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Old April 24th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #11

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Quote:
Originally Posted by okamido View Post
Since there was a seeming sympathy for Snowball, should we infer that Orwell had sympathy for Trotsky and his plan of permanent revolution?
Yes and no. Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War with the Trotskyist POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista. In Chapter V of Homage to Catalonia he declares that he was not interested in their politics. Initially, he says, he was opposed to their party line, and never joined their party. He only wound up in the POUM because he reached Barcelona with ILP papers. This is in agreement with what you can read about the
ILP_Contingent ILP_Contingent
. The members are listed, with Orwell listed as Eric Blair.


Here is an interesting discussion of Orwell and Trotsky-ism.

Not worth reading, but here is a Trotsky article. Note how he equates Stalinism and Fascism with Bonapartism. Bonapartism appears 27 times in the article not counting once in the title.

So, yes, Snowball gets sympathetic treatment in the part of Trotsky. Note that Trotsky was shouted down by Stalin supporters at the party meeting then driven out of Russia. Snowball was bleated down by the sheep in an exactly parallel way.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #12

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Just to add... what Orwell experienced in Spain during Spanish Civil War certainly change his life. From the preface of the book, Orwell was quoted "taught me how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries."
Orwell was very interested in propaganda and its effect on the masses. Not just propaganda, but also the bias of the press. That is what the original preface was about. But one of his collections of critical essays is also telling.
While we're talking about the preface, there is a comment in the Penguin introduction to the Ukranian preface that is interesting.

Quote:
The Ukrainian translation of Animal Farm was intended for Ukrainians living in the camps for Displaced Persons in Germany under British and American administration after World War II. These, as indicated in a letter from the man who organised the translation and distribution, Ihor Szewczenko [Igor Shevchenko], were people who supported the October Revolution and who were determined to defend what had been won, but who had turned against ‘the counter-revolutionary Bonapartism of Stalin’ and the ‘Russian nationalistic exploitation of the Ukrainian people’.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #13

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Why Orwell use pigs for Stalin and Trotsky? and Squealer seems to be an excellent orator, what does he symbolizes?
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Old April 24th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #14

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Shouldnt that be Trottersky?

Sorry, i'll stop now

Theres all number of candidates who could be squealer, but probably just a composite to represent poets like Ehrenberg, magazines like Pravda and so on.

And i guess Pigs because of their representation in western media with greed and debauchery, its easier for western viewers to accept them as the corrupt leaders.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #15

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Why Orwell use pigs for Stalin and Trotsky? and Squealer seems to be an excellent orator, what does he symbolizes?
We could break down all of the actors and events to something parallel to the Russian Revolution; you've already done a pretty good job of that.

From all of Orwell's writings, he is very preoccupied with propaganda and propagandistic newspapers. Squealer is a composite of all the propagandists, including Pravda.

You didn't mention Pilikngton; he represents Churchill more than anybody. Fredrerick is Hitler with his counterfeit deal with Napoleon representing the Nazi Soviet pact of 1939.

Orwell did once state that he finished the book in 1943 with the Tehran Conference and that the end of the book represented that conference. It is made more specific in the preface to the Ukranian edition which I linked to previously.

Quote:
A number of readers may finish this book with the impression that it ends in the complete reconciliation of the pigs and the humans. That was not my intention; on the contrary I meant it to end on a loud note of discord, for I wrote it immediately after the Teheran Conference which everybody had thought had established the best possible relations between the USS and the West. I personally did not believe that such good relations would last long; and, as events have shown, I wasn't far wrong.
As for pigs, what else? Orwell thought of the Stalinist elite as bourgeoisie, capitalistic fascists, and pigs.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #16

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The very fascinating world of Animal Farm vividly demonstrates the contempt of the upper class and the suffering of the lower class. It shows the metaphor of humans in accordance to the animals, on how the fragile mind can be easily contemplated and be suck away by an aggressive idea.

Russel Baker, a prizewinning journalist tells us "It is a political tract, a satire on human folly, a loud heehaw at all who yearn for Utopia, an allegorical lesson and a pretty good fable in the Aesop tradition" The farm promises redemption on all the animals, by treating all the animals equal, but the hypocrisy of the idea of the intelligent class gives the instrument that not all are define as equal but some are much more equal and has the advantage over others. The idea of a perfect revolution, equality and politics is a myth, freedom alongside with fear is consequently the destructive allegory of the Animal Farm.

The pigs in physical terms are fat that makes them a good example of leaders that are greedy for power and luxury. They are also the most intelligent animals in the Animal Farm. Somehow their intelligence and initiative that pulls them to the totalitarian power, so to control the satisfaction of oneself and the working power of others.

The pig's ego is very complex, all they want is authority because of their status in society as being the brain of the rebellion, and it is always the tautological aspect for the humans. It is our ego that drives us mentally to pursue a certain power which everyone desired. Education is the excellent way to become a puppeteer of the masses for they only and only believe what an educated man, whether it is right or wrong just because they give a reason (Squealer is an example). Also those milks and apples and beers are just the metaphor for aristocratic luxury of the greed, they just represent temporary comfort and satisfaction.

The sheeps are just the mere trivial metaphor of the ordinary people who learns and follows orders. They are the fragile uneducated stereotypes, one of the majority animals in the farm and the ones the can be easily accommodated by a new idea with always the expression that when given a reason, they would accept it like they are offered a beer.

Squealer, the spokesperson of the animal farm is the orator and the very deceiver of the animals. His job was to convince the animals to the order by his speech, he uses intelligence to somehow give a reason to every action done by the leader. False statements are his theme, a liar for all the animals but to the cause of totalitarian, a very suitable man to control the crowd. He always uses the statements that the pigs are the mind of all operation, the pigs are the only ones that can run the farm smoothly without them it would fall to Jones again.

The hatred for Jones is the very reason for the rebellion, he symbolizes the overthrown of monarchy and aristocracy.

Boxer, the hardworking cart horse is the very model of the farm but always depends on the decision of the pigs which is awkward since he does not think for himself, but only and only for the very sake of the leader and the farm, the very opposite of the pigs. When he was dying, he was sent to the meat knacker because for the upper class he has rendered himself useless. It would be troublesome to cure him, it would cost them an investment. Miserable and haughty death is only for the hardworking lower class. Their hard work is a model, but they don't receive for themselves a good output but rather their unselfishness brings them to death and trouble. A good symbol for the lower class.

Snowball represents the good side of the rebellion, he aims to provide animals the best of all the worlds. His plans are admirable, his will is one of the very foundation of the commandments and his determination let him

Napoleon, the treacherous leader of the Animal Farm after Snowball has taken out has been the totalitarian leader. His leadership has been bloody and cruel since he has violated what the rebellion aims for. In Orwell's days he is the Stalin of Communist Russia. It was the political innocence of the animals that paved way for a totalitarian rule, without opposition and arms, the leader could execute aggressive laws without the consent of the others. Absolute rule is the reason why the rebellion has happened.

The vicious dogs are the loyal and supportive creatures that are under Napoleon. They keep peace and stability throughout the farm but the law they follow is only according to the leader, no written, no amendments and no discretion. Those dogs have no free will and they're train for disdain.

Old Major, a boar that is the root of the idea of the revolution has only give theoretically the idea of the world where animals rule but he has no knowledge of the very foundation of the consequences. For in every major leap of the mind, there is always a temptation of absolute power, the very destructive nature of human ego.

The anthem Beasts of England represents the very revolution and the act of rebellion against aristocracy. It is the cry of all to those who yearn for the Utopian world without rulers, all are of equal treatment. Sympathy and revolution themes of the song are abolished later on in the story, for a simple reason that the society they all wanted for was establish but the case is not. The lyrics regards all the beasts in England and Ireland, not just the animal farm. Building the Animal farm was just a start, but the song contains the hypocrisy of the theory, instead the human revolution is continuous, it never ends. Innovation and criticism are expandable, our knowledge thrives for more results, and our egos are relentless. The society will never establish equality for we are not created equal but by our adaptability, skills and willpower to survive the prey-predator environment.

This only what I can gather from my mind when I read that book, I still don't have time to finish all the representations. That's it for now
Patito was correct, you did a superb job here.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #17

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We can pick to pieces all the metaphors, all the parallels with the Russian Revolution. They are not very subtle. But the book stands for Orwells philosophy at the time he wrote it. In "The Shooting of an Elephant" which we chewed up and spit out a year ago, he describes the event in Burma that turned him against colonialism/imperialism. When he went into the Spanish Civil War, he was already a socialist, but he was still politically naive. He did a lot of maturing in that brief time--war tends to do that to a fellow. We can read about all that in Homage to Catalonia, his book-length memoir of his stay in Spain. Among his many essays, we can see more of his personality, and especially more of his mature personality. But among those, one stands out to me.

In Looking Back on the Spanish War, he writes:

Quote:
In the long struggle that has followed the Russian Revolution it is the manual workers who have been defeated, and it is impossible not to feel that it was their own fault. Time after time, in country after country, the organized working-class movements have been crushed by open, illegal violence, and their comrades abroad, linked to themin theoretical solidarity, have simply looked on and done nothing; and underneath this, secret cause of many betrayals, has lain the fact that between white and coloured workers there is not even lip-service to solidarity. Who can believe in the class-conscious international proletariat after the events of the past ten years?
This is the lesson he takes about the Russian Revolution from the Spanish Civil War. The latter was of the greatest importance in forming Orwell's Character by the time he wrote Animal Farm or 1984. I suggest it is important to understand this influence of the Spanish war before we can gain any deep understanding of these later novels.
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Old April 24th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #18

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Another approach to interpreting the story is to ask what it has to say to us today.

I might suggest that we take a look at Mollie, the typical defector. Of course we read about such people escaping across the Berlin Wall well into the second half of the 20th century. Does this say something about hope? Does it say something more?

Quote:
They were just coming down the stairs when Mollie was discovered to be missing. Going back, the others found that she had remained behind in the best bedroom. She had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones's dressing-table, and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself in the glass in a very foolish manner. The others reproached her sharply, and they went outside.
Here Orwell seems to recognize that in the Animalist revolution something is lost even for the animals who are supposed to have gained. There are some who will not be satisfied and will defect to the other side. Unlike Snowball, we do hear what happened to Mollie. Moses the raven sees her on the other side of town, apparently happy in her life as an animal subject to human whims. So eternal lesson #1 is that revolution does not bring about all the revolutionaries' utopias.

But the others "reproached her sharply" and went outside. Perhaps there is still something amiss in the power structure of even the benevolent utopia? Must it always be so, given human nature? I think there's a strong suggestion here that negative peer pressure will still be a problem even in a Socialist World. Is Orwell admitting that in this passage?
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Old April 24th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #19

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You didn't mention Pilikngton; he represents Churchill more than anybody. Fredrerick is Hitler with his counterfeit deal with Napoleon representing the Nazi Soviet pact of 1939.

As for pigs, what else? Orwell thought of the Stalinist elite as bourgeoisie, capitalistic fascists, and pigs.
Thanks for the information about the two humans. I still haven't yet discussed the two battles in the story, Cowshed and Windmill. If you would like, you could interpret it for more valuable knowledge I can learn.

And I agree with your last post, that revolution for Utopia cannot be achieved without dealing with one's ego which is one of our fundamental psychological aspect of humans.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 05:39 AM   #20

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Thanks for the information about the two humans.
I meant pigs.


Just to add the events, I personally found that the rebellion I think emphasizes the Russian revolution, its achievements and straightforward but very head-scratching goals. The battle of the cowshed I think emphasizes nothing about the Soviet Russia before Trotsky was out (which apparently and somehow Snowball symbolizes Trotsky). I think the Battle of Stalingrad is the most comparable event for the battle of the windmill, Russia losses a tantamount number of troops and alongside with many of their significant infrastructures.

To my reaction of the "Four legs good, two legs bad" is somewhat Fascism. This is the very reason why the Holocaust happened, this is to the idea that "all those who are in this form/type/classification/race are enemies, they don't belong to our society let them burn." is the main idea of every revolution. Revolutions always eliminate the untermensch (sub-human) according to their own idea of the human race. Which is to me is unclear since, maybe not all of us are equal, but definitely we just need to respect each other so peace can be achieve.

Differences are always the cause of violence in our society, elimination is a step towards glory for the one who survives, for the others is the strongest. The golden rule I think is "either join our side or die", and so to speak is pathetic.
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