Endangered Animal Pictures BiographyPeter Edgerly Firchow and Peter Davison consider that in real life, with events in Animal Farm mirroring those in the Soviet Union, the Battle of the Windmill represents the Great Patriotic War (World War II), especially the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Moscow. During the battle, Fredrick drills a hole and places explosives inside, and then "All the animals, including Napoleon" took cover; Orwell had the publisher alter this to "All the animals except Napoleon" in recognition of Joseph Stalin's decision to remain in Moscow during the German advance. This very particular alteration had been occasioned by Orwell having been in Paris in March 1945, working as a war correspondent for the Observer and the Manchester Evening News. In Paris he met Joseph Czapski, a survivor of the Katyn Massacre. In spite of Czapski's opposition to the Soviet regime, he told Orwell, as Orwell wrote to Arthur Koestler, that it had been "the character [and] greatness of Stalin" that saved Russia from the German invasion.
The Battle of the Cowshed represents the allied invasion of the Soviet Russia in 1918, and the defeat of the White Russians in the Russian Civil War.
Front row (left to right): Rykov, Skrypnyk, and Stalin—'When Snowball comes to the crucial points in his speeches he is drowned out by the sheep (Ch. V), just as in the party Congress in 1927 [above], at Stalin's instigation 'pleas for the opposition were drowned in the continual, hysterically intolerant uproar from the floor'.
Other connections that writers have suggested illustrate Orwell's telescoping of Russian history from 1917 to 1943 include the wave of rebelliousness that ran through the countryside after the Rebellion, which stands for the abortive revolutions in Hungary and in Germany (Ch IV); the conflict between Napoleon and Snowball (Ch V), paralleling "the two rival and quasi-Messianic beliefs that seemed pitted against one another: Trotskyism, with its faith in the revolutionary vocation of the proletariat of the West; and Stalinism with its glorification of Russia's socialist destiny"; Napoleon's dealings with Whymper and the Willingdon markets (Ch VI), paralleling the Treaty of Rapallo; and Frederick's bank notes, paralleling the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact of August 1939, which are forgeries. Frederick attacks Animal Farm without warning and destroys the windmill.
The book's close, with the pigs and men in a kind of rapprochement, reflected Orwell's view of the 1943 Teheran Conference that seemed to display the establishment of "the best possible relations between the USSR and the West"—but in reality were destined, as Orwell presciently predicted, to continue to unravel. The disagreement between the allies and the start of the Cold War is suggested when Napoleon and Pilkington, both suspicious, "played an ace of spades simultaneously".
A BBC radio version, produced by Rayner Heppenstall, was broadcast in January 1947. Orwell listened to the production at his home in Canonbury Square in London, with Hugh Gordon Porteous, amongst others. Orwell later wrote to Heppenstall that Porteous, "who had not read the book, grasped what was happening after a few minutes." A further radio production, again using Orwell's own dramatisation of the book, was broadcast in January 2013 on BBC Radio Four. Tamsin Greig narrated and the cast included Nicky Henson as Napoleon, Toby Jones as the propagandist Squealer, and Ralph Ineson as Boxer.
Animal Farm has been adapted to film twice. The 1954 Animal Farm film was an animated feature and the 1999 Animal Farm film was a TV live action version. Both differ from the novel, and have been accused of taking significant liberties, including sanitising some aspects. In the 1954 version, Napoleon is apparently overthrown in a second revolution. The 1999 film shows Napoleon's regime collapsing in on itself, with the farm having new human owners, as happened in the Soviet Union, appropriating the new political reality to the story. In 2012, a HFR-3D version of Animal Farm potentially directed by Andy Serkis was announced.
A theatrical version, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell, was staged at the National Theatre London on 25 April 1984, directed by Peter Hall. It toured nine cities in 1985. A solo version, adapted and performed by Guy Masterson, premièred at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh in January 1995 and has toured worldwide since.
Main article: Animal Farm in popular culture
References to the novel are frequent in other works of popular culture, particularly in popular music and television series.
LCCN 46006290 (hardcover, 1946, First American Edition)
ISBN 0-451-51679-6 (paperback, 1956, Signet Classic)
ISBN 0-582-02173-1 (paper text, 1989)
ISBN 0-15-107255-8 (hardcover, 1990)
ISBN 0-582-06010-9 (paper text, 1991)
ISBN 0-679-42039-8 (hardcover, 1993)
ISBN 0-606-00102-6 (prebound, 1996)
ISBN 0-15-100217-7 (hardcover, 1996, Anniversary Edition)
ISBN 0-452-27750-7 (paperback, 1996, Anniversary Edition)
ISBN 0-451-52634-1 (mass market paperback, 1996, Anniversary Edition)
ISBN 0-582-53008-3 (1996)
ISBN 1-56000-520-3 (cloth text, 1998, Large Type Edition)
ISBN 0-7910-4774-1 (hardcover, 1999)
ISBN 0-451-52536-1 (paperback, 1999)
ISBN 0-7641-0819-0 (paperback, 1999)
ISBN 0-8220-7009-X (e-book, 1999)
ISBN 0-7587-7843-0 (hardcover, 2002)
ISBN 0-15-101026-9 (hardcover, 2003, with Nineteen Eighty-Four)
ISBN 0-452-28424-4 (paperback, 2003, Centennial Edition)
ISBN 0-8488-0120-2 (hardcover)
ISBN 0-03-055434-9 (hardcover) Animal Farm with Connections
ISBN 0-395-79677-6 (hardcover) Animal Farm & Related Readings, 1997
ISBN 0-582-43447-5 (hardcover, 2007)
ISBN 0-14-103349-5 (paperback, 2007)
On 17 July 2009, Amazon.com withdrew certain Amazon Kindle titles, including Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, from sale, refunded buyers, and remotely deleted items from purchasers' devices after discovering that the publisher lacked rights to publish the titles in question. Notes and annotations for the books made by users on their devices were also deleted. After the move prompted outcry and comparisons to Nineteen Eighty-Four itself, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener stated that the company is "[c]hanging our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."
History of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union (1917–1927)
History of the Soviet Union (1927–1953)
Polish Nobel laureate Władysław Reymont, with his Revolt, anticipated by two decades Orwell's Animal Farm.
Gulliver's Travels, a favourite book of Orwell's—Swift reverses the role of horses and human beings in the fourth book—Orwell brought also to Animal Farm "a dose of Swiftian misanthropy, looking ahead to a time 'when the human race had finally been overthrown.'"
Bunt (Revolt), published in 1924, is a book by Polish Nobel laureate Władysław Reymont with a theme similar to Animal Farm's.
White Acre vs. Black Acre, published in 1856 and written by William M. Burwell, is a satirical novel that features allegories for slavery in the United States similar to Animal Farm's portrayal of Soviet history.
George Orwell's own Nineteen Eighty-Four, the classic dystopian novel about totalitarianism.
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