important populace of the revolution are symbolized. Some of the animals represent individuals in the Russian Revolution, and some types of animals represent different types of Russian citizens. The book carries out much like the actual revolution. It starts out with hopes of an empire where all are equal and the unfair unjust leader is thrown out. Then it moves on to where some individuals begin to take more power than is rightfully theirs.
At the end the rulers have completely taken over and the kingdom is as it was under the original rulers. I will compare the animals from top of the social class to the bottom. At the top were the pigs. Each pig represented someone different in the revolution. Old Major is compared to Lenin. He was an ideologist who dreamed up a wonderful government where all the animals were equal and the humans, or the czars, were pushed out. Unfortunately his dream would never materialize. Then we are left with his predecessors. The first is Snowball. Snowball believed one hundred percent in Old Majors ideals.
He wanted all the things Old Major wanted, such as the welfare of the animals. In the Russian Revolution his counterpart would be Trotsky. Trotsky believed and wanted the same things as Lenin, and wanted to continue what Lenin had started. Then comes Napoleon. Napoleon was selfish and greedy. He did not want to share the power or the decision making with any other individual. This was the same for Stalin. At first Napoleon and Snowball shared the decision making and had debates about what course of action they would take. This worked for awhile. Then Napoleon grew weary of long debates, and he thought he could make the decision by himself.
He then forced Snowball out of the farm and started to spread lies about Snowball to get the entire farm against him. Stalin did the same thing against Trotsky and forced Trotsky into hiding into Mexico, where he was eventually assassinated. Both Stalin and Napoleon ruined any hopes of equal and fare government and instead set up dictatorships. Then comes the final important pig, Squealer. Squealer did not make the decisions in the government but acted more like the controlled media as in the Russian government. His job was to influence the people by exaggerating and re-writing history and sometimes telling plain lies all together.
The people would listen to him, and he would always listen to Napoleon. Other animals were the worker class type citizens. The types of citizens range from hard working to selfish and lazy. Molly, for instance, only cared about her ribbons, and wasn’t much of a thinker. All she wanted to do was eat sugar, and look pretty. Benjamin was a critic who always said “I’ve seen that before” and “It’ll never work. ” The cat was just plain lazy, and was always disappearing whenever work had to be done. The ducks were weak and did not get much done. Then there were other donkey’s which worked much harder and never thought of their own needs.
The pigeons acted as message carriers spreading propaganda between farms, spreading Napoleon’s words from farm to farm, or in the actual Russian Revolution, country to country. Although all these animals are very different, they all shared one common trait. They were all weak. They all let Napoleon take over without much resistance. Just like Stalin took over Russia. These animals were too weak, too scared, or just lacked the intelligence required to do something about it. This is where it is the fault of the people. They should have stood up to Napoleon for what they fought for in the first place.
The people must stand up to those who would destroy the system or else all is lost. I think that this story was a good representation of the actual Russian Revolution. But it is even more than that. It shows how people can let certain individuals get away with anything just because they do not feel like standing up to them. If you tried, this story could also be compared to other times in history when the people let dictatorships form in their own country. I enjoyed this book a lot but I do not think that it should be just compared to the Russian Revolution.