Question by gaas: who does snowball and napoleon represent in history in animal farm?
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Answer by mereMERE521
Napoleon, a Berkshire boar, is the main villain of Animal Farm. Napoleon begins to gradually build up his power, using puppies he raised to be vicious dogs as his secret police. After driving Snowball off the farm, Napoleon usurps full power, using false propaganda from Squealer and threats and intimidation from the dogs to keep the other animals in line. Among other things he gradually changes the Commandments to allow himself privileges and justify his dictatorial rule. By the end of the book Napoleon and his fellow pigs have learned to walk upright and started to behave similar to humans. Orwell modeled him after Joseph Stalin, who set up a dictatorship whose repression and despotism was far worse than that of the Imperial Russian government he supplanted. (In the French version of Animal Farm, Napoleon is called César, the French spelling of Caesar.)
Snowball, a white boar, is Napoleon’s rival. He is inspired by Leon Trotsky. He wins over most animals, but is driven out of the farm in the end by Napoleon.
Squealer, a small fat porker, serves as Napoleon’s public speaker. Inspired by Vyacheslav Molotov and the Russian paper Pravda, Squealer twists and abuses the language to excuse, justify, and extol all of Napoleon’s actions. He represents all the propaganda Stalin used to justify his actions. In all of his work, George Orwell made it a point to show how politicians used language. Squealer limits debate by complicating it, and he confuses and disorients, making claims that the pigs need the extra luxury they are taking in order to function properly, for example. However, when questions persist, he usually uses the threat of Mr. Jones’s return as justification for the pigs’ privileges. Squealer uses statistics to convince the animals that life is getting better and better. Most of the animals have only dim memories of life before the revolution; therefore they are convinced.
Minimus is a poetical pig who writes the second and third national anthems of Animal Farm after the singing of “Beasts of England” is banned, representing admirers of Stalin both inside and outside the USSR such as Maxim Gorky. As Minimus composed the replacement of “Beasts of England”, he may equate to the three main composers of the National Anthem of the Soviet Union which replaced The Internationale — Gabriel El-Registan, Alexander Vasilyevich Alexandrov, and Sergey Mikhalkov.
Pinkeye is a small piglet who tastes Napoleon’s food for poisoning.
The Piglets are hinted to be the children of Napoleon (albeit not truly noted in the novel), and are the first generation of animals to actually be subjugated to his idea of animal inequality.
The Rebel Pigs are pigs who complain about Napoleon’s takeover of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed. This is based on the Great Purge during Stalin’s regime. The closest parallels to the Rebel Pigs may be Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Grigory Zinoviev, and Lev Kamenev.
Mr. Jones represents Nicholas II of Russia, the deposed Tsar, who had been facing severe financial difficulties in the days leading up to the 1917 Revolution. The character is also a nod towards Louis XVI. There are also several implications that he represents an autocratic but ineffective capitalist, incapable of running the farm and looking after the animals properly. Jones is a very heavy drinker and the animals revolt on him after he drinks so much that he does not feed them.
Mr. Frederick is the tough owner of Pinchfield, a well-kept neighbouring farm. He represents Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in general.
Mr. Pilkington is the easy-going but crafty owner of Foxwood, a neighbouring farm overgrown with weeds, as described in the book. He represents the western powers, such as Britain and the U.S. The card game at the very end of the novel is a metaphor for the Tehran Conference, where the parties flatter each other, all the while cheating at the game. The irony in this last scene is present because of all of the Pigs being civil and kind to the humans, defying all for which they had fought. This was present in the Tehran Conference with the Alliance that the Soviet Union formed with the United States and Britain; capitalist countries that the Soviet Union had fought in the early years of the revolution. At the end of the novel, both Napoleon and Pilkington draw the Ace of Spades (which in most games, is the highest-ranking card) at the same time and begin fighting loudly, symbolizing the beginning of tension between the U.S and Soviet superpowers.
Mr. Whymper is a man hired by Napoleon to represent Animal Farm in human society. He is loosely based on Western intellectuals such as George Bernard Shaw and, especially, Lincoln Steffens, who visited the U.S.S.R. in 1919 and praised what they saw.
The three horses Clover, Mollie, and Boxer represent the three social classes. Boxer represents the lower class, Clover the middle, and Mollie the upper. In the end, Boxer, or the lower class, is the one that gets the most exploited by the pigs; a criticism of how the proletariat was most exploited by the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
Boxer, a Shire horse, is one of the main characters. He is the tragic avatar of the working class, or proletariat: loyal, kind, dedicated, and the most physically-strong animal on the farm, but naive and slow. His ignorance and blind trust towards his leaders led to his death and their profit. In particular, his heroic physical work represents the Stakhanovite movement. His maxim of “I will work harder” is reminiscent of Jurjis from the Upton Sinclair novel The Jungle.
Clover is Boxer’s mate and a fellow draft horse. She helps and cares for Boxer when he splits his hoof. She blames herself for forgetting the original Seven Commandments when Squealer revises them. Clover is compassionate, as is shown when she protects the baby ducklings during Major’s speech; albeit made out to be somewhat vain in the opening of the novel by the narrator, who remarks that she never “recovered” her figure after giving birth to her fourth foal. She is also upset when animals are executed by the dogs, and is held in great respect by three younger horses who ultimately replace Boxer.
Mollie is a self-centered and vain white mare who likes wearing ribbons, eating sugar cubes (which represent luxury) and being pampered by humans. She represents upper-class people, the bourgeoisie and nobility who fled to the West after the Russian Revolution and effectively dominated the Russian diaspora. Accordingly, she quickly leaves for another farm and is only once mentioned again.
Benjamin is a donkey who is cynical about the Revolution and life in general. Though he is as knowledgable as and wiser than the pigs and is the only animal who sees the pigs for the tyrants they are, he never makes an attempt to change anything, replying to questions only with the cryptic response of “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey”. Meaning, those who keep quiet will live longer.
Moses is a tame raven who spreads stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, the “Animal Heaven.” These beliefs are denounced by the pigs. Moses represents religion (specifically the Russian Orthodox Church), which was brutally persecuted under Communism. It is interesting to note that, while Moses initially leaves the farm after the rebellion, he later returns and is supported by the pigs. This represents the cynical manipulation of the Moscow Patriarchate by the State to control and observe the population. Moses also shows some characteristics of Grigori Rasputin. The acceptance of Moses by the pigs could be seen to represent Stalin’s relaxed attitude towards the Russian Orthodox Church during WWII, as the Church was a way to raise funds for the Russian war effort.
Muriel is a goat who reads the edited commandments. She may represent intelligent labour. It is also possible she serves as a plot device, because she is the only non-pig (excluding Benjamin) that will read. The fact that she dies near the end of the book may imply that her generation of intelligent labour was ultimately extinct.
Jessie and Bluebell are two dogs who give birth in Chapter III. Their puppies are nurtured by Napoleon to inspire fear, representing the formation of the NKVD.
The Hens represent the Kulaks, peasants who did well under the NEP in the 1920s but later were persecuted by Stalin during the collectivisation drive that followed. They had refused to give up their eggs, much as the Kulaks had indignantly resisted surrendering their farms to State control during the 1930s. Napoleon promptly starved the hens to death — the exact same punishment Stalin inflicted upon the Kulaks (see Holodomor).
The Dogs are Napoleon’s secret police and bodyguards (inspired by Cheka, NKVD, KGB, OGPU, MVD).
The Pigeons symbolise Soviet propaganda to European countries and U.S. Communist newspapers and diplomats, which raved about technological advances and bountiful harvests, but never allowed outsiders to check the validity.
The Sheep show the blind loyalty of the proletariat in the midst of the Russian Civil War, and the masses during Stalin’s reign. “Four legs good, two legs bad!” eventually becomes “Four legs good, two legs better!” after Squealer privately teaches them this saying.
The Cat shows the unethical, silent rejections of the new order; unwilling to work, yet encouraging others to do so, and acting bravely in the face of threats, but disappearing when there is actual danger. Some say the cat represents the flaws in Animalism or Communism. The fact that she attends Old Major’s meeting at the beginning “without listening to a word he is saying” also implies that she is unwilling, or ignorant, of how else to live. She may refer to the Thieves in Law and the Russian Mafia, and may also be a caricature of a typical Zampolit.
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