Thursday, 17 March 2016

Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 112
Genres: Classics

Animal Farm

'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.'

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 organised 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. . .
A classic political satire, Animal Farm chronicles corruption of the core ideologies of true socialism and equality. It is told through the perspective of farm animals overthrowing their human master. At first, it is a cute fable of animals rioting against their mistreatment for human profit (which can be made into a whole separate issue by itself), the story then turns into a surreal and bizarre commentary on the corruption of communism.

Every individual takes away something different from this book. On the surface, it is in essence a biting satire on Soviet Russia but the subjugation of the disadvantaged and working class is common in all societies across time. There are so many messages in Animal Farm that can be compared to many injustices of the present day.

Some argue that Animal Farm is dated and some of its messages are no longer as relevant in the modern world but I don't completely agree. Orwell wasn't necessarily advocating capitalism anymore than communism and due to the inherent selfishness of humans, the point is that they end up looking rather the same after time. A great read and I am glad I read it.

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