One could find hundreds of books concerning the Russian revolution; however, it was George Orwell's Animal Farm that shed light on the corruption of the revolution. Even though Animal farm is clearly a satire on the Russian Revolution, it can easily be compared to many revolutions, especially the Cuban. Both revolutions were led by a powerful man, or animal, with strong public support, and spoke of a great nation in which everyone was equal. Yet, in the end of both revolutions, the supreme leader ended up being corrupt and a full-fledged dictator.
Orwell wanted to show how there is such corruption only in mankind, hence Animal Farm being a novel with talking animals; acting as an emphasis on the fact that animals would never conduct a situation of any similarity. The most significant detail that Orwell included in his book was Napoleon, a powerful and forceful leader who felt he was always just, clearly portraying a dictator. Such a character could easily be compared to Fidel Castro, the leader of the Russian revolution. For, as soon as Castro took office in Cuba, he listened to no one, and did only as he saw fit.
As Castro led the revolution, he gained the love of the majority of Cuba because most Cubans at the time were either poor or middle class; and Castro spoke about equality amongst everyone, meaning there would be no rich or poor. However, once Castro gained the people's trust he put fear in everyone's eyes with examples of torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extra-judicial executions. Much like Castro, Napoleon started out by acting as a compassionate leader, and in concern of the animals' "well-being".
He then put fear in the animals' eyes by releasing Jessie's nine puppies, the enormous, fierce dogs that Napoleon had trained as his assistants. This similarity shows the reader how effective propaganda truly is, especially when the propaganda is in your benefit. One gets lured in and loves, and then the love is turned to fear; love and fear is a deadly combination. As stated before, much like Castro, Napoleon viciously killed the animals who confessed of their ties to Snowball. They did not know which was more shocking - the treachery of the animals who had leagued themselves with Snowball, or the cruel retribution they had just witnessed. " (Animal Farm 57). Not only did both Fidel Castro and Napoleon run a similar fear campaign, but both seemed to run a totalitarianism-like government. Both leaders led their revolutions, and simply proclaimed leadership after overthrowing the former dictator; neither Castro nor Napoleon was ever elected.
Both leaders were also extremely insecure and paranoid. Fidel Castro has refused to hold any sort of elections in attempt to keep himself in office, which he has successfully accomplished for the past forty-five years. Napoleon did decide to hold elections; however, he made sure he was the only one running for president, and if the animals did not vote they would be murdered; ensuring his keeping of power. "Castro also placed the press under strict censorship, and sentenced to death a number of his political enemies.
Once again Cuba's jails were filled with political critics, including many of Castro's former comrades, anti-communist labor leaders, and other veteran opponents of the Batista regime. " (George Welling). Almost identical to Castro, Napoleon blamed his problems on his political enemy, Snowball, and ordered that if any animal is to see Snowball they should murder him immediately. Napoleon also framed a number of pigs of being in relation with Snowball and had them torn to pieces by Jessie's nine puppies, once again exercising his dictator muscle and striking all the animals' hearts with fear.
These actions are much like Castro's imprisonment of all the political critics who voiced against his actions; however, Napoleon, instead of punishing those who went against him, he made an example of what would happen if anyone did; by brutally murdering them, scaring the animals of even thinking about a rebellion. Much like Fidel Castro, Napoleon used extreme censorship and forced ignorance upon the animals to enable him to hold a strong dictatorship.
In Animal Farm Napoleon does greatly encourage education, as well does Castro, but he only believes in education in what he wants the people to know. Hence the modification of the commandments as Napoleon pleased. Due to only few animals actually being able to read, the others just memorizing, Napoleon was able to easily accomplish what may be considered "selective learning. " In Cuba, even today, Fidel Castro holds extreme censorship on everything seen, heard, and read in Cuba.
If the article, television program, radio program, or even book is not approved by Fidel Castro's team of censorship, it does not enter Cuba. Just recently, Castro ordered a ban on the Internet throughout Cuba, and only government officials, the military, and select individuals are currently allowed to use the Internet. The two leaders also successfully used propaganda to gain the support of their people. In the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro spoke of total equality amongst everyone, and the bringing of Cuba back to a democracy, and ridding the nation of its dictatorship ties imposed by Batista.
During Castro's presidential speech, 2 doves flew on his shoulders as he spoke, somewhat subliminally portraying that life will be better under his rule. The methods used by Fidel Castro and Napoleon to convert their lies of equality to the bitter truth of dictatorship were also very similar. "Taking advantage of his own charisma and of the people's trust in him, Castro managed to impose a totalitarian system in scarcely three years. He used deceit and implacable repression. He eliminated all potential political rivals.
He seized control of the labor unions and the student and professional organizations. He took over the media and gradually confiscated all private enterprise, as well as all private education and the excellent HMO-type health care system. Even the smallest businesses were eliminated as private enterprise became a crime. " (Cuba: Exodus... ). Napoleon's actions were very similar, for he gradually changed commandments to fit his own preferences, and slowly imposed longer and harder work on the animals but portrayed it as beneficial for the animals.
It is evident that both occurrences resulted in a dictatorship; however, Cuba has one of the best economies in Latin America, and Animal Farm was prospering more than ever after Napoleon had modified the commandments, and enforced the new work schedule and began trade with the humans. As stated before, Animal Farm is simply a novel, and a satire, making it evident that corruption of this caliber has and can never occur in any other animals; in a sense rendering mankind somewhat inferior, mentally, to that of animals. (1,116 words) ---------------------------------------- Work Cited Page:
Books: Coltman, Leycestet, and Julia E. Sweig. The Real Fidel Castro. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. Leonard, Thomas M. Fidel Castro : A Biography. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004. Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Penguin Books, 1996. Web Pages: Welling, George. Castro Comes To Power In Cuba. 3 June 2003 From Revolution to Reconstruction... and what happened afterwards. 8 Apr. 2004 Clark, Juan. Cuba: Exodus, Living Conditions and Human Rights. 12 July 1999 Florida International University. 8 Apr. 2004 Fidel Castro. 8 Apr. 2004 Wikipedia. 9 Apr. 2004