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Animal Farm in the Context of George Orwell Essay


Orwell began to write Animal Farm at the end of 1943, during this time he was also writing some other books that were based on the same theme as Animal Farm. This book was based on the Russian revolution during the early 1900s. Orwell had lived during the time of the revolution and based a lot of the story on his life and the way it was effected. Therefore there are many similarities between Orwell and Animal Farm; these included the political background of the story, the characteristic of the animals, and the loyal and hard working Boxer.

The first similarity between Animal Farm and Orwell was the political background of the story. Orwell was part of an anarchist group called the Workers Party of Marxist Unification who wanted to end centralized government and replace it with an individuals governing themselves (Greenhaven Press 19). This was also true in the story Animal Farm, in which Orwell told the story of how the animals overthrew the central government. In the story of Animal Farm, the central government was farmer Jones who was a mean and cruel man that gave just enough food to keep the animals alive to do their jobs. This in turn would give the animals a reason to rebel. The main portion of the story was devoted to the rise of a government that was run by the animals in accordance to the way they thought things should be ran (20-21).

The second similarity between Animal Farm and Orwell was the basis for the characteristic of the animals. Orwell was very familiar with the way things were run in Russia during the revolution. Orwell based many of his characters in Animal Farm on different leaders in Russia during the revolution. One of these characters was Snowball. Snowballs character was based on one of the Russian leaders Trotsky. Like Trotsky, Snowball was a planner. Snowball was the leader of the revolution and accounted for the victories won, by the animals against the humans. Napoleon was another one of Orwells characters that was based on a Russian leader (23). Napoleon was portrayed as the Russian leader Stalin. Stalin was part of the Russian Revolution but was more of a talker and less of an action man. Like Stalin, Napoleon would get rid of anyone that would stand in his way, this included Snowball who was banished from the farm never to return(Orwell 49-51).

The third similarity between Animal Farm and Orwell is the loyal and hard working horse Boxer. Orwell represents Boxer as the common working class in a totalitarian government. He is the one that is expected to do all of the hard work with little in return (103). Boxer had a blind loyalty to the cause of the revolution, as he can see the corruption going on around him but does nothing about it. His loyalty to Napoleon is evident in the fact that he never questions his orders. Orwell is also a hard worker that spends most of his time writing books or fighting for a better system of government. Orwell loses a lot of his ambitions after his wife dies, but still manages to write the book 1984. Boxer eventually wears himself out and bursts one of his lungs after pulling a cart full of stones, and in the same sense, Orwell works on until the end of his life, dying from severe hemorrhaging in one of his lungs (111-117).

The Political background of the story, the characteristics of the animals, and the loyal and hardworking Boxer, are some of the similaritys between Animal Farm and Orwell. Orwell uses his own personal views in his story to indicate the kind of life he lived and tries to show us the way he thinks the world should be run.

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