Stalin’s secret police arrested, coerced confessions from, tortured, and executed anyone who was seen as a threat to his total power, whether or not they supported him.
About one millionpeople were executed, with about another 7 million more sent to forced labor camps. Most people did not make it out of these camps alive.
This “Great Purge” gave Stalin total control over the Soviet Union, and set up a society of glaring inequality between rich and poor, rather than a society based on cooperation and sharing of resources.
Animal Farm, Communist Russia, and the 21st Century
Animal Farm is a satire that depicts the struggle of oppressed animals and the corruption of those who take power over others.
Uses animals that exhibit human characteristics to explore the aftermath of revolt, revolution, and power.
Animal Farm is Orwell’s critique of communist Russia and Stalin’s reign of terror.
Although Animal Farm was written as a response to the Soviet Union, how can it still be applicable to our world today? What connections can you make between this story and our world today?
In an allegory there is a double layer of meaning-the literal meaning (Animal Farm is a fable about animals) and the symbolic meaning (the pigs symbolically representing Soviet leaders and the corruptive nature of power).
Important Literary Terms
A satire is a work where the author attacks or exposes a serious issue in a ridiculous or humorous light.
While the author’s tone may seem humorous or even light-hearted, a satire is actually a serious social critique. It uses humor to exposes the wrongs of society in an attempt to get people to change, or at least take notice of the problem.