Marcus Lee Ms. Strauss ENG3U1January 8th, 2018Power, Manipulation and Broken Promises Since the dawn of human civilization, the most fair and ethical ways to run a government have been debated by many great minds alike, from the questionable to the controversial. Despite the sensitive nature of such a topic, this has not stopped authors and journalist delving into the depths of this affair, with one of the histories most influential yet controversial novel touching on this sensitive subject: Animal farm. Written by an enigmatic and outspoken author George Orwell, his main inspiration for his novel stems from Soviet Union’s bloody revolution and Stalin dubious rise to power, with him exploring the dangers of manipulation and total power that often arises in a communist society throughout his novel. By demonising main characters such as Napoleon the pig who symbolised Stalin, Orwell takes a subtle dig at both Stalin and his regime, leading to the eventual ban of the book in Russia. Though his novel may only be composed of 112 pages, Orwell still manages to cleverly implement literary devices such as allusions and symbolism throughout the book to show the manifestation of corrupt attributes such as thirst for total power as well as the manipulation of the working class that will inevitably arise in any type of communist society. This ultimately leads to a community where almost all farm animals become oppressed and controlled by the few powerful members of the society. With the help of these techniques, Orwell meticulously details the transformation of the once heroic, incorruptible free-fighting pigs who fought for total equality, who bravely wrestled power away from the oppressive farm owner Mr. Jones, into tyrants no different than Jones himself. First and foremost, through the use of allusion Orwell effectively critiques the Communist regime by highlighting the pigs clear use of manipulation and the evident thirst for power. This subtly passes a message to the readers that any leader who is granted high authority will comply to their own needs before their people. A prime example of allusion being used to express Orwell’s message can be seen during the rebellion of the hens, where Napoleon exercises his power and executes the Hens and a few other animals in cold blood and without mercy. Through the quote “When they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice, Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.” (Orwell, 56), we learn from the very start of Napoleon’s regime that he will do anything necessary to continue his regime. In a bid to consolidate his power, he viewed those as rebellious and unwilling to comply to his rule and regime as a threat, executing them in public to intimidate those who may have followed in the rebels footstep, the perfect way of keeping everyone in line. This similarly alludes to what Stalin had done during his time in power, with this particular event alluding to Stalin’s great purge. Historians described the horrific event as: “They The purge not only affected those who openly opposed Stalin, but ordinary people too. During Stalin’s rule of the country over 20 million people– were sent to labor camps, where nearly half of them died” (Gracheva, 1). As a result of such events, many outcasts and disobeyers were publicly humiliated and eventually executed in front of large crowds. This caused widespread fear and eventually consolidating and giving Stalin more and more power throughout his rule, showing that he will stop at nothing to pursue ultimate power. Another example of allusion being effectively put to use within the novel can be exhibited through Old Major’s speech and the 7 commandments. Old major was an mature and wise boar who dreamed of seeing all animals in Manor farm living free and happy lives without being under the rule of oppressive owner Mr Jones. Though Old Major did not play a significant role throughout the story, he was the one who helped inspired and set the revolution in place to give the power back to the animals. This similarly alludes to Lenin’s dreams and his famous communist manifesto, where he also dreamed of seeing the oppressed proletarians being freed from the oppressive regime of the Tsar, giving power back to the masses and distributing resources equally throughout the famine ravaged state. In Lenin’s manifesto, it was stated that the ultimate goal was to eliminate all classes and for everyone to be equal in both power and resources and never lead like the ways of the Tsar. This alludes back to the beliefs and dreams of Old Major. “I merely repeat, remember always your duty of enmity towards Man and all his ways. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs or has wings is a friend. And remember also in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices.” (Orwell, 6). Through this quote, Old Major is warning the animals not to fall into the evil ways of Mr. Jones and to never follow and lead in his footsteps, thus inciting the creation of the 7 commandments. Unfortunately, as the novel goes on, Old Major dies and the farm animals begin to forget his wise words, allowing the pigs Napoleon and Squealer to easily exploit this weakness and begin molding and shaping the 7 commandments their way, from allowing them to execute and harm other animals at will, to consuming alcohol and sleeping on beds made by humans. Through Orwell’s clever use of allusion to show Old Majors and Lenin’s shattered and unfulfilled dreams, he shows the once possible prosperous and fair society slowly fading away by highlighting the slow elimination of the 7 commandments throughout the story until only one is left; All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others, essentially meaning that the pigs are no longer “equal” with any other animal anymore. This leaves a now broken and corrupt leadership no better than the previous ownership of Mr. Jones, where rules are bent and manipulated to satisfy the pigs selfish needs, and the responsibility of power is only given to a select handful ultimately showing how a system of total equality could corrupt itself. Secondly, through the use of symbolism, Orwell was able to effectively criticize the communist regime by showing the pigs clear manipulation of trust to gain undoubted power and control over the animals and resources in Animal farm. To begin with, one such example of symbolism can be seen through the windmill, where it clearly highlights the pigs clever use of manipulation and deception. The idea of creating a windmill was originally brought forth by Snowball the pig, who planned and outlined the building of the windmill. During this process, Napoleon who was competing for power against Snowball started slowly controlling and gaining power on the farm. To further discredit Snowball, Napoleon strongly opposed the idea of creating the windmill, manipulating the farm into thinking that it will only weaken them and make attacks more frequent. Soon after Napoleon’s statement against the windmill, Snowball was banished from the farm after being chased out by Napoleon’s guard dogs. Shortly after, Napoleon and great speaker Squealer revealed that Napoleon had in fact been the one who created the idea of building the windmill, and he was against it to ensure that traitor Snowball was exiled from the farm. Through the quote said by Squealer; “Napoleon had never been opposed to the windmill on the contrary, it was he who had advocated it in the beginning,” (Orwell, 39), readers are shown Squealers amazing ability to manipulate the farm animals into believing Napoleon and further distrusting Snowball. Even after the destruction of the windmill, the pigs lied and manipulated the animals into believing Snowball was the one responsible for the collapse, even though there was no significant evidence of him ever being back on the farm. Relating back to the discrediting of Snowball after his expulsion from Animal farm, a strong and similar connection can be drawn back to the banishment of Soviet politician Leon Trotsky, the opposition of Stalin himself. Snowball, who represents Leon Trotsky vies for power against powerful politician Napoleon, who symbolises Stalin, creating a long lasting war of words between the two until Stalin banishes Trotsky for good and claims full and total power. “He Trotsky criticized the new regime for suppressing democracy in the Communist Party and for failing to develop adequate economic planning. In response, Stalin and his supporters launched a propaganda counterattack against Trotsky. In 1925, he was removed from his post in the war commissariat.” (History.com, 1). Soon after Trotsky was exiled away, many of his political ideas were discredited by Stalin and his inner circle, creating Trotsky as the poster boy of corruption throughout Russia, similar to how Snowball was perceived after his expulsion and how every unfortunate event was blamed on him soley. This again shows how effective the pigs ways of manipulation are, with them capitalizing every single event, negative or positive to their own advantage, always ultimately giving more and more power to Napoleon and his entourage of pigs and eliminating their competitors for their power. In addition, another prominent example of symbolism can be exhibited through the 7 commandments created by Napoleon, Squealer and Snowball, symbolising the manipulation and thirst and desire for power the pigs have. From the start of the novel, Old Major’s ideals of animalism were condensed into 7 simple commandments that all animals shall follow, and were described as “unalterable” by Snowball himself. Although this was the case throughout the start, after the expulsion of Snowball, Napoleon soon began to exploit the ignorance of the farm animals and bent certain laws towards his egotistical needs. Through the quote “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” (Orwell, 90), we are shown the true extent of manipulation being used by the pigs, and how Napoleon has distorted the 7 basic commandments and manipulated it all into one single commandment which simply dictates that pigs are above the rest of the animals. This strongly emphasises the power the pigs have over the farm, and how by slowly manipulating and bending the commandments toward their way, they have broke the past the barrier which separates a farm animal to a tyrant no better than Mr. Jones. To conclude, through the short novel Animal farm author George Orwell criticizes and shows the dangers of manipulation and total power. With the witty use of Allusions and Symbolism, Orwell was able to effectively critique the human folly of manipulation and thirst for power that ultimately always arises in a communist society where all is equal. Ultimately, this concludes that for a truly successful community to thrive, steps must first be taken to find a correct and fair system to run a society on to prevent our basic human follies from corrupting and bringing down social order. Works citedEkaterina Gracheva. “Of Russian origin: Stalin’s Purges.” Stalin’s Purges – Russiapedia Of Russian origin, 21 May 2011, russiapedia.rt.com/of-russian-origin/stalins-purges/.2.) History.com. “Stalin banishes Trotsky.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 15 June 2014, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/stalin-banishes-trotsky.3.) Moran, Daniel, and George Orwell. Animal Farm. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.