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In Animal Farm, George Orwell attempts to lay bare the hypocrisy, brutality, and moral corruption at the heart of the Soviet Union under Stalin.

At the time when Orwell wrote the book, a disturbingly high proportion of leftist intellectuals in Western Europe and the United States genuinely believed that the USSR was some kind of socialist utopia which provided an example for the nations of the capitalist West to emulate. Orwell aimed to challenge this distorted worldview by exposing the realities of life under one of history’s most notorious mass murderers.

As has been stated in a previous answer, Animal Farm is a political allegory. The farm depicted in the story is meant to represent the Soviet Union under Stalin, just as Stalin himself is represented by Napoleon, the dictator pig.

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All of the events that happen in the story are based on things that occurred in the USSR in the 1930s, whether it’s the brutal murder of the regime’s enemies-both real and imagined-the constant regurgitation of mindless propaganda, or the use of famine as an instrument of repression.

Orwell, as a man of the Left, didn’t want to foreclose the possibility of radical political and economic change in society. However, in Animal Farm, as elsewhere in his writings, he highlights the potential dangers implicit in any form of radical ideology when it is applied to real-world conditions.

Orwell’s classic novella Animal Farm is a cautionary tale about the dangers of consolidating political power in a communist state and a warning against authoritarian regimes and dictators. Orwell’s novella allegorically represents the events that transpired before, during, and after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, when Joseph Stalin usurped power and oppressed the entire Soviet Union. Similarly, Napoleon usurps power in the novella shortly after the Battle of the Cowshed and develops into a tyrannical ruler, who oppresses his subjects by forcing them to work long hours while continually reducing their food rations. Orwell’s message warns readers about allowing shrewd, selfish politicians to consolidate power and gradually take away civil rights and liberties. He also warns readers about the various methods of manipulation and propaganda used by authoritarian regimes to oppress and control the populace. Squealer acts as Napoleon’s mouthpiece and cleverly manipulates the animals using various rhetorical devices and propaganda strategies to deceive the animals into believing and supporting Napoleon’s selfish, oppressive political agenda. Orwell’s novella also emphasizes the dangers of government corruption and illustrates how maniacal leaders and debased politicians can establish and create an oppressive, terrifying society, where the majority of the population lives in fear.

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