The Utopian Vision Of Trotsky And Stalin In Animal Farm

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“The definition of Utopia is “no place.” A Utopia is an ideal society in which the social, political, and economic evils afflicting humankind have been wiped out.” (William Anderson) George Orwell’s Animal Farm depicts a society that is in pursuit of such a world but fails due to the manipulative actions of a single individual. Napoleon successfully convinced the animals into thinking that they were striving towards that utopian ideal when a true utopia was never his intent. Napoleon desired absolute power, and his actions only served to perpetuate the oppressive lifestyle the animals had been attempting to leave behind.

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Manor Farm was an unjustifiable and cruel environment for the animals. The animals desired equality and prosperity; this was unachievable considering who was in charge at the time. “Mr. Jones was the embodiment of a tyranny in which the animals rebled.” (Daniel Moran) The only superior with prudence was Old Major, “A wise and persuasive pig, old Major inspires the rebellion with his rhetorical skill and ability to get the other animals to share his indignation.” (Daniel Moran) Old major gave the animals hope and guidance to their utopian ideal. The animals were able to have a strong alliance with one another while reassuring “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Old Major had taught the animals: “The Beasts of England” the song that empowered the animals to focus on the rebellion goals while ignoring the suffering along the way.

Snowball had won the loyalty of the animals with his righteous qualities, along with Napoleon and Squealer. Snowball desired a utopia for the animals rather than abusing his power to pursuit villainous actions which Napoleon had transpired later in the novel. Snowball, Squealer and Napoleon had created the seven commandments as rules to help achieve the utopia the animals wanted. With Snowball guiding the animals to their ideal utopia, he brims with ideas on how to improve the environment on the farm. The initial action was to build the windmill to benefit all the animals on the farm. Not only would this give the animals electricity, but it would also automate many farming tasks and bring new comforts to the animal’s lives which Snowball coveted. The animals renamed the farm “Animal Farm.” The new name symbolizes the freedom the animals now have; knowing Mr. Jones is now gone and their new leader was then guiding the animals to their utopian ideal. Napoleon knew Snowball would challenge him when he became self-seeking and egocentric, which made it difficult for Napoleon to possess the power he so eagerly wanted. Snowball constitutes Leon Trotsky who opposed decision-making from Joseph Stalin (who Napoleon represents) which resulted in Trotsky “being banished from the USSR forever by Stalin.” (History.com Editors) Orwell incorporates these characters that depict the political leaders during the Russian Revolution while making it into a fairy-tale. Like Snowball, Leon Trotsky aimed for a utopian ideal, “Against Stalin’s stated policies, Trotsky called for a continuing world revolution that would inevitably result in the dismantling of the Soviet state.” (History.com Editors)

In chapter three, Napoleon takes nine puppies while training them to protect and obey Napoleon as their master. Like when “Stalin indoctrinated and brainwashed people into believing in his communist ideology, and his superiority.” (SAHO) With those puppies Napoleon had brainwashed, Napoleon calls out for his dogs during a speech Snowball was giving. The dogs attacked Snowball while chasing him off the farm. Napoleon states that Snowball was continuing Mr. Jones’s work and Snowball was always in support of Mr. Jones. Napoleon’s plan of saturating the animal’s minds with propaganda leads the animals to believe Napoleon was now going to guide them to their utopia. Napoleon continued to use the military force of his nine loyal guard dogs to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power. Squealer would justify Napoleon’s actions to the other animals by concealing the truth and using the fear the animals had to manipulate them. “Orwell shows Old Major ideas of a Utopia vanish by having Napoleon emerge as a tyrant leader and shows that he is power-hungry from the start.” (William Anderson) The seven commandments were a sign of encouragement that if all the animals obey the commandments, they will be gifted their utopia. However, Napoleon and the other pigs began to break those commandments by engaging with humans, discriminating against animals, wearing clothing, sleeping in beds, drinking alcohol, killing other animals, and establishing superiority and privilege on the farm. It is evident Napoleon never desired a utopia, he demanded power, money, food, and special privileges, this corresponds to Stalin as well, knowing he wanted to create laws to benefit himself, as well as expanding communism beyond the Soviet Union to secure his position in world affairs. Napoleon developed a cult of a personality while altering the history of the farm and amends the ethics of animalism to marshal his self-serving policies. The animals dreaded living on the farm considering Napoleon publicly executed dissenters. As the utopia idea slowly fades Napoleon uses Snowball to blame for all his problems. When the windmill is first destroyed, he explains: “Comrades, do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? Snowball!!” (p.72) Napoleon was able to maintain his power by dispersing effective propaganda, bending the rules, and manipulating the animals. The animals lost complete sense of a Utopia when their leader had walked on his hind legs, exemplifying a human. They had realized that nothing Napoleon did was for the farm or the animals, it was for himself. Napoleon had become human. “Powerful people are cruel and selfish whether they’re pigs or humans, Communists or capitalists.” (SparkNotes Editors)

Orwell perpetuated the desire the animals had to strive for a utopia in depth. Orwell made it evident which animals cherished the idea of a utopia, and which animals didn’t. This novel not only displayed the utopian vision in a fairy-tale, but it brought real-life historical figures and events to transpire the message more effectively. The animals were victims of propaganda and manipulation from their leader, Napoleon only truly desired power and authority over the animals. Once all the power was absorbed by Napoleon, he became numb to the idea of a utopia because all Napoleon strived for was power and privilege for himself. Napoleon gained pleasure seeing the animals do his dirty work and obey his laws, which only benefited him. Orwell’s message from the early nineteen- hundreds are still relevant to this day and will be far along in the future. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

07 July 2022

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