Why Did George Orwell Write the Book “Animal Farm”?

George Orwell wrote the novella “Animal Farm” to show his dissatisfaction with the results of the Communist Revolution for the average Russian. While Lenin and Trotsky had grandiose visions of creating a utopia in which everyone had an equal share in society, the brutal tactics that Stalin used to cement his hold on power in the Soviet Union turned that dream into a brutal place in which dissidence was not just crushed but destroyed beyond recognition. The allegory at work in “Animal Farm” shows Orwell’s opinion of how Stalin turned out not to be any different from the tsarist oppressors who had kept the Russians under their thumbs.

“Animal Farm” is written as a “fairy story” populated by animals, after the style of Aesop’s fables. While the setting of the story is an English farm, the story that takes place is that of the Soviet Revolution. Some of the animals are direct analogues of figures from the Communist Party, with Napoleon standing for Stalin and Snowball standing for Trotsky. Because of the political considerations in place in 1945, when this book came out, Orwell uses allegorical figures that are nevertheless easy for his audience to identify. However, the themes of suffering, oppression and the perversion of justice apply far beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.