Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Series: N/A
Publication: August 1945
Genre: Fable, allegory, satire.

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge–  A banned book

Synopsis (Goodreads)
“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

One night on an English farm, Major the boar recounts his vision of a utopia where his fellow creatures own the land along with the means of production and are no longer the slaves of humans.

Before long his dream comes true, and for a short while all animals really are equal. But the clever pigs educate themselves and soon learn how to extend their own power, inevitably at the expense of the rest of the community.

This well-loved tale is, of course, a satire on the Soviet Communist system that still remains a powerful warning despite the changes in world politics since “Animal Farm” was first published.

This production is based on Orwell’s own radio version which was first produced in 1947.

My Thoughts

This is the first Orwell book I’ve read – I know, I’m shocked too. I’ve been meaning to read one for a while and I’m glad I finally managed to do so.

Although I found the book surprisingly easy to reading and interesting, I found the author’s note afterwards even more interesting. In the note, he explains his motivations and need to write this blunt and in your face book. He explains that

it was of the utmost importance to me that people in western Europe should see the Soviet régime for what it really was.

He already knew it would be banned and difficult to publish due to it’s nature, stating

The English intelligentsia, or most of them, will object to this book because it traduces their Leader and (as they see it) does harm to the cause of progress.

Furthermore, he explained his reasoning for using the analogy of animals to represent the Soviet régime, explaining that

It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.
I must admit that I know very little about the Soviet régime, so I was unable to draw the exact parallels between the people and the animals representing them, however this did not make the message any less powerful. What was so wonderful about this book was that even for someone like myself, with very little prior knowledge, the plot was so simple and succinct that it drove home the message and forced you to see what what was happening. Those damn pigs.
I really felt for Boxer who was the most hardworking animal on the farm, working himself to the bone, with utter faith in the leadership. Whilst the pigs organise, lie, re-write history and double-cross.

It was easy to see why this book has been banned in so many countries.

My Rating
5-stars

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6 thoughts on “Animal Farm by George Orwell

  1. Animal Farm for me spans the decades.
    Rather than simply focus on Soviet Russia, many of today’s world leaders & regimes could also be critiqued by the book.
    It’s as relevant today as it was in the 1940’s.

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