Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:
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. – Animal Farm is an allegory for the Russian Revolution – The characters, places and events represent actual people that lived and the things they did – It ultimately makes a comment or judgement about the Russian Revolution
Russian History 101 Or “Once Upon a Time in Russia”...”
Once upon a time in Russia... There lived a supreme ruler—the Tsar—and his family The Tsar (emperor) was an absolute ruler—his word was LAW His rule was his birthright—the people didn’t pick him, God did (nice work if you can get it...) 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
Meanwhile... About 10% of Russians lived this high life The other 90% were known as peasants They worked in factories or on farms owned by the nobility and barely had enough to survive
Nobility Only the nobility were allowed to own land Most businesses were owned by the nobility and a few very rich people Peasants 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 guys They were little more than slaves, really...
Enter Marxism Karl Marx was a German economist / philosopher He hated the conditions of factories in the 1840s and wrote about what he saw His ideas spread through Europe Factory owners do nothing and get rich off the labour of their workers If workers stopped working, production would stop Since the real power is with the workers, they should control factories and share the wealth He blamed poverty on capitalism—the system wherein people own private businesses and land and make a profit by paying workers to make things. He invented communism—the system wherein everybody worked for the good of the people. Nobody made a profit. Everyone was equal and got the basic needs of life
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 into – Haves (business owners / wealthy people) – and have-nots (workers / poor people). Marx predicted that the workers would rise up and take control of the factories and companies from the owners. Once the revolution was won, – The workers would destroy the owners, – a classless society would emerge, – and everyone would share the wealth.
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. Many people started protesting against the Tsar for change The Tsar reacted by ordering his soldiers to fire on the protesters
Now back to our story... Animal Farm tells this story by setting it on a farm where the animals overthrow the evil farmer to run the farm themselves Just like the real Russian Revolution, things go horribly wrong...