Animal Farm & USSR


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An educational tool for reading Animal Farm and connecting the characters and events to Russian history.

Published in: Education, Technology, Spiritual
  • This was the same conundrum I had when creating the powerpoint. First, the complexity of Russian history is hard to negotiate. Then we have the simplification that Orwell created in writing his allegory. At the time of Orwell's 'Battle of Cowshed,' Tzar Nicholas was run out of Russia, there was internal strife and WWI was beginning. As an educator, I had choices to make on how to interpret what Orwell was trying to get across. Some events are clear, and others are not. I did extensive research on several interpretations of Animal Farm and made a decision on what to include, how to interpret and what's important to focus on. This, conversation is a debate among those who interpret Orwell's allegory. The students -- going into teaching this unit -- know that this does not match Russian history, but more serves the purpose of examining the literary value and intent behind Animal Farm.
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  • I would not disagree that simplification is necessary, especially since this is english class and not history. But there's no reason to teach the history wrong, either, because that's not really simplifying. I recommend letting the students find out some key details of the revolution and making connections - maybe something as simple as a worksheet with some questions and links for guidance:
    Also, the Czar (or Tsar) abdicated and left after WWI, not before.
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  • Tzar Nicholas was kicked out of Russia at the beginning of WWI, and Germany thought that Russia would be vulnerable because of this. To teach this to a sophomore English class (upper and lower tracks), you need to simplify, and the fact that both ousting Jones and the Battle of Cowshed are examples of the Russian Revolution, distinctions (and choices) need to be made as to what represents what during a complex historical event.
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  • Love the powerpoint - good character comparisons. One important note - the Battle of the Cowshed is NOT World War I, but rather the Russian Civil War which began in 1918 and continued until 1921. Russia did NOT defeat Germany in WWI, and while Great Britain, France and the US offered support to the opponents of the Bolsheviks (called the 'Whites'), it was not their fight and thus not a loss for Britain, France or the US. I do not know if Germany offered any support to the Whites, but I doubt it given their situation from 1919 onwards. I hope this helps.
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Animal Farm & USSR

  1. 1. ANIMAL FARM“The atom bombs arepiling up in thefactories, the policeare prowling throughthe cities, lies arestreaming from theloudspeakers, but theearth is still goinground the sun.” - George Orwell-
  2. 2. AN OVERVIEW OF RULING SYSTEMS Parallels of Russia in Animal Farm“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.” -Joseph Stalin-
  3. 3. Tzar ruling under Farmer Jones Farmer Jones • Humans (wife, farm hands)Doesn’t need to perform • Domesticated Animals (Cat, Mollie, Moses) manual labor to earn • Old Major – Prize Winning Boar food All Other Animals • Horses, Donkey, Pigs, CowsMust perform manual • Sheep, Chickens, Geese labor or die to feed humans • Dreamed of a world where animals were free from the tyranny of man. This – and the harsh OLD MAJOR conditions on Manor Farm– caused the animals to rebel and chase Farmer Jones off the Farm
  4. 4. Russian Rule Under Tzar Nicholas II Tzar Nicholas II • Inherited power from family rule • Worked citizens without concern for welfare Ruler of Russia • Took wealth from country without giving backAll Other Russian Citizens • Farmers produced for the Tzar family Must perform manual • Soldiers sent to battle with outdated technologies labor or die to feed and little base needs met (food, warm clothing, etc.) humans • The Father of Communism • Believed that all would be equal if private property Karl Marx were abolished • Didn’t live to see the Russian Revolution
  5. 5. Animal Farm practice of Animalism “All Animals Are Equal” Pigs emerged as • Performed little hard manual labor managers and • Needed brain food “to keep Jones away” such as milk and applesorganizers of the farm • All animals were required to perform according to their abilities to get in the harvest All Other Animals • Actual lifestyle changed very little • Animals were happy because they were free from humansSnowball & Napoleon • The two leaders always disagreed with one anotheremerged as leaders of • Elections were held to decide who would lead the farm the pigs • “The Windmill” “The Full Manger” “Shorter Workweeks”
  6. 6. U.S.S.R. – United Soviet Socialist Republic “From each, according to his abilities, to each, according to his need.” –Karl Marx-U.S.S.R – established • Performed little hard manual laboras a federation 1921- • Needed brain food “to keep Jones away” such as milk and apples 1922 • All animals were required to perform according to their abilities to get in the harvestAll Other Comrades • Actual lifestyle changed very little • Animals were happy because they were free from humansJoseph Stalin & Leon • The two leaders always disagreed with one another Trotsky emerge as • Elections were held to decide who would lead the farm • “The Windmill” “The Full Manger” “Shorter Workweeks” political leaders
  7. 7. Napoleon’s Animal Farm “All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal than Others” • Ruled over Manor Farm with Absolute Power Napoleon • Made all decisions – reaped all profits – distributed to others as he saw fit • Safe from persecution as long as they agreed with Napoleon Dogs, Squealor, • Not responsible for any manual laborand All Other Pigs • Reaped benefits of farm without producing • Subject to Napoleon’s wishes • Boxer & Clover – Believed in the principals of AnimalismAll Other Animals • Sheep – Blind followers of the government – did what they were told without question
  8. 8. Joseph Stalin’s United Soviet Socialist Republic“You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves.” -Joseph Stalin- • Dictator of Russia Joseph Stalin • Led with absolute power, using fear and control • Made all decision – reaped all profits – distributed as 1941-1953 he saw fit • Safe from persecution as long as they agreed with Stalin or KGB, Propaganda were not subject to his paranoia • KGB were Stalin’s private police force – had total freedom over & Managers of citizens – instilled fear and control over citizens the Kremlin • Propaganda controlled information coming in, going out, and circulating within Russian borders • Subject to Stalin’s wishes – kept in line by KGB All Other • Majority of citizens worked as laborers Comrades • Collective structure often deprived citizens of basic necessities
  10. 10. Karl Marx Old Major
  11. 11. Karl Marx Old Major“For the bureaucrat, the world is a mere object to be manipulated by him.” -Karl Marx-• Considered the Father of • Considered the Father of Communism – there are Animalism branches of thought • The Political Theory was called Marxism based on the ideas that• The Political Theory was for animals to be free and based on his ideas that to equal, a farm needs to achieve true equality, a abolish all humans. country needs to abolish • Died before he saw the all private property. Animal Rebellion or the• Died before he saw the rise of Animalism. Russian Revolution or the rise of Communism
  12. 12. Tzar Nicholas II Farmer Jones
  13. 13. Tzar Nicholas Farmer Jones• 1894 – Tzar Nicholas inherited rule over Russia • Inherited Manor Farm from his father• 1895 –Wished to expand Russian empire • Ran his farm with no regard to the and waged war on Japan – resulted in animal’s (or farm’s) well being depleting Russian wealth and population – eventually lost war • Spent farm money – and most of his• March 15, 1917 – Tzar Nicholas was forced time – on alcohol; neglected animals to abdicate his position as ruler over for his own means Russia – known as the Russian Revolution • Ran off Manor Farm – known as the• He and his family were incarcerated until Animal Rebellion after World War I (1914-1917)• July 16, 1918 – Tzar Nicholas and family • Drifted off into obscurity were executed – Historically known as the last Tzar of Russia
  14. 14. Joseph Stalin Napoleon“I believe in only one thing, the power of the human will.” –Joseph Stalin-
  15. 15. Joseph Stalin NapoleonDec. 21, 1897 - March 5, 1953• Part of the formation of • Emerged as strong, quiet the Union of Soviet leader among the pigs, Socialist Republics, while while Snowball worked Trotsky worked on the on education policies New Economic Policy • Banished Snowball from (communism) the farm and declared• Banished Trotsky from him Enemy of Animal country and declared him Farm Enemy of the USSR • Took full control over all• Self-Appointed Dictator of decisions on Animal Farm USSR
  16. 16. Leon Trotsky Snowball“Learning carries with it certain dangers because out of necessity one has tolearn from one’s enemies.” –Leon Trotsky-
  17. 17. Leon Trotsky Snowball• Born: Oct. 26, 1879 • One of the original• One of the original revolutionaries – tried to educate revolutionaries – became one of farm population Stalin’s biggest political enemies• Expelled from the country by • Elections were held between Stalin’s forces (a year later, Stalin Snowball & Napoleon due to took control of the USSR) political opposition• Denounced as a traitor – Public Enemy #1 • Snowball was chased off the farm• After banishment, he was and never seen again systematically “erased” from Russian history (face removed • Denounced as Enemy to Animal from photographs, historical role Farm – Enemy to Animalism altered, etc.)• Died: Aug. 21, 1940 – Assassinated by KGB in Mexico • After banishment, he was called a City via ice pick through the brain traitor and his memory (historical role) was distorted by Napoleon & Squealor
  18. 18. Propaganda Squealor “You may not be interested in strategy, but strategy is interested in you.” -Leon Trotsky-• Government’s mouthpiece• All information is filtered through this agency• Citizens know only what the government wants them to know – control of news, radio, entertainment, etc.• International perceptions of country/farm manipulated by propaganda• Many propaganda techniques were developed under Stalin (Napoleon)
  19. 19. Russian Laborers Boxer & Clover “I will work harder.” “Napoleon is always right.” •Loyal Comrades – believed in the equality of Animalism/Communist teachings • Volunteered for Stalin’s modernization plans or the rebuilding of Russia •Were fed little food, inadequate housing, and few tools. (Like on the farm, there was little to no technology in Russia.) •Loyalty manipulated by the lies of the government.
  20. 20. Ignorant Masses Sheep“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast thevotes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” –Joseph Stalin- •Citizens who blindly followed governmental rule •Never questioned what was asked of them •The ignorant supported their own enslavement.
  21. 21. KGB Dogs
  22. 22. KGB Dogs• The Dictator’s personal police force – took orders and answered only to Stalin• Enforced governmental control through fear and violence• Worked, not for the good of the government or the country, but for the benefit of one man/pig.• Had absolute power over all citizens (no private property – no private rights)• Vladimir Putin – Russia’s current Prime Minister & Former President rose through the ranks in the KGB
  23. 23. Farmers Chickens •Farmers were part of the collective of Russia, and often grew crops only to ship them to the city workers and be left with no food. •Attempted to rebel by destroying their own crops (the chickens flew to the rafters and smashed their eggs rather than sell them at market). •Farmers/chickens were starved into submission, and eventually surrendered
  24. 24. Benjamin“Donkeys live a long time; none of you have ever seen a dead donkey.” •It has been debated who Benjamin represents in Orwell’s text. •Some believe the character was Orwell himself •Others think that he represented the Older Generations of Russia who did not care for revolution •Still, others believe that Benjamin was the apathetic individuals found in any society; they are intelligent enough to make change, but do not care to get involved.
  25. 25. Nobility under MollieTzar Nicholas III •Nobility (relations, friends of the Tzar family) lived comfortably under ruling class •Either exiled or fled Russia during the Russian Revolution •Once the Tzar system toppled, there was little reason for the nobles to stay in Russia
  26. 26. Church & Religion Moses“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, andthe soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the masses.” – Karl Marx- •Russian Orthodox Christianity was the ruling church in Russia •Because of the religious tie to the Tzar ruling class, the church was abolished with the rise of Communism •Once Stalin was in power, the church was “allowed” back into an atheistic government •“Sugarcandy Mountain” represents heaven – this was allowed by the government because it gave the other animals something to look forward to at the end of their miserable lives.
  27. 27. International Relations1. Name change from Manor Farm to 1. Russia to USSR (United Socialist Animal Farm – showed England Soviet Republic) –showed world that the farm was run by animals that Tzar rule ended and Communism ruled the country (all2. Mr. Pilkington – owner of Foxwood are equal) Farm 2. England – Russia led the country on as if they might become allies3. Mr. Frederick – owner of Pinchfield 3. Germany under Nazi Rule – Became Farm. allies with Russia – Hitler & Stalin signed a nonaggression pact stating that neither country would attack the other 4. Propaganda Machine - Russian4. Pigeons – sent messages to the propaganda projected the country outside world as modernized and industry-rich – No one outside Russia knew the truth due to the “iron curtain” between Russia and the rest of the world
  29. 29. Russian Revolution Animal Revolt“Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries unite!” -Leon Trotsky- • Russian citizens rose up against the Tzar dynasty & overthrew the government •First step in establishing Communism as a revolutionary governmental system •Starving and neglected animals rose up against Farmer Jones & threw them off the farm •First step in establishing Animalism – where all animals are equal and free from the tyranny of man
  30. 30. World War I Battle of Cowshed •Russia fought against German invasion •During WWI – Russia was in political strife – Tzar Nicholas II was just overthrown at the beginning of the war •Germany believed that Russia would be an easy and vulnerable target because of internal fighting •Russia beat the Germans to the surprise of the international community
  31. 31. Nonaggression Pact with Germany Selling the Timbre
  32. 32. Selling the Timbre“There are absolutely no rules of conduct, either in peace or war. Everything depends on circumstance.” -Leon Trotsky-• Stalin tried to play England & Nazi • Napoleon agreed to sell the Germany against each other timbre to Mr. Frederick then Mr. Pilkington • Eventually sold the timbre to Mr.• Eventually sided with Germany Frederick through allied treaties • Napoleon held pride in his ability• Signed a Nonaggression Pact with to do business with Mr. Frederick, Germany – agreed not to invade playing the farmers against each each other other to drive up the price • The bank notes were fake – Mr.• Hitler broke treaty & invaded Frederick got the timbre for Stalingrad nothing • Napoleon was enraged and• Stalin was in complete disbelief couldn’t believe he’d been tricked that he’d been duped
  33. 33. World War II Battle of Windmill
  34. 34. WWII – Battle of Windmill“In the Soviet Army, it takes more courage to retreat than to advance.” –Joseph Stalin-• The Nazis broke the Nonaggression Pact with Russia and invaded Stalingrad• The Soviet Army was sent to battle the Nazis at Stalingrad• The Soviet Army had more soldiers than weapons, so they were sent into battle in pairs: one soldier carried the gun, the second carried the ammunition – if the first soldier fell, the second would pick up the weapon and advance• For the Soviet soldier, retreat was an act of treason, an act punishable by immediate death• Many soldiers were caught between Nazi fire and Soviet commanders shooting retreating soldiers – As many soldiers were killed by their own country as by the Nazis• The Soviet Government declared the Battle of Stalingrad a great success in driving out the enemy• After the battle, the army and the population lost great numbers of men• The battle also taxed the country’s resources, and many people went hungry for the sake of the battle
  35. 35. Sources1. Orwell, George. Animal Farm ……2. Staff Editor(s). “Marx, Karl; Orwell, George; Putin, Vladimir; Stalin, Joseph; Trotsky, Leon,” – last visited Staff Editor(s). “history/Russia1900s,” – last visited 7.24.094. Staff Writer(s). “A short overview of the Russian history,” – last visited Staff Writer(s). “Animal Farm: A Description of the Characters and Events in the George Orwell’s classic Parody of the Russian Revolution.” www. - last visited 3.3.086. Staff Writer(s). “Khmelnytsky Uprising,” – last visited 7.27.09