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Animal Rights

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Essay title: Animal Rights

The purpose of a revolution, as history has shown, is to fight some sort of political

or social injustice suffered by a group of the general public. Typically a minority of the

population, in search of a better lifestyle fights back against the oppression they have

been forced to endure. History is full of countless examples of this. Two such notable

revolutions are the French and Russian movements, though they occurred at completely

different time periods they share common similarities. Many times in the course of a

revolution the initial goals of the revolting group are enjoyed and for a short period of

time a general sense of accomplishment is felt by the induction of new ideas. However as

seen in the French and Russian revolutions the leadership that was so strongly opposed is

returned to power with little change noted on the surface.

Author George Orwell in his recent novel Animal Farm writes a very effective

political allegory of not only the Russian Revolution but of movements of the same

nature. So transparent are the obvious links to the revolution that it took the acclaimed

author several publisher rejections, including his own, to finally find one who would

publish his book. Included in the reasons for rejection were the fear of the impact on

wartime needs and policies, and the opinion that Orwell's satirical view was to strong

given the present political climate. None the less the novel was published by Frederic

Warburg, and rightfully so, as the tale of the Animal Farm is written to almost perfection

and has been called by many one of the best written books of our time.

The Russian revolution is one of the only revolutions in history that can be

compared to the French revolution in size and outcome. Orwell's impression of such a

movement seems to be clouded by his negative interpretation of the actions of those in

power. Animal Farm's use of satirical attacks on the revolution and it's key players is a

perfect depiction of Orwell's and those outside of Russia, especially in Britain, view.

Orwell's story at the Manor farm takes the reader through the course of a revolution, from

Marxist views to the reign of Stalin or in his story Napoleon.

Through what Orwell calls a fairy tale, his characters represent the major figures

and themes of Russia under the revolution. The character Mr. Jones is the cruel and

irresponsible farmer who mistreated his animals and who was suffering from financial

difficulties, can clearly be a representation of Czar Nicholas II. Who as we all know was

at best a poor leader unable to properly govern. Karl Marx's socialist order and ideas of

communism and equality that take front and center stage in Russia are the driving force

behind the initial revolutionary ideas in history and the novel. Marxist views are solely

brought to the forefront by the character Old Major who inspires the revolution and like

Marx devises the concept of animalism a clear parallel to communism. Animalism

preaches the equality of all animals, wild or domestic no matter the circumstances.

Unfortunately like communism, the human (in this case the animal) tendency for a

hierarchy of some sort quickly abolishes the ideas of equality. Orwell's ability

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