Animal Farm

4. How does the previous question connect back to Trotsky and Stalin and the modernization of Russia?


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The windmill is at the center of Snowball’s and Napoleon’s fiercest debate. Rather than representing a specific point of debate between Trotsky and Stalin, the windmill symbolizes Soviet industry, both agricultural and factory. The narrator tells us that, up until the building of the windmill, Manor Farm has been stuck in the past. It is not technologically advanced, though other farms are. This mirrors the fact that, coming into the Soviet Era, Russia’s agriculture and city industry lagged behind other civilized countries. All of the three original Soviet leaders, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, recognized the need for industrial progress and had varying ideas about how to pursue it. In his conception and promotion of the windmill, Snowball can be seen to take a turn as Lenin. Lenin’s New Economic Policy (NEP) was an attempt to stimulate Russian productivity, one that Stalin ceased and replaced with his own “windmills,” the Five Year Plans. On a broader scale, the windmill represents the abstract Soviet cause toward the common good.