Stalin’s Purge Trials (which led to the death of three million people and sent many others to forced labour camps) and non-aggression pact between Stalin and Hitler provoked Orwell’s indignant reaction.
So he decided to write Animal Farm where he expressed his disillusionment with Stalinism and totalitarianism in general in the form of an animal fable.
The book is a short narrative set on a farm where a group of oppressed animals, capable of speech and reason and inspired by the teachings of an old boar (vecchio cinghiale), overcome (vincono) their cruel master (padrone) and set up (creano) a revolutionary government.
The pigs lead and supervise (i maiali sono alla testa e sorvegliano) the enterprise under Napoleon’s leadership.
At first the animal’s life is guided by Seven Commandments based on equality; however these are gradually altered by the pigs who become increasingly dictatorial and arrogate to themselves (si arrogano) the privileges previously exercised by humans (i privilegi prima esercitati dagli uomini).
At the end only one commandment remains: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.
Animal Farm can be interpreted non only as a satire on the Soviet Union but also as a satire on dictatorship in general.
Each animal is an symbol, for example Farmer Jones is Zar Nicolas II and Napoleon is obviously Stalin who used terror and force in order to assert and maintain his power over the animals.
The book blends (mescola) humour and sarcasm with horrifying scenes and a painful (dolorosa) atmosphere.
The main theme is that all revolutions fail to achieve the expectations of their promoters.