Nicholas II sitting on a throne; choosing to pair his diamond encrusted staff with his diamond encrusted coat-jacket and crown.
Mr Jones drinking alcohol on the job and consequently forgetting to shut the pop-holes of the hen cages.
Czar Nicholas II & Mr Jones
Another vital character in this novel is the figure of the former regime that the animals succeeded: Mr. Jones. This character’s history along with his attitude mirrors that of Czar Nicholas II of pre-revolution Russia. Subsequently this connection between history and Orwell’s writing will also be elaborated on this webpage, starting with their role in their societies.
Connection 1: Role in society
The most obvious connection should be Mr Jones and Czar Nicholas II’s place in their own societies, Manor Farm and Russia respectively. On Manor farm, Jones is introduced as the self-appointed ruler of animals, all the while, he is severely disliked and an obviously incompetent caretaker. This is shown on page 1 where he is introduced to be ‘too drunk... to shut the pop-holes [of the hen cages]’. Similarly, Nicholas was a third generation monarch, thus, he was entitled to endless amounts of gold and jewelry purely on the basis of blood relation (Britannica, 2013). This trail to becoming the sole leader of Russia was allegedly unjustified and acted as the fuel for his citizens to revolt against him; which is another thing they have in common: pre-abdication riots.
Connection 2: An uprising
The ‘Battle of the Cowshed’ in Animal Farm and the riots against Czar Nicholas II were both the defining events before finally ousting their former regime. Riots on Manor Farm began when the cows, the acting citizens of the Farm, ‘flung’ [P.7] themselves unto the humans; later on in the battle they ‘chased’ [P.8] Mr Jones away. This is a reflection of the historical riot in 1917 Russia when the citizens struck against their Czar and rioted until he stepped down (Britannica, 2013), i.e, they figuratively chased him away from leadership with their violence. Thus it can be clearly shown how these 2 characters have a direct parallel, but only with Orwell’s writing can an allegorical meaning develop.
Purpose & Significance
With Orwell’s choice of additional character features Mr Jones is made much more selfish and self-indulgent; on top of this the hierarchy of characters in Manor Farm echoes that of the natural food chain which suggests something else entirely. Firstly, Mr Jones and his human counterparts are frequently described as ‘drunk’ [P.1], ‘foolish’, [P.9] and ‘torment[ing]’ [P.7], thus, the impact of these negative synonyms is that the audience tend to dislike this character (Schmoop, 2008). However, Orwell takes an unexpected turn from these descriptions when illustrating him as not only the ‘Master’ [P.6] of the farm but also the top of the natural food-chain: a human. If readers even catch on to this connection, it may even allow them to perceive Mr Jones, as well as his historical equivalent Nicholas II, as the completely deserving and natural heads like humans on the food chain; thereby hinting that Napoleon would only be out of place as a leader for a pig's position on the food chain is the same to that of any other farm animal. With this he is illustrating how the Soviet Union would be better off with their imperial leader, in spite of what how the Czar treated them and how Stalin had developed the USSR.
By basing the figure of the former regime on Czar Nicholas II readers are inclined to believe that whatever Mr Jones had been, the former ruler of Russia echoed the same characteristics: incompetence and selfishness. In spite of this, illustrating Mr Jones as a human took a drastic turn from these descriptors and demonstrated how the sole elements that acted as Animal Farm's foundation were being destroyed by its new leader. This confusion of right and wrong may as well lead readers believing the the only way out of this would be to adopt another system entirely. Orwell chooses to show this through Mr Jones to outline this fatal flaw in the Soviet Union.