Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Joseph Stalin, was a Russian Soviet Statesman and the leader the Soviet Union Communist Party. (Joseph Stalin. 1998). In George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, the author uses Napoleon, a common pig of animal farm, to portray Stalin as a Russian Dictator.
Joseph Stalin at the Age of 23.
Joseph Stalin, was born on December 18th, 1878, in the town of Gori, Georgia. (Britannica. 2013). He was the only child to survive infancy, and was born to an impoverished family. (Joseph Stalin. 2013). His father died when Stalin was 11, and his mother struggled to provide him with education. (Joseph Stalin. 1998). At the age of 16, Stalin received a scholarship to study at the Tbilisi Theological Seminary, where he was introduced to Marxism and Vladimir Lenin, a Russian Communist Revolutionary. (Joseph Stalin. 2003).
Following this incident, Stalin began to conduct rebellious acts in the school, leading to his expulsion in 1899. (2003). Stalin then worked as a clerk for the Tbilisi Observatory, where he joined the underground Russian Social Democrats Community Party in 1900. (2013). The group was later exposed, and the Russian Empire was divided into two groups - the Mensheviks (minority) and the Bolsheviks (majority). (Stalin, Joseph. n.d.). Stalin, believing in the Bolsheviks' policy, joined the Bolsheviks in 1903, led by Vladimir Lenin. (n.d.).
Roles in the Bolsheviks
Becoming "The Man of Steel" Between 1902 and 1913, while working for the Bolsheviks, Stalin was arrested and exiled to Siberia seven times for conducting revolutionary acts. (Britannica. 2013). It was at this point where Stalin (previously known as Iosif) addressed himself as ‘Stalin’, which was roughly translated as ‘the Man of Steel’. (Joseph Stalin. 2013). A research article written by George Clode suggested that Stalin used this to foster his “hard-lined image”. (2010). Stalin also believed it would conjure the image of a “'Big Brother' - a cold, calculating yet ultimately paranoid tyrant never seen [before].” (Joseph Stalin. 2003).
The October Revolution (1917)
Stalin and Lenin visiting the Petrograd Soviet
During the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin worked with Lenin and brought the Bolsheviks into power. As the editor of the Pravda, the official newspaper of the Soviet Union, Stalin was in charge of publishing news articles proclaiming the revolution. (Britannica. 2013).
After Lenin took control of the Petrograd Soviet, Stalin was appointed the People’s Commissar of Nationalities’ Affairs. (2013) He had the role of winning support over non-Russian Citizens in the Russian Empire, which would expand the Bolsheviks’ power. (Wikipedia. 2013). Stalin also planned escape routes and hiding spots to protect Lenin from possible threats during the revolution. (2013). With some effort, Stalin rose to become a member of the Bolsheviks Central Committee, where he worked alongside his soon-to-become rival, Leon Trotsky. (Britannica. 2013).
Russian Civil War (1917 - 1924)
The Russian Civil War
During the Russian Civil War, Trotsky led the Red Army into battles against the White Army between 1917 and 1924. (Wilde. 2013). Although Stalin was not directly involved in the battle, he was appointed the People's Commissar of the Workers' and Peasants' Inspection in 1919. (Wikipedia. 2013). His job was "to control every branch of the administration, from top to bottom, with a view to eliminating the two major faults, inefficiency and corruption.” (Deutscher. pp. 230 - 231). Upon his visit to Tsaritsyn in 1918, Stalin formed a Special Police force - a group of Bolshevik military leaders whom were loyal to Stalin. (PBS. n.d.). The group became Stalin’s key source of power, and supported him throughout his career. (n.d.).
In 1922, Stalin became General Secretary of the CPSU (Communist Party of Soviet Union). (Britannica. 2013). This role gave him more power in the party and “[provided] the power base for his dictatorship.” (2013). However, Lenin later criticized him in a letter, ordering Stalin to step down from his role. (ThinkQuest. n.d.). The letter was never publicized, and Stalin’s secretaryship was secured. (Britannica. 2013).
Defeating Trotsky and Becoming a Dictator
Stalin hosting meetings to team up against Trotsky
Following Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin and Trotsky became the two main contenders for his spot. Fearing that he will lose power as General Secretary, Stalin decided to remove Trotsky from the union. (ThinkQuest. n.d.). He “challenged many of Trotsky’s decisions”, and conflicted against him during meetings (n.d.). As opposed to Trotsky’s theory of a “Permanent Revolution”, Stalin stated his idea of “Socialism in One Country”, believing that revolutions amongst other countries will do no good. (Stalinism. 2013). He stated that a successful revolution could only be achieved by industrializing the economy and expanding the union’s military power. (Stalinism. 2013). As mentioned in a ThinkQuest article regarding Stalin and Trotsky’s rivalry:
“Trotsky was gathering a lot of support with his fluent and brilliant speeches while Stalin was scheming plots to defame his opponents and bring himself to power. Trotsky was skilled in areas of theories and policies, while Stalin was clearly lacking in these areas.” (n.d.).
To bring himself to power, Stalin cooperated with members of the USSR and his Special Police, pinpointing the flaws behind Trotsky’s decisions and his past as a Menshevik petitioner. (n.d.). They accused him of being a “newcomer” to the party and stated that he “clearly lacked experience”. (n.d.). Trotsky, defeated by Stalin, was exiled from the party and later assassinated in 1940. (Britannica. 2013).
Gaining total control of the Soviet Union, Stalin established a political system epitomized by its totalitarianism and dictatorship. (Joseph Stalin. 1998). Doing so gave Stalin absolute power over the USSR, allowing him to reform Soviet Russia as he pleased. (Britannica. 2013).
5 Year Plan
Propaganda poster regarding Stalin's 5 Year Plan
In 1928, Stalin established a new Economy Policy, known as the 5 Year Plan. (Stalin - The Five Years Plan. n.d.).The plan aimed to promote collectivization, and expand the output of trades. (ThinkQuest. n.d.). The plan enforced industrialization within the Soviet Union, emphasizing on the production of energy, agriculture and industrial goods. (n.d.). Working classed citizens, were forced to work collectively in the same land, which led to an increase in agricultural resources. (n.d.). On the other hand, a number of peasants (known as the Kulaks) rebelled against Stalin’s policy, which resulted in wars and conflict. (Stalin - The Five Years Plan. n.d.). Stalin was accused of burning villages, and killing workers unwilling to cooperate, leading to a period of famine and food shortage between 1932 and 1933. (n.d.). “By 1936, 89.6% of the peasantry were collectivized, but at the cost of at least ten million lives.” (Joseph Stalin. 1998).
On the other hand, According to research conducted by Tom Lansford, it showed that the plan "[increased] industrial production...by about 50 percent" (P. 64) and "electrical production alone increased by 133 percent." (P. 65). As a result, the 5 Year Plan was considered an "economic success". (Plenum. 1933).
Cult of Personality
To build up his power and control over the people, Stalin established a Cult of Personality - a method involving the use of mass media and propaganda to create a heroic, positive public image. (Britannica. 2013). The mass media, for example, "portrayed Stalin as a caring father figure, with the Soviet populace as his 'children'." (Gill. pp. 171). In 1935, Stalin also developed the phrase "Thank You Dear Comrade Stalin for a Happy Childhood!", which was showcased as a form of propaganda. (Wikipedia. 2013) The Soviet Union's National Anthem in particular, was changed so that it would mention Stalin’s name. (Hignett. n.d.).
Moscow Purge Trials
Stalin's Purge Trials
Following the 5 Year plan, Stalin established the Moscow Purge Trials in 1934. (Britannica. 2013). The trials were purposely publicized to bring a reign of terror in the community, aimed to maximize Stalin's political power. (2013). The trails developed measures to eliminate rivals and counterrevolutionaries whom aimed to bring Stalin down. Anybody who was suspected of being a counterrevolutionary was exiled, deported, or killed by his secret police. (2013). In 1936, 13 members from the union were accused for secretly working with Leon Trotsky, leading to their deaths. (Britannica. 2013). Although deaths decreased in 1939, statistics showed that the total number of death sentences which were made during this period ranged from 600,000 people to 1 million people. (Spartacus Educational. n.d.).
Adolf Hitler and the Tehran Conference
Stalin's Tehran Conference
Becoming increasingly concerned about Adolf Hitler’s rise in power, Stalin feared that the German dictator would cooperate with Britain and France in an attack to bring down the Soviet Union. (Joseph Stalin. 1998). Hence, in 1939, Stalin signed a Nonaggression Treaty with Hitler. (1998). However, Hitler betrayed him, and launched an attack on the Soviet Union in 1941. (1998).
Following this incident, Stalin re-emerged as a powerful military tactician in 1941, winning against the Nazi Troops during their invasion in Berlin. (1998). He was later awarded the title of “‘Generalissimus’, meaning ‘the very best general.’” ( 1998). Later, in a Tehran Conference (a strategy meeting) that took place between Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the three of them claimed to have discussed joint military strategies, and will continue to host meetings in the near future. (Wikipedia. 2013).
Tying it Back to the Novel - Napoleon
In context to the novel, Orwell bases Napoleon around Stalin’s role in the Soviet Union. The name “Napoleon”, for example, can be inferred as a method of building the pig’s powerful image in the story. Similar to Stalin’s title “the Man of Steel”, Orwell named the pig 'Napoleon' to boost his image in the farm. The name references the famous French Revolutionary, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821), who defeated many armies over most of continental Europe. (Britannica. 2013). He became the dictator and Emperor of France, and was especially famous for his military prowess and great political strength. (BBC. n.d.). Bonaparte's attributes are highlighted in Napoleon when he enforces dictatorship in the farm. (Orwell. P. 39). He led the animals to victory during Mr. Fredrick's attack, which can be compared to Bonaparte's military successes. (Chapter 8). The connection between the pig's name and Napoleon Bonaparte, highlights Napoleon’s towering character, and brings out his heroic, tyrannical image in the farm. The representative use of ‘Napoleon’ mirrors Stalin’s title ‘the Man of Steel’, which built up his hard-lined image and consolidated his power as a Russian Dictator.
On the other hand, Orwell's intention of naming the pig "Napoleon" also exposes Stalin's corrupt character. Although Napoleon Bonaparte was a man who had great military successes, his Napoleonic Wars caused many French troops to die, and led to an economic depression in numerous European countries. (Britannica. 2013). Bonaparte also enforced censorship of the press, and closed down press industries that were critical of his character and policies. (2013). Bonaparte, originally seen as a successful leader, used unjust methods to consolidate his power. From a reader's standpoint, Orwell used the pig's name to assimilate Stalin with Napoleon Bonaparte, showing how two great dictators became corrupted by power. By doing so, Orwell highlights the similarities between Stalin and Bonaparte's dictatorship, demonstrating how it leads to corruption.
Napoleon’s role in the Rebellion also parallels Stalin’s role in the October Revolution. In the novel, Napoleon supported Snowball in the Rebellion, and was considered his subordinate. In Chapter 2, Napoleon was described to have ‘led [the animals] back to the store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with two biscuits for each dog.” (Orwell. P. 13) He also opened the doors to the farmhouse, (P. 14) and provided the equipment for Snowball to write the Seven Commandments (P. 15). However, there was no mention of Napoleon leading the animals during the attack, unlike Snowball, who commanded the animals throughout the rebellion. (See more: Leon Trotsky). Through these examples, Orwell showed how Napoleon was treated as Snowball's inferior during the Rebellion. The roles he played were less outstanding compared to Snowball, creating a huge contrast between the two. By doing so, Orwell stresses Napoleon's disinterest to the revolution, of which is quite similar to Stalin. In the revolution, Stalin did not play a direct role in the revolution and only edited articles for the Pravda. As a result, Orwell builds a huge connection between the two characters, showing their unimportance at the start of the novel.
However, Orwell also uses this scene to criticize Stalin. Referring to the novel, Napoleon's passivity at the start of the novel contrasts his involvement towards the end. Readers looking back at this incident after reading the whole novel can see Napoleon's activeness in the farm after becoming a dictator. Following Snowball's exile, Napoleon establishes new policies and regimes, and brings about dictatorship to the farm. (Chapter 5) Although Napoleon was the leader of the farm towards the end of the story, Orwell did not focus on him in the October Revolution. Instead, he directed the attention on Snowball, and made Napoleon look like his inferior.Orwell illustrates how he does not want to help the animals attain their freedom in the Rebellion, and only contributes to the farm by establishing policies that would result in further consolidations of his power. By doing so, Orwell props up Stalin's passivity during the October Revolution in contrast to his roles as a Russian Dictator, highlighting his disinterest towards the revolution, and only aims to establish power for himself. His message is further emphasized during the Battle of Cowshed, a conflict that occurred not long after the Rebellion.
Battle of Cowshed
Following the October Revolution, Orwell further develops the connection between Napoleon and Stalin using the roles they played in the Battle of Cowshed and the Russian Civil War. In Chapter 4 of the novel, following the Rebellion, it was stated that “every day, Snowball and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose instructions were to mingle with the animals on neighbouring farms, [telling] them the story of the Rebellion and teach them the tune of ‘Beasts of England’.” (P. 24) Additionally, Napoleon was not involved in any of Snowball’s committees, stating that ‘the education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up’ and took nine puppies and said he would take care of them. (P. 22) On the day of the battle, there was no mention of Napoleon, and the focus was on Snowball, who was the military tactician of the farm. (Chapter 4) The pigeons that spread the news portrays Stalin's role of proclaiming the Bolshevik’s victory in the Pravda. The puppies Napoleon raised, is also analogous to Stalin's Special Police force. Napoleon's disinterest to Snowball's committees can be analogous towards Stalin's distant relationship with Trotsky's Red Army - the army that defeated the counterrevolutionaries during the Russian Civil War. Through this Orwell further brings out Napoleon's connection with Stalin, highlighting the similarities they have.
Similar to the Rebellion, Orwell further criticizes Stalin's corruptness by characterizing Napoleon in a unique manner. He describes Napoleon's dislike towards Snowball's committees, and his involvement with the puppies, further stressing his disregard towards the revolution and the other animals. From this, Orwell showed how Napoleon participated in the farm after he becames a dictator. His disinterest to Snowball's committees, and idea to train puppies to be his private police force, portrays his avoidance to fulfill the animals' ideals of peace and equality. The contrast Orwell illustrates between Napoleon's involvement at the beginning and end of the novel, can be seen as a form of exaggeration. By emphasizing Napoleon's passivity towards the revolution, Orwell highlights Napoleon's self-interest in power towards the end of the novel. Thus, Orwell reinforces Stalin's image as a selfish dictator that desires for power, criticizing him for caring only about his totalitarian regime.
The cunning schemes Napoleon used to attack Snowball also parallels Stalin. During Napoleon and Snowball's fight for power, Orwell described how “Snowball won over the majority with his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times.’ Napoleon was also found to have taught the sheep to interrupt Snowball’s speeches (P. 33 - 34), stating that “Snowball’s [schemes] would come to nothing, and seemed to be biding his time.” (P. 34) Towards the end of the chapter, he sends out his puppies to bite and abuse Snowball, leading to his exile. (P. 65) In this scenario, Napoleon’s method of gathering support parallels Stalin’s cunning schemes to bring Trotsky down. Orwell purposely placed these examples together, to bring out Napoleon’s devious plan to defeat Snowball and gain control of the farm. Similarly, Stalin accused Trotsky for lacking experience as a leader. He also teamed up with other members of the committee, gaining huge support and bringing Trotsky down. Orwell’s example of Napoleon and the sheep blatantly portrays aspects of this, which brings out both Stalin and Napoleon’s cunning character.
In this section of the novel, Orwell directed the readers' attention on Napoleon rather than Snowball. He focuses on Napoleon's side of the story, explicitly depicting his cunningness and outgoing character, which Orwell did not illustrate in previous chapters. Rather than outlining the discussions Napoleon and Snowball had, Orwell concentrates on Napoleon's actions and ideas. Additionally, unlike the actual conflict between Trotsky and Stalin, Orwell includes physical violence into the scene, describing the biting and growling the puppies make as they chase Snowball. As a result, Orwell exaggerates Napoleon's brutality and hostility to ridiculous extremes, making it more prominent in the novel. From this standpoint, Orwell brings out the brutality and mercilessness behind Stalin's dictatorship, exemplifying the crude methods he uses to consolidate his power, and the corruptness rooted behind it.
Napoleon’s ideas about the revolution has a huge relation to Stalin’s. As mentioned in the novel, Napoleon claims that the ‘animals must...procure firearms and train themselves in the use of them’ (P. 34), arguing that ‘the great need of the moment was to increase food production.’ (P. 33) In both cases, Orwell has managed to depict the idea behind Stalinism - the policies and ideology adopted by Stalin. This idea of increasing food production, for example, ties in with Stalin’s ideas for industrializing the Soviet Union, which promoted the output of resources, such as food, as mentioned in the novel. Napoleon’s idea of procuring firearms in particular, meant that the military power within the farm will be stronger, before the revolution was to expand to neighbouring farms. This was identical to Stalin’s idea of “Socialism in One Country”, which believed that military industries should expand before the revolution could progress.
Unlike previous cases where the author uses satire techniques to bring out his views towards Stalin, in this example, Orwell made Napoleon's ideas more clear and straightforward. He directly describes Napoleon's idea of training animals to use military arms, strengthening the readers' understanding of Stalin's theory "Socialism in One Country". The simple and straightforwardness in Orwell's writing provides readers with a clear idea of Stalin's motives, emphasizing its contradiction with Trotsky's idea of a "Permanent Revolution". By directly explaining both Snowball and Napoleon's ideas, Orwell emphasizes the contrariness between the two, stressing the rivalry between the two. As a result, readers begin to see a rising action occurring in a novel, leading up to the climax of the novel. Orwell provides a better understand towards Trotsky's exile, and reveals Stalin's deviousness in the process.
Cult of Personality
Stalin’s feats as a dictator have been outlined towards the end of the novel. An example of that, would be his Cult of Personality. After Snowball was exiled, Napoleon began to use slogans and other forms of propaganda to build his tyrannical image, giving himself the title ‘leader Napoleon', and established slogans such as ‘Napoleon is always right.’ (P. 40) Napoleon also made a poem dedicated to himself, titled Comrade Napoleon, which used examples of loaded words and glittering generalities to build up his fatherly image. (P. 63) Additionally, he was given other titles, such as ‘Father of all Animals, Terror of Mankind, Duckling’s Friend, Protector of the Sheepfold,’ (P. 62), which further strengthens his heroic image amongst the animal. This is somewhat identical to Stalin’s cult of personality, where he places is name within the Soviet National anthem, and creates propaganda slogans to win the people’s support.
Although Orwell has illustrated Napoleon's propaganda in a straightforward manner, he has also focused on the consequences behind Napoleon's actions. Boxer, a horse in Animal Farm, was forced to do manual labour, under the influence of Napoleon and his propaganda. Throughout most of the novel, Boxer repeated two phrases: "I will work harder" and "Napoleon is always right". (P. 41) Although the slogans successfully forced Boxer to work hard during the Windmill project, in chapter 9, he died as a result of overworking in the farm. (P. 84) Boxer's death, can be considered a result of Napoleon's propaganda and totalitarianism, demonstrating how it has affected the animals in a negative manner. Orwell intentionally placed this event, to stress how people were forced into doing tasks under Stalin's totalitarian regime. Boxer's death, in particular, is analogous towards the deaths of many civilians whom were influenced by Stalin's slogans and propaganda. By highlighting the consequences behind Stalin's cult, Orwell stressing how people's freedom are disintegrating as a result of Stalin's totalitarian regime.
In addition to the cult, Orwell used the windmill project to portray Stalin’s 5 Year Plan. The windmill, designed to increase food production, forced the animals to work like slaves. In time, the animals were said to suffer from famine, starvation and disease, with many of them ‘resorting to cannibalism and infanticide.’ (P. 50) Similarly, Stalin’s new economic policy, the 5 Year Plan, allowed massive industrialization, but caused famine and starvation to the many peasants and workers taking part in the project. The windmill Orwell used in particular, can be seen as the only innovative thing being built within the farm. This gives readers the idea that the windmill is symbolic towards the industrialization Napoleon was aiming to achieve, which directly links in with Stalin’s goals with his 5 Year Plan.
In this scene, Orwell purposely ignores the positive impacts of the windmill, and emphasizes upon the negative impacts it has caused. In the novel, there is no mention of how the windmill was used for food production and industrialization after it was complete. Instead, he only describes the animals' famine and labour during the project. Additionally, he mentions the incidents where Snowball and Mr. Fredrick attempts to destroy the windmill, highlighting the continuous suffering the animals' undergo to rebuild the windmill. Orwell intentionally represented the incident in such a way, to comment on the animals' ongoing suffering as they work, bringing out a depressing atmosphere. This example conveys the dramatic irony in Orwell's novel. Readers can clearly see how the animals are losing their freedom as the pigs increase the regulations in the farm. However, the animals do not notice this and continue to endure the workload. By doing so, the animals' suffering leaves a powerful impression in the readers' mind, and brings out the consequences behind Napoleon's methods of consolidating power. As a result, Orwell depicts the farm's unjust and Napoleon's ignorance towards the animals' suffering. Doing so, he emphasizes the flaws in Stalin's totalitarian regime, feeling as though Stalin has failed to create a "utopia" for the community.
Additionally, Orwell also used Napoleon's execution of animals to mirror Stalin's Purge Trials. After hearing about Snowball’s interference with the windmill project, Napoleon held a meeting and forced all the animals to confess their crimes. Four pigs were killed by Napoleon’s guard dogs, for being secretly ‘in touch with Snowball ever since his expulsion, and they had collaborated with him to destroy the windmill.’ (P. 56) Eventually, all the animals made their confessions, and ‘a pile of corpses [was] lying before Napoleon’s feet and the air was heavy with a strong smell of blood’ (P. 57) This killing was analogous towards Stalin’s Purge Trials in 1936, which ordered people within the Soviet Union to be trialled and possibly killed. The pigs in particular, could be depicted as the spies working for Trotsky to bring Stalin down, leading to his assassination.
In this scene, Orwell intentionally emphasized upon Napoleon's brutality. He describes of the pile of corpses as 'bloody' and 'smelly', portraying the brutality and mercilessness behind Napoleon's actions. At the start of the novel, Old Major's stated he dream of a utopia bringing about peace and equality. However, Napoleon failed to do so, and killed many of the farm animals instead. In the same chapter, Orwell described how the animals were "shaken and miserable...[over] the cruel retribution they had just witnessed" (P. 57). He focused on the animals' depression, rather than Napoleon's thoughts on his actions, highlighting the terror he has brought about. The pile of corpses Orwell describes, can be considered an exaggeration over Stalin's hostility during the trails, stressing the deaths of the many people that have occurred. By pointing out the bloodshed during the Purge Trials, Orwell demonstrates how the Soviet Union aimed to bring about a "utopia", but ended up killing over 70% of their own people. He projects the hostility behind Stalin's dictatorship, exemplifying the unjust and corruptness behind his methods of consolidating power.
As the scene progresses, Orwell also advocates Napoleon's ill-treatment towards the animals. In the novel, following the execution in the farm, Napoleon forced "four dogs [to guard] his bed at night", and forced a pig named Pinkeye to "[taste] all his food before he ate it, lest it should be poisoned." (P. 64) Orwell's description of Napoleon's actions not only reflected upon his insecurity, but also brought out his superiority over the animals in the farm. By gaining control over the farm, Napoleon treats the animals as his slaves, forcing them to risk their lives for him. The animals to not rebel against Napoleon, and do as they are told. Orwell uses this scenario to portray Stalin's feeling of superiority over the people, and how they have no say in the decision he makes. This scene exemplifies the dramatic irony behind Napoleon's decisions; Napoleon increases the policies to diminish the animals' freedom, but the animals are oblivious towards this fact. By including this scene into the novel, Orwell intentionally criticizes Stalin's ignorance over other peoples' personal freedom, pointing out the injustice behind his decisions, and how he has failed to address the peoples' needs.
Fight Between Pilkington and Fredrick
Towards the end of the novel, Orwell portrays aspects of Stalin’s relations with Hitler through Napoleon’s confronts with Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Fredrick, owners of farms neighbouring Animal Farm. In Chapter 8 of the novel, Napoleon was found selling timber to Mr. Pilkington, only to discover their friendly intentions were fake, and Napoleon was going to sell it to Mr. Fredrick instead. (P. 66) However, it was later noted that “Fredrick got the timber for nothing,” and Napoleon was deceived. (P. 68) These series of events link into Stalin’s meeting with Hitler. Although Stalin signed a Nonaggression Treaty to improve friendly relations, he was later deceived by Hitler and lost upon confronting him in battle.
The way Orwell portrays this scene conveys Napoleon's stupidity. In this case, he uses Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Fredrick to show how Napoleon was outsmarted. Napoleon, who felt proud of himself after deceiving Mr. Pilkington, embarrassed himself by giving away all the timber for free. Using two people to represent Hitler, Orwell portrays Hitler's great intelligence and cunningness to outmaneuver Stalin and by doing so, also characterizes Stalin as a simple minded person. As a result, he aims to criticize Stalin for his crude methods in attaining control of Soviet Russia. His stupidity to fall for Hitler's counterfeit shows how he fails to protect himself and Soviet Russia. Orwell uses this to criticize Stalin, and possibly dictators in general, for taking up the position to govern the country even though they are unfit to do so.
As George Orwell has mentioned, his main intention of writing Animal Farm was to comment on the flaws behind Stalin's totalitarian regime, criticizing his actions as a dictator. Through the eyes of a common pig, Orwell has successfully portrayed aspects of Stalin's life as a corrupted revolutionary. From the Rebellion to the fancy party with Mr. Pilkington, Orwell has used Napoleon to portray Stalin's career from the October Revolution down to the Tehran Conference in 1943. In particular, Orwell has selected various examples and illustrated them in a satiric manner, with the intention of bringing out Stalin's brutality and corruptness. By focusing on particular aspects of Stalin's historical feats, Orwell manages to bring out the negative impacts Stalin's governance has brought to the community. Although not all of the above examples have been written purposely to bring out this message, the examples Orwell has provided is more than enough to advocate his views upon Stalin's self-interest over power, and how it has impacted on the Russian Revolution. Nonetheless, Orwell has successfully created a strong connection between Napoleon and Stalin, providing an insight towards the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union in the process.
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