Snowball is a rival of Napoleon who contends for control of the farm after the rebellion.
Inspired by Leon Trotsky, Snowball is a passionate intellectual and is far more honest about his motives than Napoleon.
However, he is far from perfect and agrees in the uniting of the apples by the pigs.
This suggests that had Snowball triumphed the outlook for the animals would have been no better under his leadership than Napoleon’s.
Snowball wins the loyalty of most of the animals, but is driven out by Napoleon’s attack dogs (Trotsky was driven into exile in Mexico, where he was assassinated).
After his departure he is used as a scapegoat and blamed for everything that has gone wrong.
Snowball fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed.
However, after his departure, Squealer manages to convince the forgetful animals that Snowball was censured for cowardice.
Later on, he convinces them that Snowball was the leader of the human forces in the battle. Squealer serves as Napoleon’s public speaker.
Inspired by Vyacheslav Molotov and the Russian paper Pravda, Squealer twists and abuses the language to excuse, justify, and extol all of Napoleon’s actions.
In all of his work, George Orwell made it a point to show how politicians used language.
Squealer limits debate by complicating it, and he confuses and disorients, making claims that the pigs need the extra luxury they are taking in order to function properly, for example.
However, when questions persist, he usually uses the threat of Mr.
Jones’s return as justification for the pigs’ privileges. “If this doesn’t happen Jones will come back etc etc”.
Squealer uses statistics to convince the animals that life is getting better and better.
Most of the animals have only dim memories of life before the revolution so they are convinced. Minimus is a poetical pig who writes a song about Napoleon, representing admirers of Stalin both inside and outside the USSR such as Maxim Gorky. Old Major is based upon both Lenin and Marx — Old Major is the inspiration which fuels the rest of the book.
Though it is a positive image, Orwell does slip some flaws in Old Major, such as his admission that he has largely been free of the abuse the rest of the animals have suffered.
As a socialist, Orwell agreed with some of Karl Marx’s politics, and respected Vladimir Lenin.
However, the satire in Animal Farm is not of Marxism, or Lenin’s revolution, but of the corruption that occurred later.
Old Major not only represents Karl Marx in the allegory, but also the power of speech and how it can and was used to evoke and inspire people.
Old Major also represents the generation who were not content with the old regime and therefore inspired the younger generations to rebel against the regime under which they were living. Pinkeye is a small piglet who tastes Napoleon’s food for poisoning. Piglets are hinted to be the children of Napoleon (albeit not truly noted in the novel), and are the first generation of animals to actually be subjugated to his idea of animal inequality. Rebel Pigs are pigs who complain about Napoleon’s takeover of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed. Humans Mr.
Jones is the original owner of Manor Farm.
He is probably based on Czar Nicholas II.
There are also several implications that he represents an incompetent and autocratic capitalist. Mr.
Frederick is the tough owner of Pinchfield, a well-kept neighbouring farm.
He represents Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Mr.
Pilkington is the easy-going but crafty owner of Foxwood, a neighboring farm.
He represents the western powers, such as Britain and the U.S.
The card game at the very end of the novel is a metaphor for the Tehran Conference, where the parties flatter each other, all the while cheating at the game. Mr.
Whymper is a man hired by Napoleon to represent Animal Farm in human society.
He is loosely based on George Bernard Shaw who visited the U.S.S.R.
In 1931 and praised what he found. Other animals Boxer is one of the most popular characters.
Boxer is the tragic avatar of the working class, or proletariat: loyal, kind, dedicated, and strong.
He is not very clever and never progresses beyond the fourth letter of the alphabet.
His major flaw, however, is his blind trust in the leaders, and his inability to see corruption.
He is used and abused by the pigs more or less in the same manner as he was by Jones.
He fights bravely in the Battle of the Windmill and the Battle of the Cowshed but is upset when he thinks he has killed a stable lad.
His death serves to show just how far the pigs are willing to go — when he collapses after overstraining himself, the pigs supposedly send him to a vet, when in fact he was sent to the knacker’s yard to be slaughtered in exchange for a case of whiskey for the pigs.
A strong and loyal draft horse, Boxer played a huge part in keeping the Farm together prior to his death.
Boxer could also represent a Stakhanovite.
His name is a reference to the Boxer Rebellion.
His two mottos “I will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right” sum up the double side of his character. Clover is Boxer’s close friend and a draft horse.
She helped and cared for Boxer when he split his hoof.
She blames herself for forgetting the original Seven Commandments when Squealer revises them.
She represents the educated middle class people who acquiesce to the subversion of principles by the powerful.
Clover is kind and good as is shown when she protects the baby ducklings during Major’s speech.
She is also upset when animals are executed by the dogs. Mollie is a horse who likes wearing ribbons (which represent luxury) and being pampered by humans.
She represents upper-class people, the Bourgeoisie who fled from the U.S.S.R.
After the Russian Revolution.
Likewise, she quickly leaves for another farm and is not mentioned for the rest of the story. Benjamin is a donkey who is cynical about the revolution — and just about everything else.
In general, he represents the skeptical people in and out of Russia who believed that Communism would not help the people of Russia.
More specifically, he represents the Jewish population in Russia who were there before the Revolution and fully expected to be there after the Soviet Union fell (which they were). “None of you have ever seen a dead donkey” is a nicely allegorical way of expressing the Jewish community’s attitude towards changes in national politics.
His penchant for pessimism and occasional self-deprecation is also in keeping with Jewish forms of humor.
He is the wisest animal on the farm, and is able to “read as well as any pig”.
However, this is an ability he does not exercise until the end of the book. Moses is a tame raven who spreads stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, the “animal heaven.” These beliefs are denounced by the pigs.
Moses represents religion (specifically the Russian Orthodox Church), which has always been in conflict with Communism.
It is interesting to note that, while Moses initially leaves the farm after the rebellion, he later returns and is supported by the pigs.
This represents the cynical use of religion by the state to anaesthetise the minds of the masses.
Moses also shows some characteristics of Grigori Rasputin.
The acceptance of Moses by the pigs could be seen to represent Stalin’s relaxed attitude towards the Russian Orthodox Church during WWII, as the Church was a way to raise funds for the Russian war effort. Muriel is a goat who reads the edited commandments.
She may represent intelligent labour. Jessie and Bluebell are two dogs who give birth in HYPERLINK “http://www.netcharles.com/orwell/books/animalfarm-03.htm” Chapter III.
Their puppies are nurtured by Napoleon to inspire fear, representing the formation of the NKVD. The Hens represent the Kulaks, landed peasants persecuted by Stalin.
They had refused to give up their eggs, the way the Kulaks had strongly resisted surrendering their lands in the Soviet Union of the 1930s.
Napoleon promptly starved the hens to death — the exact same punishment Stalin had inflicted upon the Kulaks. The Dogs are Napoleon’s secret police and bodyguards (inspired by Cheka, NKVD, OGPU, MVD). The Sheep show the dumb animal following of the proletariat in the midst of the Russian Civil War, and the masses during Stalin’s reign. (“Four legs good, two legs bad!”). The Cat shows the unethical, silent rejections of the new order — unwilling to work, yet encouraging others to do so, and acting bravely in the face of threats, but disappearing when there is danger.
Some say the cat represents the flaws in Animalism or Communism. — Allusions to history, geography and current science The ousting of the humans after the farmers forget to feed the animals is an allusion to the Russian Revolution of 1917 that led to the removal of the Czar after a series of social upheavals and wars and ultimately resulted in famine and poverty. The refusal of the Humans to refer to Animal Farm by its new name (still calling it Manor Farm) may be indicative of the diplomatic limbo in which the Soviets existed following their early history. Mr.
Jones’ last ditch effort to re-take the farm (The Battle of the Cowshed) is analogous to the Russian Civil War in which the western capitalist governments sent soldiers to try to remove the Bolsheviks from power. Napoleon’s removal of Snowball is like Stalin’s removal of Leon Trotsky from power in 1927 and his subsequent expulsion and murder. Squealer constantly changing the commandments may refer to the constant line of adjustments to the Communist theory by the people in power.
Also, his lies to animals of past events they cannot remember refers to the revision of history texts to glorify Stalin during his regime. After Old Major dies, his skull is placed on display on a tree stump.
Similarly, Lenin’s embalmed body was put on display in Lenin’s Tomb in Red Square postmortem, where it still remains.
It should also be noted that the tomb of Karl Marx is adorned by an extremely huge bust of his likeness which lends more credibility to Old Major being a closer reference to Karl Marx than to Lenin.
Marx’s tomb is located in Highgate Cemetery, London. When Napoleon steals Snowball’s idea for a windmill, the windmill can be considered a symbol of the Soviet Five-Year Plans, a concept developed by Trotsky and adopted by Stalin, who, after banning Trotsky from the Soviet Union, claimed them to be his idea.
The failure of the windmill to generate the expected creature comforts and subsequent search for saboteurs is probably a reference to accusations and a show trial against British engineers who were working on electrification projects in the USSR. Moses the raven leaving the farm for a while and then returning is similar to the Russian Orthodox Church going underground and then being brought back to give the workers hope. Boxer’s motto, “Napoleon is always right” is strikingly similar to “Mussolini is always right,” a chant used to hail Benito Mussolini during his rule of Italy from 1922 to 1943. During the rise of Napoleon, he ordered the collection of all the hens’ eggs.
In an act of defiance, the hens destroyed their eggs rather than give them to Napoleon.
During Stalin’s collectivization period in the early 1930s, many Ukrainian peasants burned their crops and farms rather than handing them over to the government. Napoleon’s mass executions, of which many were unfair for the alleged crimes, is similar to Stalin executing his political enemies for various crimes after they were tortured and forced to falsify confessions. The four pigs that defy Napoleon’s will are comparable with the purged party members during the Great Purge — Bukharin, Rykov, Zinoviev, Kamenev and many others. Napoleon replaces the farm anthem “Beasts of England” with an inane composition by the pig poet Minimus (“Animal Farm, Animal Farm / Never through me / Shall thou come to harm”).
In 1943, Stalin replaced the old national anthem “the Internationale” with “the Hymn of the Soviet Union.” The old Internationale glorified the revolution and “the people.” The original version of the Hymn of the Soviet Union glorified Stalin so heavily that after his death in 1953, entire sections of the anthem had to be replaced or removed.
Orwell could have also been referring to Napoleon Bonaparte’s banning of the French national hymn, La Marseillaise in 1799. Napoleon works with Mr.
Frederick, who eventually betrays Animal Farm and destroys the windmill.
Though Animal Farm repels the human attack, many animals are wounded and killed.
This is similar to Stalin’s Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Nazi Germany in 1939, which was later betrayed in 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.
Though the Soviet Union won the war, it came at a tremendous price of roughly 8.5-15 million Soviet soldiers (unconfirmed) and many civilians, resulting in an incredible estimated 20 million dead, as well as the utter destruction of the Western Soviet Union and its prized collective farms that Stalin had created in the 1930s.
The detonation of the windmill and the battle that ensued there could also be a reference to the Battle of Stalingrad.
The selling of the farm’s excess timber supply could represent the offering of raw materials to the United States in exchange for weapons of war under the Lend-Lease. Napoleon’s later alliance with the humans is like Stalin’s non-aggression pact with Hitler in the early years of WWII. Napoleon changing Animal Farm back to Manor echos the Red Army’s name change from the “Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army” to the “Soviet Army” to appear as a more appealing and professional organization rather than an army of the common people. Squealer may be an allegory of the Soviet Newspaper in which Stalin often wrote many of the articles anonymously to give the impression the country was far better off than it was. The dogs may be an allegory to the NKVD (KGB), the elite police force who ruled by terror under Stalin’s hand. Boxer, in the allegory of the novel, directly relates to the working class who laboured under strenuous and exceedingly difficult conditions throughout the Communist regime with the hope that their work would result in a more prosperous life.
Boxer represents this clearly at points when he utters such quotes as “I will work harder” in response to any sort of difficulty.
In the context of the story, this also allows Boxer to become a tool of propaganda to be used by Napoleon and his regime later on once Boxer has been murdered to pay for a crate of whisky for the pigs. When Napoleon and Snowball argue about how Animal Farm should be ruled–Napoleon favored the harvest, Snowball favored getting other farms (countries) to rebel.
This is similar to Stalin wanting “Socialism in one country” and Trotsky’s theory of “Permanent Revolution.” The term “four legs good, two legs bad” could be symbolic for the simplification of the April theses, for workers to understand it better.
Read more about Pilkington is the easy-going but crafty owner of Foxwood, a neighboring farm: