Effects of oppression on Orwell’s work At the time, a historical event is a very sensitive andcontroversial topic.
This creates a situation in which parodying the topicseems very rude or is frowned upon. However, after time has passed and theissue is regarded as history, the events are much easier to critique withoutbeing offensive. Such were the circumstances during the Russian Revolution, inwhich George Orwell wrote a satire novel called Animal Farm. Orwell’s work was affected negatively in many waysincluding industrialization, leaders of the time, and the oppressive socialforces during these events. During the Russian Revolution, industrialization was amajor influence on the government and people, including George Orwell and hisworks through the harsh working conditions set by the government..
The noveldepicts industrialization through the form of a windmill, which the animalscreated in the story. Snowball, the character who represents Leon Trotsky and avery influential individual during the time, had many ideas about the future ofthe farm, including a “windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo andsupply the farm with electrical power” (Orwell, 32). These events occurred inthe Russian revolution in which “Alexander II … opened the way for industrialdevelopment” (PAR. 2), which Orwell decided to portray through a windmill sincehe could not write about it normally without getting into trouble. Although thewindmill seemed like a good idea, in the end, it was not and Orwell shows thatthrough the harsh conditions, which the animals faced even after it, wascomplete.
Snowball tells the whole farm “in glowing sentences about how itmight be when sordid labour was lifted from the animals’ backs” (Orwell 35).Considering how this was also done in the actual revolution, Orwell had towrite about this in his book, thus making it harder for Orwell to fully tellthe truth to the reader. Overall, the industrialization of Russia during therevolution had a big impact on the people of Russia and Orwell’s work. In addition to the industrialization of Russia, therewere also many leaders during the time of the Russian revolution; the mostprominent and influential were Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Snowball (LeonTrotsky) wanted success for the farm and the best for all animals which hecould not achieve since he got driven out by Napoleon.
In many instances of theanimals gathering, “snowball often won over the majority by his brilliantspeeches” (Orwell, 31) which pushed him to being the better leader. Orwellwrites about Trotsky as a very passive yet assertive leader through hisdepiction as Snowball. Along with Trotsky, Joseph Stalin also demonstratedstrong leadership skills but in a different way. Napoleon (Stalin) claimed hisrole as leader through sheer force and running Snowball out the farm (Orwell,35).
Orwell wrote of Stalin as an aggressive leader and how his actionseventually enable him to take control of the country. Joseph Stalin and LeonTrotsky were the most influential leaders during the revolution due to theiractions and effects.Alongwith the leaders of the time, the oppressive social forces also had a bigeffect on Orwell’s work since the government used a lot of propagandathroughout the revolution. During the industrialization of Russia, workers wereforced to work long hours with minimal pay and harsh working conditions. In the novel, the animals were in a similarsituation where they were “silent and terrified” and “crept back into the barn”(Orwell 36). Writing something about this topic, specifically about how”industrialization concentrated people in urban centers, where the exploitedworking class was a receptive audience for radical ideas” (PAR. 2), would havegotten Orwell in big trouble, forcing him to write differently and affectinghis work. Similarly, Orwell could not write about the reality of hisgovernment, which was not actually trying to help its citizens, but takeadvantage of them and their vulnerability, through the use of propaganda.
Inthe novel, a pig named Squealer continuously scares the working animals on thefarm about Mr. Jones, who represents Czar Nicholas, and how he would come backif the animals did not continue to work hard and make the windmill (Orwell).The same thing happened in the real revolution in which Joseph Stalin used alot of propaganda through posters and such to instill fear in his citizens,which created a situation where it was not possible for Orwell to writeanything about the issue without getting into trouble.
Overall, the oppressivesocial forces affected George Orwell’s work through the use of fear andpropaganda, which led to Orwell writing the novel as a satire.Theindustrialization of Russia, the leaders of the time, and the oppressive socialforces largely affected George Orwell’s work. The industrialization of Russiacreated circumstances in which the people were forced to do harsh, manuallabour, which Orwell could not write about without being oppressed by thegovernment. This government consisted of many leaders, most significant ofwhich were Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin. Stalin was the leader that was themost oppressive of the bunch and could have even gotten Orwell killed if hetold the truth to the rest of the world, compelling Orwell to create a satireinstead. During the time of any historical event, the issue is very profoundand ridiculing or mocking the topic is frowned upon by society.