Search Menu

Contents

Old Major

Old Major

As a democratic socialist, Orwell had a great deal of respect for Karl Marx, the German political economist, and even for Vladimir Ilych Lenin, the Russian revolutionary leader. His critique of Animal Farm has little to do with the Marxist ideology underlying the Rebellion but rather with the perversion of that ideology by later leaders. Major, who represents both Marx and Lenin, serves as the source of the ideals that the animals continue to uphold even after their pig leaders have betrayed them.

Though his portrayal of Old Major is largely positive, Orwell does include a few small ironies that allow the reader to question the venerable pig’s motives. For instance, in the midst of his long litany of complaints about how the animals have been treated by human beings, Old Major is forced to concede that his own life has been long, full, and free from the terrors he has vividly sketched for his rapt audience. He seems to have claimed a false brotherhood with the other animals in order to garner their support for his vision.

More characters from Animal Farm

Take the Analysis of Major Characters Quick Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Take the Analysis of Major Characters Quick Quiz

TAKE THE QUIZ
+
#

ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS QUICK QUIZ

What does Squealer excel at?
Being ruthless
Hard physical labor
Take the Analysis of Major Characters Quick Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Analysis of Major Characters Quick QUIZ

+
Take the Analysis of Major Characters Quick Quiz
TAKE THE QUIZ

Buy on BN.com and save!

Animal Farm

Animal Farm (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

Got it?
Take a quiz on All Major Characters →