Where did Orwell get the idea for Animal Farm? from seeing a boy whip a horse He thought of man’s power over animals and other men.
Why did Orwell travel to Spain? w to write about the civil war there w He even fought in it. w Ernest Hemingway was another American author who fought in the Spanish civil war.
What did Orwell discover while in Spain? w That liberal, revolutionary causes can be corrupted and evolve into another form of TOTALITARIANISM. w That what starts off as a movement to help people can eventually be corrupted into something that hurts people.
TOTALITARIANISM Kind of dictatorship where one political party has total control and all opposition is ruthlessly oppressed. HITLER & MUSSOLINI are examples of totalitarians.
Russian history influenced the writing of Animal Farm.
Romanov Royal Family w Alexander III ruled over Russia. w His son Nicholas met and married Alexandra, who was born in Germany.
When Alexander died, Nicholas and Alexandra were married hastily. They were coronated Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra. Nicholas had absolute power and was seen by the Russian people as a “god on earth.” They had four daughters and one son, Alexei.
Alexei Romanov w The heir to the Russian throne has life- threatening hemophilia. w This fact was hidden from the Russian people. w The disease is transmitted through the mother, who felt guilty. She sought help through medicine first and then through religious fervor.
Gregory Rasputin w He took care of Alexei and “healed” him more than once. Alexandra completely trusted him. w Russian people did not understand his influence. w Some thought him holy, some thought him Satanic, and some thought him hypnotic.
Death of Rasputin w Rasputin was hated by the Russian people, who questioned his morality. They thought he might be having an affair with the czarina. w He was killed by peasants, who thought killing him would improve the conditions for common people in Russia.
Life of the Russian peasants w There was not enough food, and wealth was unevenly distributed. A few aristocrats had all the money, and there were many peasants with nothing. w They blamed Nicholas II, who did nothing to improve their conditions. w They believed the promises of a better life told them by revolutionaries.
Social Unrest w Not enough food w factory workers were discontent with wages and conditions w “Bloody Sunday” occurred when over 100 striking workers were killed by police, which angered the peasants. w Underground “secret” newspapers encouraged revolution
Rise of Communism w Karl Marx was the author of communist theory. (Everyone should be equal and have equal resources.) w He said, “Workers of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”
Rise of Communism w Vladimir I. Lenin was also an author of communist theory. w He was a leader of the Bolshevik (majority) political party in Russia; he encouraged the peasants to revolt against Nicholas II. w He was a great hero to the Russian people, and his corpse is still on display.
Lenin w Told the people that they could have a better life if they would revolt against the czar. He gave them hope with stories of a better life.
Leon Trotsky w Was another key player in the Russian Revolution w Was also a leader in the Bolshevik party w Met with an unfortunate end, thanks to Joseph Stalin
Russian Revolution w Referred to as “Red October” because it occurred in October of the Russian calendar and involved much bloodshed w came at the heels of WWI, which cost Nicholas II many resources; people were hungry and miserable w People became angry with czarina, who was from Germany -- the country that killed so many Russians in WWI.
Peasants Rise Up Against Royal Family w The Romanovs were help captive for several months. w Nicholas II abdicated (gave up) his throne to the Bolshevik party. w Other European countries sought to rescue the royal family but were unsuccessful.
Murder of the Romanovs w 7 members of the royal family and 4 servants were taken to the basement for their “protection” in the middle of the night and were assassinated. w The daughters had to be stabbed with bayonets because the bullets bounced off the diamonds they had secretly sewn into their corsets for protection.
Murder of the Romanovs w Bodies were buried in a pit in the woods after being burned with fire and sulfuric acid in an attempt to make them unrecognizable. w Some of the remains were discovered in the 1970’s but were not shared with the world until 1989 after the fall of the communist regime.
Stalin’s Rise to Power w Within the Bolshevik party, Stalin plotted to take power away from Lenin. w Lenin was warned in a note about Stalin but died of a series of strokes before he did anything about it. The note resurfaced later, but Stalin assured party members that he did not have any ulterior motives.
Stalin’s Rise to Power w Stalin tarnished Trotsky’s name with rumors and then expelled him from Russia. Trotsky turned up dead in Mexico later, probably under Stalin’s orders. w Stalin was a dictator by his 50th birthday. w He took more and more power.
STALINISM: a reign of terror w Stalin took all individually owned farms as government property (“collectivization”). w Farmers retaliated by destroying livestock and produce, which caused widespread starvation. w Millions were executed or sent into exile for trying to steal food.
STALINISM: a reign of terror w Stalin executed anyone whom he suspected might be against him, even soldiers and party leaders. w Everyone was scared of cheka, or the secret police. (later called KGB) w Everyone spied on everyone else and turned in people (even family members) for “unlawful” thinking.
STALINISM: a reign of terror w Stalin allied with Hitler in 1939 and agreed to help him take Poland. w In exchange, Germany agreed to divide Poland and not to invade Russia. w Stalin was warned by the USA, Britain, and even his own cheka not to trust Hitler.
STALINISM: a reign of terror w Germany did not divide Poland with Russia, and Hitler’s forces DID attack Russia in 1941, greatly setting back the industrial advances Russia had made. w Russia allied with Britain and USA to kick Germany out of Russia.
Spread of Communism w After WWII, communism began to spread throughout the world, including Stalinism -- terroristic communism. w These countries made technological advances in industry, nuclear weaponry, and space exploration. w They seemed to be hiding from the western world behind an “iron curtain.”
STALINISM w Stalin died in 1953 of a brain hemorrhage; he was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his people. w Stalinist governments spread throughout the world.
Stalinist Regimes 1. Propaganda machine * rewriting history to fit current policy * using media to control what people think or know 2. Violence * violence or threat of violence used to control people