Old Major's role is also that of visionary or prophet because, smart as he is, part of Major’s vision of the future came to him in a dream. In his roles of philosopher and visionary, Major represents the political theorist Karl Marx. Old Major is older and wiser than the other animals, a fact that mirrors history. Marx and his theories predated (and therefore influenced) the ideas of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. All three men were still children at the time of Marx’s death.
Major’s vision of mankind’s problems and his plan for a utopian society closely match the tenets of Marxism as expressed in The Communist Manifesto. Major’s ideas of the animal and Man correspond with Marx’s views of the common man and the elite. We should bear this symbolism in mind as we examine Major’s speech.