Animal Farm WebQuest

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History and Biography

Animal Farm Webquest

An Online Scavenger Hunt


Directions: Please use the suggested links to find answers to each of the questions below. Be sure to paraphrase (not copy) the answers/information you find on the internet.  Also, as you skim these sources, see if you find parallels to events in Animal Farm.


Happy hunting!


For questions #1-2, please refer to your copy of the novel and to this website http://www.k-1.com/Orwell/site/opinion/essays/rhodi.html


  1. What was George Orwell’s personal experience of Stalin’s government, and how did this experience become the motivation/basis for Animal Farm?




  1. In what year was Animal Farm first published, and what war had just ended?



For question #3, refer to the following site (“Similarities and failures”):


  1. What are the common goals/failures of socialism and communism? (hint: utopia means “an ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects”)



For questions #4-10, please use the following webpage and links shooting off of it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Revolution (“The Russian Revolution”)



Click on “Russian Revolution (1917)” and skim the opening blurb and “Background”—stop at “Political Issues.”

  1. Who was the Czar (or Tsar) of Russia before the Russian Revolution (and during World War I)?

  2. What became of this Czar and his family during/after the Revolution?

Under the “Contents” box click on “February Revolution” and skim “long-term causes”, “short-term causes” and “course.”

  1. What happened during the February Revolution of 1917 (first phase of the Russian Revolution)?



Go back to the “Russian Revolution” page and select “October Revolution”


  1. What happened during the October Revolution of 1917 (second phase of the Russian Revolution)? Read the opening info and “outcomes.”



  1. Who were the Bolsheviks? Click on the link from “October Revolution” page.



Follow the “Vladimir Lenin” link from the Bolshevik page and from “Contents” select “Head of Soviet state” (read first two paragraphs around the quote); then select the “Russian communist party and civil war” link (read the first two paragraphs); finally, select the “Leninism” link


  1. Who was Vladimir Lenin, and what were the major ideas of “Leninism”?

  2. From the information in “Russian communist party and civil war,” what event in Animal Farm most resembles the Red Army’s defeat of the allied White Army?



For question # 11, focus on the first and third paragraphs of the following site: http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/95aug/napoleon.html


  1. Who was Napoleon Bonaparte, and what was his basic personality and style/methods of ruling?




For questions #17-22 use the following site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin


  1. Who was Josef Stalin, and what kind of ruler was he?





  1. What was Stalin’s relationship to Leon Trotsky, and why did Trotsky leave Russia?





  1. What are the differences between Trotskyism and Stalinism (click on “Leon Trotsky” link and there are links to these terms)?




  1. Skim the “purges” link from the Stalin page.  What were they? Who was “purged” or punished from the Soviet Union, and how?






  1. Skim through the “personality cult” link (#12 in contents box)—what is a cult of personality, and who uses such techniques in Animal Farm?





For question #17 use this web site: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/dec/03.htm

(focus on paragraphs 2 and 3)

  1. Why does Lenin (a communist) view religion as a negative influence in the lives of common people?



For question #18, use the document linked under “Russia and Germany in WWII”


  1. How are the events described like events from Animal Farm?



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