Monday, June 11, 2018

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Author: George Orwell
Original title: Animal Farm
Pages: 95
Edition Language: English
Series: no
Format: Paperback
Genres: Classics

    Mr. Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges...
My thoughts: 
      This book sounds like a children's tale: all of his animals on the Manor Farm meet in the big barn at the request of old Major, an old pig. Major delivers a political speech about the evils inflicted upon them by their human keepers and their need to rebel against the tyranny of humans. Shortly after, when Jones forgets to feed the animals, the revolution occurs, and Jones and his men are chased off the farm. Manor Farm is renamed Animal Farm, and the Seven Commandments of Animalism are painted on the barn wall
     But this is not a children's tale at all. That's some very heavy stuff. The book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. It felt as I was reading the history of the USSR in a nutshell and this experience is terrifying. I read a chapter every second or third day as the writing was dense; and with every event in the book I had a lot of other information occurring in the head making connection to reality out of Orwell's metaphors.
     George Orwell created the brilliant analogy to the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the development and establishment of the USSR and his ability to keep it short is purely amazing. My only regret was that he did not write the rest of the history of "Aminal Farm" and how it ended. I liked that the book was written in the politically neutral voice without painting black and white, which made this book unique as, though the idea is based on Russian history, I could not help but thinking that the scenario of Aminal Farm is applicable to any revolution. It is actually terrifying how universally applicable it is. History is repeating itself, people are driven by money, profit and power; and Aminal Farm is revealing the history of humankind on this planet. 
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
    In conclusion, Animal Farm is a novel that completely shook and terrified me and one of the few books that I think everyone should read at some point in their lives.

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