Analysis of Moses in Animal Farm

Analysis of Moses in Animal Farm

A Chapter by SincerelyJ
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Literary analysis of Moses the Raven in George Orwell's Animal Farm.

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The Mad Monks

Animal Farm, written by George Orwell in the 1940s, is an allegory depicting political themes and exposing truth about treacherous governments, namely in the cases of the Russian Revolution and communism. Symbology and representation are prevalent throughout the novella, visible especially in its characters, linking them to their existential counterparts from the Communist Revolution. In Animal Farm, Moses represents Grigory Rasputin because he won special favor from political leaders, because he was considered highly religious, and because he promoted religion to pacify the oppressed working class.

Both Moses and Rasputin were shown favoritism by their respective dictators, Mr. Jones and Tsar Nicholas II. In Moses’s case, this is made clear when he is referred to as “Mr. Jones’s especial pet” despite his acts of espionage and spreading pervasive falsities about the government (Orwell 37). Also conveying this is the fact Moses was allowed to remain on the farm and was given an allotment of beer every day, despite his total lack of contribution to the farm. Rasputin was treated figuratively the same way, becoming close to Russia’s royal family after “healing” Tsar Nicholas II’s son of hemophilia (Fuhrmann).

Part of the reason they were given distinctly different attention was that Moses and Rasputin were self-proclaimed followers of God, which they emphasized by incessant talk of the importance of life after death; however, both their religious practices were distorted from the truth. This was manifested in their (sometimes purposefully) neglected obedience of the Biblical principles they claimed belief in. Rasputin was known for his promiscuity and drunkenness, while Moses was famous for being cunning and deceitful, stirring up trouble among the other animals and discrediting even those biased to him; these blatant contradictions to professed doctrine serve as viable evidence of their immorality and flawed interpretations of religion.

Even though their views weren’t accurate, both Rasputin and Moses manipulated religion in order to make the working class less hostile. Moses did this by perpetual testimonies of “a country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died. . . Situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the clouds,” which is the parallel of Heaven (Orwell 37). By stressing the importance of eternal status, Moses and Rasputin encouraged others to overlook current hardships and unwelcome demands caused by totalitarian government, which could have and should have been stopped, had others examined the truth rather than choosing complacency. Had the working class known the uninhibited truth or the political realm, they could have taken action against unjust government, but without such knowledge, no similar action could’ve been taken - bearing witness to the statement that knowledge really is power. For this reason, religion was used to placate and pacify the commonwealth, stripping them of their influence by means of distraction.

The stark similarities between Moses and Rasputin are beyond doubt. They contribute to Animal Farm’s ability to be applicable to past, present, and future circumstances. Moses symbolizes Grigory Rasputin because he won partiality from political leaders, because he was regarded as religious, and because he endorsed religion to divert the oppressed working class from the harms of corrupt government.


Works Cited

Fuhrmann, Joseph T. “Grigory Rasputin.” Encyclopedia of Russian History. Ed. James R. Millar.

New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. Biography In Context. Web. 8 Sept. 2013.

“Grigory Efimovich Rasputin.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography In Context. 8 Sept. 2013.

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Signet Classic, 1945. Print.



© 2013 SincerelyJ


Author's Note

SincerelyJ
All constructive criticism accepted. Please and thank you.
xxx

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Featured Review

A very interesting analysis. I was always fascinated learning about the Russian revolution in history class, and Rasputin is one of the most unique (i.e: creepy) historical figures I know xD. I'm a big fan of Orwell too, particularly Animal Farm. I always interpreted Moses as representing the church in general, but what you've said here has changed my mind.
Stylistically speaking, you have a very concise, articulate and eloquent writing style. It was a pleasure to read, and you clearly know exactly what you're talking about.

Well done :)
- Helen x

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SincerelyJ

7 Years Ago

Thank you! It means so much that you would take the time to read and review this. You're too kind ha.. read more
FantasyGal

7 Years Ago

haha no problem ;)



Reviews

A very interesting analysis. I was always fascinated learning about the Russian revolution in history class, and Rasputin is one of the most unique (i.e: creepy) historical figures I know xD. I'm a big fan of Orwell too, particularly Animal Farm. I always interpreted Moses as representing the church in general, but what you've said here has changed my mind.
Stylistically speaking, you have a very concise, articulate and eloquent writing style. It was a pleasure to read, and you clearly know exactly what you're talking about.

Well done :)
- Helen x

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SincerelyJ

7 Years Ago

Thank you! It means so much that you would take the time to read and review this. You're too kind ha.. read more
FantasyGal

7 Years Ago

haha no problem ;)

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Added on September 21, 2013
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Tags: animal farm, George Orwell, moses, raven, literary analysis, fiction, nonfiction, report, allegory


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SincerelyJ
SincerelyJ

South Africa



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