Animal Farm/Russian Revolution
A timeline recording the events of Animal Farm, linking them to the Russian Revolution.
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The main thing leading up to the rebellion was the poor treatment of Mr. Jones. He was ignorant to the animals’ needs, and never took care of what needed to be done. This was the same as Czar Nicholas, who ruled Russia. He lived in luxury while his people starved to death.
In the beginning of the book, Old Major called the animals together for a speech. He told them about rising up against man, and he told them about his idea, Animalism. This relates to Karl Marx’s book, “Communist Manifesto.”
The animals had been left with no food for too long. They crowded together, kicked down the fence, went to the food supply, and rebelled. This represents the October Revolution of 1917. The Russian people were sick and tired of Czar Nicholas’s rule, and revolted against him.
Once Jones was gone, the pigs revealed they had been learning to read and write. They went out and wrote the Seven Commandments on the barn wall outside. Though nobody was technically named leader, the pigs naturally emerged as in charge. This happened after the October Revolution. The Bolsheviks emerged as the leaders after the revolution.
After the Seven Commandments had been painted on the barn wall, Snowball went out to the entrance and changed the farm’s name from Manor Farm to Animal Farm. The signifies the changing of Russia’s name to the Russian Soviet Republic.
Old Major died a couple weeks after his speech. After the rebellion, the race for power was between Snowball and Napoleon. This represents Vladamir Lenin’s death. After Lenin died, the struggle for power was between Trotsky and Stalin.
*Old Major actually died BEFORE the rebellion in the book.
Napoleon chased Snowball out with his dogs, who represented Stalin’s KGB. Though Trotsky (represented by Snowball) was not exiled when the KGB was around, he was exiled by Stalin. His exile was signified when Snowball was chased off of Animal Farm.
Napoleon felt like he needed to get rid of all of Snowball’s friends as followers, same as Stalin felt about Trotsky’s. So Napoleon rounded up all the animals and forced certain animals to confess to terrible crimes. Then they were killed. Stalin didn’t round up all of Trotsky’s followers, so there is not a specific date in which he killed them.
Snowball and Napoleon knew that Jones and his men would try to get the farm back- and they did. This battle that occured between the animals and the men relates to the time when the White Russian, (ex-czar Nicholas’s followers) tried to get Russia back.
Mollie the horse ran away because she wanted her ribbons and sugar cubes, but could not get them now that Jones was gone. This signifies the time when Russia’s wealthy class left, because now they were taxed heavily to make it fair for the poor people with no jobs.
because the food supply was low, Napoleon sold a pile of timber to one of the neighboring farmers. This represents the Non-Agression Pact, a peace treaty, between Stalin and Hitler.
After Napoleon sold the pile of timber to Frederick (Hitler and Stalin’s Non-Agression Pact), he, along with the rest of the farm animals, believed themselves to be very rich. But later, Napoleon discovered that the bills used to pay him were forgeries! This signifies when Hitler backstabbed Stalin.
Napoleon needed control, but he couldn’t get it until Snowball was gone. So he took Jessie’s pups, and raised them as his own. Once they were full-grown, they were vicious, blood-thirsty animals. They were the same as Joseph Stalin’s Secret Police: they did everything he asked, no matter how cruel.
Food supplies went down, the animals were starving except for the pigs, and still they were told they were doing better than in Jones’s time. Orwell saw this in Russia when Stalin’s five year plan failed. Because Joseph Stalin had concentrated so ignorantly on weapons and industrial power, crops all over were making way for factories and industrial power. People all across Russia were starving.