Chapter 5

"Best Buds" Trotsky and Stalin
"Best Buds" Trotsky and Stalin

Summary:Snowball and Napoleon disagree constantly on how to run Animal Farm. Snowball comes up with a plan to construct a windmill in order to create electricity and make life easier for the animals in the future, but construction will be hard work. Napoleon does not approve of the plan. During their weekly meeting, Napoleon has Snowball chased from the farm by the puppies he has been secretly raising into vicious guard dogs. Napoleon then announces that pigs will have full power over all animals and takes the windmill idea as his own, claiming that he supported the plan all along.

Stalin's Tactics

Fear: During the rule of Joseph Stalin, "The rule of force replace[d] the rule of law. Justice [came] out of the barrel of a gun." Stalin had a "secret police", also known as the NKVD. As Stalin's power increased, he became extremely paranoid that everyone was plotting to kill him. He used the NKVD to ensure his life and power.
For example, a man by the name of Sergei Kirov, a protege of Stalin's, was unafraid to argue publicly against Stalin's beliefs. Just as Kirov was becoming very powerful over Stalin, he was conveniently assassinated by a young party member. Stalin used this assassination to further better himself. He claimed that the assassinator was "part of a larger conspiracy led by Leon Trotsky against the Soviet Government." On top of that, Stalin also arrested 17 party members who just so happened to be critical towards him. Stalin used an assassination that he more than likely planned in order to remove of people he saw as threats and to keep Leon Trotsky seen as a common enemy.

In Animal Farm, the dogs that Napoleon trains as his guard dogs are a symbol of Stalin's secret police. The dogs help Napoleon to succeed in removing Snowball, just as the NKVD helped Stalin succeed in removing Trotsky and any other suspected opposers. The guard dogs in the novel also help to keep the animals afraid to interfere or speak out against Napoleon. This is related to how Stalin's secret police were feared by the people of Russia and helped keep Stalin in power. Throughout the book, there will most likely be more direct relationships between Napoleon's guard dogs and the NKVD. Everything Napoleon will have them do the animals, Stalin probably had the NKVD do to the people of Russia.

Propaganda: Stalin and Napoleon both moved quickly to change the way their enemies were viewed.
Stalin used Trotsky's few disagreements with Lenin against him. By drawing attention to the few disagreements that Trotsky and Lenin had, he was able to distract people from the knowledge that Lenin liked Trotsky better than Stalin and actually wished for Trotsky to take his place. People assumed that if Stalin was able to criticize Trotsky for going against Lenin, than he must be following Lenin ideals more closely. Stalin just remained neutral as to not sway people in any other direction than away from Trotsky. In fact, Stalin used his friends Zinoniev and Kamenev to do his dirty work so it was hardly traceable back to him. Lenin was thought of so highly, that after his death, his body was preserved to be kept on display.

In Animal Farm, Snowball works hard on the windmill project while Napoleon "produced no schemes of his own, but said quietly that Snowball's would come to nothing." By silencing his own thoughts, Napoleon only allowed the other animals to pick up flaws in Snowball's. After chasing Snowball out, Napoleon recovers and cleans Old Majors skull as a sort of monument to remind the animals that he is working under the original ideas of the much respected Old Major.

After ridding the farm of the 'evil' Snowball, Napoleon quickly takes Snowball's windmill idea as his own, changing history. Stalin also manipulated history by photoshopping pictures as if his enemies never existed.

Stalin's use of photo manipulation to remove his enemies from pictures
Stalin's use of photo manipulation to remove his enemies from pictures

Stalin's Propaganda
Stalin's Propaganda

Symbolism / Historical Parallels:

Squealer - This news spreading pig represents the media of Russia that was taken over to promote Stalin. Stalin himself owned Pravda, a Russian newspaper, which he used specifically to persuade the people he was a worthy leader with biased and completely falsified information.

The Sheep - The sheep represent the gullible and ignorant working class of Russia. They find catchy phrases like "Four legs good, two legs bad" fun to repeat over and over again without fully understanding what they mean. They tend to follow the crowd or do what they are told without much thought.

The Windmill - Vladimir Lenin once said that "communism was merely socialism plus the electrification of the countryside." This comment shows the importance of technology and modernization to the Soviet Union. The Tzars of Russia mostly neglected technology and did not worry much about the modernization of their society. However, when communist leaders rose to power, many electrification projects came into action. This is the cause of George Orwell including the windmill into Animal Farm. Also, Stalin "initially balked at the idea of a national emphasis on modern technology". However, once he secured his position as dictator and Trotsky was out of the picture, Stalin embraced the idea of modernization. This is also seen in the novel when Napoleon is against Snowball's windmill idea and then claims it to be his own idea once Snowball is forced out of the farm.

Napoleon chases Snowball off the Farm - Stalin forced Trotsky out of Russia after turning all of the Russian people against him. Stalin did not kill Trotsky immediately because he had to make sure Trotsky looked like the ultimate traitor so that the murder appears as a justified execution. Stalin not only waited until Trotsky's reputation was stained to murder him though, he also kept his own status pristine by waiting until Trotsky was far from Russia in Mexico City and sent assassins to do the job for him. In Animal Farm, Napoleon chases Snowball off of the farm, but does not take special attention to insure his death. Snowball has his guard dogs chase him as opposed to himself. These actions have been planned out carefully as to not tarnish his own reputation.

Yet, Stalin was able to hit Trotsky with a hard blow by executed his son Leon Trotsky shortly after Trotsky's exile under the pretenses that his father was plotting to kill Stalin.

Leon Trotsky...dead.
Leon Trotsky...dead.
Important Quotes: "...the three dogs that happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted his explanation without further questions." (pg. 72)This quote shows that Napoleon has successfully implemented fear into the animals of the farm with his trained guard dogs, just as Stalin did to the people of Russia with his secret police. Because he resembles Stalin, we can expect Napoleon to dictate the animals of the farm later on in the book through fear.
The addition of the saying "Napoleon is always right." (pg.42) to Boxer's favorite original motto "I will work harder." (pg.42)The change in importance of mottos to Boxer shows how gullible the middle class can be towards leaders when left ignorant. Boxer only becomes confused when he tries to question Napoleon because he has no other source of information, so he accepts everything as truth. The Russian people did not question Stalin either, but accepted his propaganda with open arms because they did not know better either.
"At the Meetings Snowball often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times. He was especially successful with the sheep."This quote shows that Snowball was honest and public about his intentions while Napoleon was sneaking around gaining support secretly. Trotsky was open about his intentions too, while Stalin was silent, and this gave Stalin the information he needed to twist and turn against Trotsky. Stalin then went behind Trotsky's back to gain support and turn Russia against Trotsky.