• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In his novel Animal Farm, Orwell satirises the way in which power corrupts and he uses events in Russian history after the 1917 Russian Revolution to demonstrate this.

Extracts from this document...


By writing an allegory of Russian history, Orwell makes clear the importance he places on history and how it is recorded. In his novel Animal Farm, Orwell satirises the way in which power corrupts and he uses events in Russian history after the 1917 Russian Revolution to demonstrate this. He shows how the pigs are corrupted by power in the same way that Stalin and the communist regime were. He structures his novel around events in history and uses characters, events and motifs to symbolise historical figures, incidents and symbols. In this way the attack on Animal Farm by Frederick symbolises the German attack on Russia after its anti-aggression pact; Squealer symbolises propaganda; and the green Animal Farm flag represents the Communist Red Banner. ...read more.


Orwell shows us the way that those in power (in this case the pigs) use their superior intellect and linguistic ability to rewrite history, just as, he believed, totalitarian governments did. Later, when we witness the gradual erosion of commandments, we see the way in which history continues to be rewritten. The first commandment to change is the Fourth Commandment; when the pigs take up residence in the farm house and sleep in beds, this becomes ?No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets?, and despite Clover and the rest of the animals? reservations, they are made to believe that they have faulty memories as a result of Squealer?s use of fear (Mr Jones and the dogs) ...read more.


By the end of the novel, most of the original animals have died and only Clover and Benjamin remain, but Orwell makes clear for us that the animals ?could not remember? whether things had been better or worse directly after the Rebellion. He demonstrates the way in which collective memory is eroded. By using the barn?s wall as a symbol of collective memory on which the original principles of Animalism ? its Seven Commandments ? are inscribed, Orwell is able to show the way in which memory is removed. The fact that the pigs alter these, progressively eroding them all until only the Seventh Commandment, substantially changed, remains, shows the way that history is forgotten and altered. He makes comments about the way in which those who hold power in the present control not only the present but the past and future too. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Animal Farm section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Animal Farm essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Animal Farm - Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

    4 star(s)

    These examples enforce this argument far more powerfully, the most prominent of them being below. "He read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran: "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS."

  2. Peer reviewed

    How does Orwell's novel - 'Animal Farm' reflect events that happened during the russian ...

    4 star(s)

    The pigs admitted to the crimes, and this I don't understand, maybe they thought that if they confessed and helped Napoleon he would spare their lives, but that is where those poor, naive pigs were wrong, dead wrong. The last similarity is between the people of Russia and the animals of Animal Farm.

  1. "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".

    It was because of two things: 1) Napoleon had the dogs that he educated since birth (and practically brainwashed to safeguard himself) that distributed justice as he saw fit (Snowball's exile). 2) None of the animals wanted to go back to the way of Jones which Squealer kept threatening would happen if they didn't obey Napoleon's commands at all times.

  2. Compare and contrast the themes of revolution in Animal Farm by George Orwell and ...

    Both authors might also be trying to show that you must do something that you believe in. both of these characters are brave, courageous, organised and very communist. They both want freedom for their fellow friends. Both of the characters are hardly different.

  1. Comparison between the Satirical Methods wthich Swift uses in Gulliver's Travel and Orwell uses ...

    He therefore has to keep referring back to English customs by sarcastically (and in my opinion rather blatantly) insisting that they are very different from those back home: "There are some laws and customs in this Empire very peculiar, and if they were not so directly contrary to those of

  2. An analysis of Eric Arthur Blairs writing

    There is a kind of tension in Animal Farm between the sad story the author has to tell and the lucid, almost light way he tells it. This is very ironic, because the content of the story is very different from the style.

  1. 'Jane Eyre and Animal Farm' - Abuse of power.

    Mr Brocklehurst at this point becomes an acutely hated character of Jane Eyre as he victimises the girls for having done nothing more than being girls and orphans. Once again we are able to witness how religion has been manipulated or distorted in order to excuse his actions.

  2. Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. Discuss in relation to "Animal Farm".

    In short, he explains that men have been taking advantage of them for years, and that it is time for the tyranny of man to end. His message, boiled down to a word: "Rebellion." What Orwell actually gives us through old Major?s speech is a simplified version of the beliefs

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work