Napoleon as Stalin Jeffrey Leung English Mr. Nicholson December 10,

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Napoleon as Stalin Jeffrey Leung English Mr. Nicholson December 10, 1999 George Orwell is a talented author of many books. Books that he has written include 1984, Down and Out in Paris and London, Animal Farm and Burmese Days. Orwell enjoys touching on political issues, which are controversial in society. An example of this would be Animal Farm, a political allegory on the Russian Revolution. Each major character in Animal Farm represents the major player of the revolution. One such character would be Napoleon, who symbolizes Josef Stalin in the Russian Revolution.

One of the reasons that Napoleon represented Stalin was the similar characteristics and situations between them and their main adversary. Napoleon was thought of as a stubborn pig, whose intelligence was inferior when compared to Snowball. “Snowball was a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive…” (Orwell, 9). Similarly in the Russian Revolution, Stalin was less resourceful and not as experienced as Trotsky was.

He looked upon Stalin’s “aspirations to be number one to be laughable because he had no real training or talent to back them up” (Antonov-Ovseyenko, 25).

In Animal Farm, Napoleon had a hatred for his comrade Snowball. In the Russian Revolution, a similar feud was boiling up between Stalin and Trotsky. Napoleon and Snowball were in constant argument. “… these two disagreed at every point where disagreement was possible.” (Orwell, 31). The argument that stood out the most was the building of the windmill. Napoleon disliked the fact that Snowball was more popular among the animals so he wanted to get rid of Snowball and be the sole ruler of Animal Farm. He deliberately objected to the building of the windmill even though he knew it was a good idea and used it as an excuse to kick Snowball off the farm. “He declared himself against the windmill from the start” (Orwell, 33). Later on, “Napoleon announced that the windmill was to be built after all” (Orwell, 38).

Likewise, Stalin was not pleased with Trotsky’s popularity, especially when Lenin proposed that Trotsky should be his successor. Stalin opposed to Trotsky’s 5-year plan to industrialize Russia even though it was a good idea. Stalin called the idea “capitulationist” and used it “as a basis for physical reprisals against them” (Antonov-Ovseyenko, 70). Stalin exiled Trotsky and later on adopted the 5-year plan upon Russia like Napoleon building the windmill after kicking Snowball of the farm in Animal Farm. “In 1927 he shifted toward the earlier proposals of Trotsky, giving absolute priority to industry over agriculture” (Antonov-Ovseyenko, 69).

Another similarity between Napoleon and Stalin would be their cruelty and brutality towards those who had entrusted them with their lives. The most obvious exhibitions of cruelty, which was done by both dictators, were the mass murders and trial shows and executions. Napoleon had established complete control over the farm and wanted to keep it that way. He thought that by intimidating the animals he would have even more control over the animals, so he showed them what would happen if they disobeyed. Napoleon ordered a mass murdering of animals who were forced to admit to being disloyal to him. “The four pigs waited, trembling, with guilt written on every line of their countenances. Napoleon called upon them to confess their crimes… When they had finished their confession the dogs promptly tore their throats out” (Orwell, 56). A second incident occurred when Napoleon demanded that all disloyal animals come forward to confess disloyalty. The hens who had rebelled over the eggs stepped forward and suffered the same fate. “The three hens who had been leaders in the attempted rebellion over the eggs now came forward and confessed to being disloyal. They too were slaughtered. “(Orwell, 56).

Just as these cruel acts occurred in Animal Farm the same happened in Russia. Stalin exposed everyone that defied him and killed them. These were also examples to teach the public not to disobey him. If they did, they would suffer the same fate. He not only tricked them but also imposed them by force to admit to being disloyal. “Endless horror started in when the GPU announced that it had discovered a plot involving engineers and foreign spies… there were fifty-five arrests and almost as many confessions when the accused were put on public trial…” (Jonge, 239) Another similarity in the cruelty of the dictators was the use of workforce in their respective fields. Napoleon used a “volunteer program” to enforce more work to be done by the animals when the building of the windmill commenced. However the “volunteer” part of this program was in fact involuntary because if the animals did not work on Sunday, their rations would be cut in half. Therefore, in order not to go hungry, they had to take part in the “volunteer program”. “This work is strictly voluntary, but any animal who is absented himself from it would have his rations reduced by half.” (Orwell, 40). Similarly in Russia, Stalin also needed lots of workers to make “his” 5-year plan work. Many peasants who worked on the farms were shipped out of their homes and into towns where the factories were located. “It was as if Stalin had turned the Soviet Union into a company town in which the company was ruthless in its treatment of personnel, but in which the rewards would be colossal” (Jonge, 514).

Both Napoleon and Stalin used many types of tools to keep a tight grip on their people and to create fear in their minds, which made both of them even more powerful. One of the main tools that Napoleon used was a talkative pig called Squealer. He “was a brilliant talker… the others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white” (Orwell, 9). Napoleon used Squealer to explain any actions that went against the philosophies of Animalism and to remind them that they were free from being enslaved by Jones. He also used Squealer to articulate words which portrayed him as a friend and leader who looked after his fellow animals’ needs. “The enemy was in occupation of this very ground that we stand upon. And now – thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon – we have won every inch of it back again! [Squealer]” (Orwell, 71). One of the most powerful forms of propaganda, which was used by all animals, was the term comrade, particularly those of hierarchy. The term comrade is defined as, “a close friend; fellow worker”. Napoleon was also called comrade to show that he was not better then any of the other animals. “Our leader, comrade Napoleon…” (Orwell, 55). This was to show that everybody was equal when in fact the pigs had more power and were considered a superior animal. Likewise, Stalin had a very powerful propaganda department. It was used primarily as a tool to show the people the goodness that had come out of the revolution “Stalin orchestrated a huge publicity campaign and celebrations when the new Constitution was promulgated in December.” (Hughes and Welfare, 121) Just like Napoleon, Stalin also used the word comrade as a form of propaganda to make people believe that they were all equal. He too was called Comrade Stalin, “Comrade Koba…” (Antonov-Ovseyenko, 20) And so, it is because of the similar feuds with their main rivals, the closeness in their acts of cruelty and the similar use of propaganda by both individuals that proves that Napoleon of Animal Farm symbolizes Stalin of the Russian Revolution. Orwell wrote an allegory – Animal Farm – to reveal how Stalin treated his people and the faults in a communist society. He was trying to show his readers that because of people like Napoleon/Stalin that the ideology of communism is a myth and will always remain just a myth.