Animal Farm by George Orwell
eorge Orwell’s Animal Farm is a satire∗ on the Russian revolution, and therefore the novel is full of symbolism. Orwell associates certain real characters with the characters of the book. For example snowball, who portrays Leon Trotsky and Napoleon who portrays Joseph, represent the two leaders of the revolution.
Orwell uses the pigs to surround and support Napoleon. They symbolise the communist party loyalists and the friends of Stalin, as well as perhaps the Duma, or Russian parliament. The pigs, unlike other animals, live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the society they help to control. Orwell, who criticised Marx’s over-simplified view of a socialist, “utopian” society, expresses the inequality and true hypocrisy of communism here. Obviously George Orwell doesn't believe such a society can exist. Toward the end of the book, George Orwell emphasises, "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer except, of course, the pigs and the dogs."
Orwell very cleverly uses the name Boxer as a metaphor for the Boxer Rebellion in China in the early twentieth century. It was this rebellion which signalled the beginning of communism in red China. This communism, much like the distorted Stalin view of socialism, is still present today in the oppressive social government in China. Boxer and Clover are used by Orwell to represent the proletariat, or unskilled labour class in Russian society. This lower class is naturally drawn to Stalin (Napoleon) because it seems as though they will benefit most from his new system. Since Boxer and the other low animals are not accustomed to the "good life," they can't really compare Napoleon's government to the life they had before under the Czars (Jones). Also, since usually the lowest class has the lowest intelligence, it is not difficult to persuade them into thinking they are getting a good deal. The proletariat is also quite good at convincing each other that communism is a good idea. Orwell supports this contention when he narrates, their most faithful disciples were the two carthorses, Boxer and Clover. Those two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers, they absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments. Later, the importance of the proletariat is shown when Boxer suddenly falls and there is suddenly a drastic decrease in work productivity. But still he is taken for granted by the pigs, who send him away in a glue truck.