2 Animal Farm is an allegory Allegory: A story in which the characters, places and events mean something else, often a real life event. Allegories make an important statement about the subjects they cover
3 Animal Farm is an allegory for the Russian Revolution The characters, places and events represent actual people that lived and the things they didIt ultimately makes a comment or judgement about the Russian Revolution
4 What seems important in the pic? Your understanding (and enjoyment) of the novel will be helped by learning a little about the Russian RevolutionThink of it as a puzzle to be worked out—who is this character/ thing/event supposed to be?
5 Or “Once Upon a Time in Russia”...” Russian History 101Or “Once Upon a Time in Russia”...”
6 Once upon a time in Russia... There lived a supreme ruler—the Tsar—and his familyThe Tsar (emperor) was an absolute ruler—his word was LAWHis rule was his birthright—the people didn’t pick him, God did (nice work if you can get it...)
7 The Tsar and his court (princes, nobles, dukes and duchesses) lived very well They threw huge parties and wore expensive clothes, drinking and dancing most of the year
8 Meanwhile... About 10% of Russians lived this high life The other 90% were known as peasantsThey worked in factories or on farms owned by the nobility and barely had enough to survive
9 Only the nobility were allowed to own land Most businesses were owned by the nobility and a few very rich peoplePeasants and factory workers had to pay rent to live on the farms or in tiny apartments (usually 10 men in each one) for the privilege of working for these guysThey were little more than slaves, really...
10 How would you feel if you were a... Noble?Peasant / Worker?
11 Enter Marxism Karl Marx was a German economist / philosopher He hated the conditions of factories in the 1840s and wrote about what he sawHis ideas spread through Europe
12 Marx’s IdeasFactory owners do nothing and get rich off the labour of their workersIf workers stopped working, production would stopSince the real power is with the workers, they should control factories and share the wealth
13 He blamed poverty on capitalism—the system wherein people own private businesses and land and make a profit by paying workers to make things
19 Marxism There would be no private ownership. Marx stated that people who control the means of production have all the power & wealth and thus control society.According to Marx, throughout history society has always been divided intoHaves (business owners / wealthy people)and have-nots (workers / poor people).
20 Marx predicted that the workers would rise up and take control of the factories and companies from the owners.Why would they want to do this?
21 In Marx’s view... Once the revolution was won, The workers would destroy the owners,a classless society would emerge,and everyone would share the wealth.Bear in mind he was writing in The Russian Revolution happened in 1917.
22 So what does all this have to do with the Russian Revolution? While other countries moved forward, Russia seemed stuck in the Dark Ages.Many people turned to Marxist and Liberal ideas as a way to better their lives.The Russian people wanted CHANGE.
23 Now back to our story...Many people started protesting against the Tsar for changeThe Tsar reacted by ordering his soldiers to fire on the protesters
28 Eventually the workers and peasants DID rise up and overthrow the Tsar Lenin led this revolution and brought communism to RussiaHe immediately took all the businesses and land from the wealthy people and said he would redistribute among the poor people
44 Economic plansStalin made plans to spread communism through Russia and update Russia’s industryHe did this by taking control of the farms and setting quotas in the factoriesThe farming plan was a failure and resulted in famines killing millionsIn the factories, workers were sent to gulags or executed for not working hard enough
48 Animal Farm tells this story by setting it on a farm where the animals overthrow the evil farmer to run the farm themselvesJust like the real Russian Revolution, things go horribly wrong...As you read, use the chart to compare real life people and events to the characters and events in the novel