Napoleon and Stalin

9 September 2016

What readers may not realize is the resemblance of this character’s qualities and those of Joseph Stalin during the Russian Revolution. These similarities and how writer George Orwell expresses them will be discussed in this paper. Animal Farm is an allegory using the character Napoleon to represent Joseph Stalin. To begin, both figures shared the same historical background and rose to power in a parallel manner.

Birth and Bring up From birth they carried the same memories from being a ‘peasant-class’ which meant for poverty and starvation for both parties. Under the totalitarian figures such as Czar Nicholas II of Russia and Mr. Jones of Manor farm, Stalin and Napoleon were subject to weeks of starvation, inapt support and were completely disregarded by these big-headed figures (Britannica, 2013). This was made evident on page 7 of the novel when Mr. Jones had not ‘bothered to feed the animals’ Napoleon inclusive.

Napoleon and Stalin Essay Example

However, they both rose from this situation through controlling their roles as politicians, regardless of how unimportant they seemed to be. For example, during their roles as General Secretary and Right-hand man (or pig), they both found their way to gain allies and supporters, be it other secretaries or even ‘nine sturdy puppies’ [P. 17] as both proved helpful for their rise to power (Britannica, 2013). As time went on, their defeat of other leaders and twists on truths to control citizens made this connection of character history and traits very clear (Britannica, 2013).

Rise and Leadership: Trotsky and Snowball, were both destroyed by Stalin and Napoleon in order to improve their own public images. In Stalin’s case, he had power over media and used this for propaganda and censorship in order for the people to agree with his pointless causes (Britannica, 2013). As for Napoleon, using Squealer he made the ‘necessary explanations’ [P. 14] to stay at the edge of the animals. These media cover-ups allowed Stalin and Napoleon to execute actions that sacrificed the masses in the expense of an undoubtedly successful development.

While the similarities are obvious, how Orwell chose to write them opened up new doors to understanding what these characters represent (source). Purpose and Significance There are two important character features in the novel that describe Stalin’s mirrored character: his animal and his name. Both of which are features that paint him in a negative way. Firstly, the fact that Napoleon is a pig should suggest personality features associated with this animal symbol (Schmoop, 2008).

The combination of this vigorous characteristic and the rest of his personality acts as an allegory for readers to understand Stalin’s true image, even with his actions towards Russia’s development. Secondly, calling the character Napoleon refers to the French Revolutionist and Military officer, Napoleon Bonapart (http://www. sparknotes. com/lit/animalfarm/). By using this sort of name readers are immediately reminded that Napoleon is a violent pig that only wants to expand his empire.

With this and the examples above he is illustrating Napoleon in such a way to easier understand the immorality of his character, or really Stalin, as a whole. In the Novel Animal Farm, Joseph Stalin was mirrored through the character Napoleon, a pig that is the leader of Animal Farm after Mr Jones was overthrown. During his rule of the USSR, Stalin was widely seen as a cruel leader who would eliminate anyone who got in his way, and millions of people who refused to cooperate with him were executed as a result (History. com, 1996).

Much like Stalin, Napoleon used violence against his people to control Animal Farm. One example of this can be seen when Napoleon trains the puppies not for their own education, but so that they could protect him and kill anyone who stands in his way. Moreover, after Snowball was chased off and banished from the farm, Napoleon had his dogs kill “the traitors who had leagued themselves with Snowball” (p61). Another trait of Joseph Stalin that can be seen in Napoleon is Napoleon turning against his own allies for his own benefit.

During the last years of Vladimir’s life, Joseph Stalin was a part of the three-man committee along with Grigori Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev. After Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin discredited Leon Trotsky, in order for himself to rise to power (Student resources in context, 1998). Following this task Joseph Stalin then turned on his two associates from the three-man committee. In the Novel, Napoleon turned on Snowball, a pig Orwell used to represent Leon Trotsky, and banished him from the farm after an argument on whether a windmill should be built.

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