English Literature: Animal Farm Background and Context

How is Animal Farm an allegory?
The main characters and events of the story represent real people and events in Soviet Russia.
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Why does George Orwell use Animal Farm as an allegory?
It simplifies events to make his message clearer.
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What is Animal Farm based on? Between which years? What is significant about this date?
Russian History, from around 1917 - 1943, four years before the cold war.
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Which Russian ruler does Farmer Jones represent?
Tsar Nicholas II.
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What year had Tsar ruled in Russia from? What three characteristics did he have?
Since 1894 - he was powerful, unpopular, and had absolute authority.
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Most of Russia's wealth and land was owned by who? What were most of the rest of the population?
A small Noble Class - the rest were probably peasants.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Jones represents Tsar?
Farmer Jones has absolute control over the animals. This represents Tsar's power over the Russian people. Jones lives in luxury while the animals work hard for his benefit.
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What two things does Old Major represent?
Lenin's Revolutionary Ideas and Marx's View on Capitalism.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Old Major represents Lenin's Revolutionary Ideas?
Old Major tells the animals to rise up against their human masters.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Old Major represents Marx's view on Capitalism?
Old Major warns the dangers of trading with humans, He's proven right in the end - when Napoleon deciders to trade with Frederick , Frederick pays him in forged bank notes,
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Which radical party in Russia wanted to end inequality under the Tsar's leadership?
The Bolsheviks.
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Who led the Bolsheviks? What did he want?
Lenin - he wanted a revolution to overthrow the Tsar and called for an end to capitalism. He wanted to take power on behalf of the workers.
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What is Capitalism?
An economic system based on business - it's selling things to make a profit.
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What were Marx's views on capitalism?
It's wrong because those who did the work were poor while the business owners were getting rich. He said a worker's revolution would end inequality, After the revolution production would benefit everyone&everything would be shared - this is communism
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Who was Marx?
A political thinker.
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When and why did the Tsar give up the throne?
February 1917 because the Russian people were rioting.
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What was set up in Russia to replace the Tsar?
A provisional government.
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How does the Rebellion in Animal Farm represent the Russian people rioting and the Tsar giving up the throne?
The animals rebel against their ruler - like the Russian people. Jones is taken by surprise and the animals quickly defeat him.
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Who did Lenin think the best people to lead Russia were? What did they do later in 1917?
The Bolsheviks. They seized power and overthrew the ruling classes without much opposition.
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What happened in the Russian election being held for a new parliament?
The Bolsheviks failed to win a majority vote so they closed down the Assembly.
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What did the Bolsheviks eventually become?
The Communist party - the only legal party in Russia.
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Why does Orwell simplify events in Russia?
To make his message about the revolutionary leaders clearer.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that The Pigs represent The Bolsheviks?
The Bolsheviks quickly became the only political party.Soon after the rebellion, the pigs also take charge of running the farm.At first,the animals seem to be equal-but as time goes by,Napoleon gets rid of any opposition.It's the end of the democracy
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What does Old Major share with Lenin?
His Key Strengths.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Old Major shares Lenin's key Strengths?
Old Major encourages the animals to rebel and his memory comforts the animals.
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What transformed the Bolshevik party?
Lenin's organisation and leadership. He had a sensible and realistic approach to problems.
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When did Lenin die? What happened to his body? How does this link to an event in Animal Farm?
1924 - his body was put on public display by Stalin to associate himself with Lenin's ideas. Napoleon puts Old Major's skull on public display, like Stalin.
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Who was Lenin's right hand man? What happened to him?
Trotsky - he seemed the obvious choice to be Lenin's successor, but Stalin pushed him out - like Snowball seems the likely leader of the farm after Old Major's death, but Napoleon pushes him out.
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Who does Snowball represent?
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Who does Napoleon represent?
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What was Trotsky's most famous role in the Communist party?
leader of the army.
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What happened after the revolution? What did Trotsky show?
A civil war between the Bolsheviks and people still loyal to the Tsar. Trotsky proved that he was a good leader by organising a powerful army. Under Trotsky's leadership, the Bolsheviks won the civil war.
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What is a mutiny?
A rebellion or uprising against people in authority, usually on a ship
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which event in the novel shows Snowball to be like Trotsky? How?
The Battle of the Cowshed. When Jones returns to seize the farm, Snowball's strategies mean that the animals are prepared. Snowball is an organised, resourceful military leader.
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Explain what Trotsky did when a mutiny broke out on a Russian naval base
Trotsky sent in the army, they attacked and captured the base in a brutal battle. Many rebels were killed.
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Describe how Trotsky's ruthless streak shown in his actions over the mutiny are also portrayed in Snowball.
Snowball's commitment to animalism means that he can be coldhearted. He tells Boxer that 'War is war. The only good human being is a dead one"
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What happened between Stalin and Trotsky after Stalin's death?
Stalin went on to seize power from right under Trotsky's nose, simply through clever organisation and planning. Trotsky didn't even realise Stalin was a threat until it was too late.
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What is the power struggle between Stalin and Trotsky mirrored by?
The leadership battle between Napoleon and Snowball after Old Major dies. Snowball's popular campaign is no match for Napoleon's violent tactics.
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Who was Trotsky's main rival? What had he done?
Joseph Stalin - he had built a power base ' behind the scenes' in his work as General Secretary of the party.
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What were Trotsky's positive characteristics?
He was capable and popular with the army and Party members.
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What were Lenin's views on Trotsky and Stalin?
Trotsky: Arrogant but good at his job. Stalin: Should be removed from the office because he was too rude and ambitious.
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What part did Stalin play in the party?
He was an organiser. He was General Secretary of the Communist Party - he could control who was given government roles, and chose people loyal to him.
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What happened to Stalin's rivals?
They didn't have the same support as Stalin, and by the late 1920's, they were all voted out of power.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin?
At first it doesn't seem like Napoleon does much, but he's secretly training the puppies, and he surrounds himself with loyal followers in a similar way to Stalin, leaving Snowball isolated.
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What event in Russian History is represented by Napoleon expelling Snowball from the farm?
Trotsky was thrown out of the Communist Party and forced to leave Russia in 1929
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What event in Russia History is represented by Napoleon blaming any problems on Snowball and spreading rumours that Snowball's been working for Jones?
Trotsky became a 'non-person' -his name was removed from history books and his picture was rubbed out of photos.
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What event in Russian History is represented by Squealer spreading propaganda about Napoleon's great leadership and rewriting History?
Stalin created 'a cult of personality' Photographs were altered to show him&Lenin as friends.Stalin spread Propaganda about his own great leadership&banned criticism against him.He rewrote History so he played a more important role in the revolution.
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What does Napoleons regime symbolise?
Stalin's dictatorship.
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What was the situation in Russia by 1929?
Stalin was completely in control of the Communist Party and Russia. His policies were often completely different from communist ideas.
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At the end of the novel how does Napoleon represent Stalin in 1929?
Like Stalin, Napoleon becomes a dictator. He has absolute power on Animal Farm. He undermines the commandments one by one and changes them to suit him. The animals become increasingly scared but can't, or won't stand up to him.
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Even though Stalin was the undisputed leader of Russia, what did he become terrified of?
That others wanted to overthrow him. However, most people lived in fear and were unable to speak out.
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What is an alliance?
An agreement of friendship between two countries.
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In 1939, what did Stalin sign?
A pact with Hitler to form an alliance between Russia and Germany.
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How and when was Stalin betrayed?
By Hitler in 1941, as he invaded Russia. Russia stopped the invasion but many Russians suffered.
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After the war who did Russia sign a pact with? Why?
Britain and America to protect Russia's interests. America and Britain also thought such a deal would benefit their countries.
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How is Stalin trying to create alliances reflected in the Novel?
It reflects the relationship between the pigs and the farmers. They start as enemies - but the become friends. At the end of the book they fall out again over cheating at a card game.
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Describe the situation of Russian Peasants under Stalin.
They were forced to collectivise - everything was to be shared with the state, so they resisted. Stalin sent troops to attack them. Many burned their own crops and killed livestock in protest. This led to a famine in the 1930's.
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Which group of peasants particularly resisted collectivism?
Kulaks - richer peasants.
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How is it recognisable in the novel that the hens represent the Russian Peasants?
When the hens are told to sell their eggs to help the arm, they smash the eggs in protest. Napoleon starves the hens until they give in.
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How did Stalin deal with opposition?
He ordered a purge of peeps he believed were partof a conspiracy against him.Many communists were accusedof plotting w/ Trotsky&were arrested&charged in show trials.They were forced 2 confess-torture/threats&takenaway by NKVD&shot/sent 2 labour camps
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What were the NKVD?
The new secret police under stalin
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How many people died when Stalin decided to eliminate all disloyalty?
Ten Million
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How is it recognisable in the novel that Napoleon's (N) executions represent Stalin's removal of opposition? (Sn = Snowball)
N holds similar trials when Sn is said 2 be plotting against him.He forces animals 2 admit 2 working with Sn,then executes them.Even if N knows the animals arent conspiring against him,he wants 2 prove his power&scare any1 who might try 2 rebel
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Why does George Orwell use Animal Farm as an allegory?


It simplifies events to make his message clearer.

Card 3


What is Animal Farm based on? Between which years? What is significant about this date?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Which Russian ruler does Farmer Jones represent?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What year had Tsar ruled in Russia from? What three characteristics did he have?


Preview of the front of card 5
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