The Elections Theory (Animal Farm)

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Old Major is the inspiration which fuels the Revolution and the book. According to one interpretation, he could be based upon both Marx and Lenin. (As a socialist, Orwell may have agreed with much of Marx, and even respected aspects of Lenin. According to this interpretation, the satire in Animal Farm is not of Marxism, or of Lenin’s revolution, but of the corruption that occurred later.) However, according to Orwell authority Christopher Hitchens: As an allegory, the story has one enormous failure: the persons of Lenin and Trotsky are combined into one [i.e., Snowball], or, it might even be truer to say, there is no Lenin-pig at all. Such a stupendous omission cannot have been accidental…. Orwell in his essays was fond of saying that both Lenin and Trotsky bore some responsibility for Stalinism; by eliding this thought… he may have been subconsciously catering to the needs of tragedy. Hitchens goes on to agree, however, that in the book «the aims and principles of the Russian Revolution are given face-value credit throughout; this is a revolution betrayed, not a revolution that is monstrous from its inception». Though Old Major is presented positively, Orwell does slip in some flaws, such as his admission that he has largely been free of the abuse the rest of the animals have suffered. Old Major not only represents Marx in the allegory, but also the power of speech and how it can and was used to evoke and inspire people. Old Major also represents the generation who were not content with the old regime and therefore inspired the younger generations to rebel against the regime under which they were living.

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