My first book for 2013. It was a very quick read, so that’s why it seems like I’ve acquired some sort of superhuman speed.
Animal Farm is a political allegory written by George Orwell (real name was Eric Arthur Blair) between November 1943 and February 1944.
Even though it does not mention it in the book (although it does in the preface that was only published a year after), the work is a savage attack on Stalin, represented as a boar pig named Napoleon, and the events of the Russian Revolution. This is why the book was refused by four publishers, just on the grounds of its political nature. It was almost never published.
Works of fiction that are based on real events have always fascinated me. It meant that the story had a much deeper context in which one can explore to find the true meaning of the text. Usually I don’t like books that involve war and army-related topics, since I don’t like war, but this was an exception, because it doesn’t deal with war, but with the tyranny of leaders and the corruption of power. Those are topics that I’ll read anytime.
I really enjoyed reading Animal Farm! The style was simple and easy to read. It did feel like Orwell wrote in that typical allegorical style. There was no hero in the traditional sense. It is simply a story of how a society slowly transitions from triumph to ruin.
I was actually surprised how easy it was to read. Usually classics take me a while to get used to the style and pace, but Animal Farm gave me no hassles whatsoever. It was like a small fictitious history lesson that was presented by someone who put it out as simple as one could. An entertaining and hart-breaking history lesson.
History was a subject that I didn’t take at high school, because the classes were boring. I actually like history. It’s fascinating to see how the events of our past have shaped our present and our future. More importantly, history is important so that we can learn from the mistakes of our ancestors. I wish history was more interesting at school. Oh well, I’m making up for it by studying English Literature.
The story was also a big criticism on how easily people were persuaded by criticism and how people were living in fear of their government while believing that they were living in better conditions than they were previously. This is shown clearly with the animals, with their limited memory capacity, who were manipulated by the pigs by bending their subjective memory.
I felt so sorry for the animals, but on the same token I was very upset with them. Their complete patriarchal faith in what the rebellion brought them made them follow Napoleon and his dictatorship without question. They went through all the hardship and suffering Napoleon put them under, all because their pride in Animal Farm was far bigger than their doubt in Napoleon’s actions.
This book is very important for how literature played a part in social criticism and opening people’s minds to the truth. It helped to recognize the pigs and the dogs in our society.
Overall, I loved reading this book. However, I don’t think it will be able to appeal to everybody. It does read like a history lesson at some parts, which may put some people off. Can you believe it? There are actual people who don’t care about where they come from or what happened to put them in their current position. Preposterous!
Strangely enough, I feel like the story should have been a bit longer.
Whether you like history or not, Animal Farm is a story of a broken revolution that is worth reading.
“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.“