Joseph Stalin, born on December 21, 1879 in Gori, Russia, was the Dictator of the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) for 25 years. Not long after his expulsion from school in 1899, Stalin joined the underground revolutionary Marxist movement in T pilisi. When the movement split into two groups in 1904, he then joined the Bolshevicks, lead by Vladimir Lenin. During the last few years of Lenin’s life, Stalin was a member of the three-man committee, which was in charge of the party’s affairs. Shortly after Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, Stalin turned against his two associates in the three-man committee and gradually defeated the oppositions against him. In the year 1929, Stalin gained dictatorial control over the Soviet Union (Student resources in context, 1998).
Relation to Napoleon in Animal Farm:
In the Novel Animal Farm, Joseph Stalin was portrayed through the character Napoleon, a pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after Mr Jones is overthrown. During his rule of the USSR, Stalin was widely seen as a cruel leader who would eliminate anyone who got in his way, and millions of people who refused to cooperate with him were executed as a result (History.com, 1996). Much like Stalin, Napoleon used violence in order to maintain his ruling position in Animal Farm. One example of this can be seen when Napoleon trains the puppies not for their own education, but so that they could protect him and eliminate anyone who stands in his way. Moreover, after Snowball was banished from the farm, Napoleon had his dogs kill “the traitors who had leagued themselves with Snowball” (p61).
Another trait of Joseph Stalin that can be seen in Napoleon is Napoleon’s willingness to turn against his own allies for his own benefit. During the last years of Vladimir’s life, Joseph Stalin was a part of the three-man committee along with Grigori Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev. After Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin discredited Leon Trotsky, in order for himself to rise to power (Student resources in context, 1998). Following this task Joseph Stalin then turned on his two associates from the three-man committee. In the Novel, Napoleon turned on Snowball, another pig Orwell used to portray Leon Trotsky, and banished him from the farm after an argument on whether a windmill should be built.
Author's intentions and effectiveness
When George Orwell linked Napoleon to Stalin’s violence through training puppies to be his soldiers, this further increases the impact it has on the victim than if Napoleon had chosen any other animal. Puppies are widely seen as cute pets that aren’t capable of doing anything violent. In fact, dogs are even considered as a “Man’s best friend”. Therefore, Napoleon training the puppies to become his body guard and to kill everyone that refuses to cooperate with him would be a huge shock to readers. As a result, the violent tactics of Napoleon would be much more memorable to readers.