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Animal Farm

Animal Farm

by George Orwell

Animal Farm Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

The Characters

In a hurry? Here's the happy meal version:Old Major = Karl Marx, with a little bit of Vladimir Lenin thrown inSnowball = Leon TrotskyNapoleon = Josef Stalin, with a big fat allusion to, uh, Napoleo...

Old Major's Dream

Old Major's dream is a stand-in for Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto. Animal Farm opens with the news that old Major, "the prize Middle White boar" (1.2), has called a meeting to share a dream that...

The Fall of Mister Jones

The fall of Mister Jones represents the overthrow of Russia's Tsar Nicholas II.If you're looking for a stirring tale of the people—er, farm animals—fighting a nail-biting battle for their freed...

The Battle of the Cowshed

Battle of Cowshed is a stand-in for the Russian Civil War. The Civil War wasn't fought between the people and the tsar—because the tsar was already dead. It was fought between the Bolshevik Red A...

The Windmill

The windmill represents the decision about whether or not to expand communism.In the early 1920s, Lenin started to get sick—deathly sick. And that meant one communist party was about to need a le...

Napoleon's Initiative

Napoleon's initiative represents Stalin's Five-Year Plans. When Stalin took over the Soviet Union, he proposed the first of his Five-Year Plans. The goal? To rapidly industrialize the nation so tha...

The Hen Rebellion

Napoleon's response to the Hen Rebellion represents Stalin's Great Purge.About halfway through, Animal Farm takes a dark turn. The hens refuse to give up their eggs; Napoleon starves them; several...

Frederick's Scheming

Frederick's scheming represents Hitler's breaking of the non-aggression pact he signed with Stalin.When Napoleon is trying to decide what to do with his big pile of timber, he notices that Frederic...

Battle of the Windmill

The Battle of the Windmill represents World War II. Russia may have been on the winning side of World War II, but they lost huge numbers of citizens—up to 11 million soldiers in the war, and mayb...

Boxer's Death

Boxer's death is an allegory-within-an-allegory for Stalin's betrayal of the proletariat.The pigs betray the principles of the rebellion over and over again. Seriously, they're so much betrayal tha...

The Final Feast

The meeting between the pigs and humans at the end of Animal Farm alludes to the Tehran Conference of 1943 and the beginning of the Cold War. At the end of the novel, the animals peek through a far...
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