When I first read Animal Farm by George Orwell, I knew it was hinting at something more than it let on, but I just wasn’t sure what. I came across the book at an aunt’s house during a particularly tedious family function, and since the book is a novella (a short novel), I picked it up so I could finish it by the time I had to go home.
Even when I didn’t know what it was about, the novella intrigued me. It mapped the journey of how a well-indented revolution strayed so far away from its deals because of the greed and ambition of a few animals and acted as a fantastic case study for the well-known saying ‘power corrupts.’
Animal Farm (Review)
A Fairy Tale, as it says in the original title, is a story about the animals living in Manor Farm who are constantly mistreated by their human owner Jones. The animals barely get enough to eat and are constantly overworked. One day, a boar named Old Major shares his dream with the rest of the farm – a farm run entirely by animals where humans cannot mistreat them anymore. Enthused by his speech, the animals stage a revolution and manage to chase the humans out of the farm.
They rename the farm to Animal Farm and write seven commandments on the wall by which their lives will be guided. The pigs are chosen as the leaders for their superior intelligence, but as time goes on, it becomes clear that things at Animal Farm are not how they seem. As I was nearing the end of the novel, my Aunt found me curled up in the corner of her bedroom floor, eyes glued to the page. She was thrilled that I had picked up Animal Farm, one of her favorite books, and explained to me what an allegory was.
An allegory is a story that has another hidden meaning beneath the surface-level story. Animal Farm is, in fact, a political allegory satirizing the Russian Revolution and the formation of communist Russia. “But to be honest,” I told her, “I know very little about the Russian Revolution other than the names of some people like Lenin and Stalin.” My Aunt smiled. “You know them a lot better now,” she said, “you just read about them.”
When I went home, I read up on some basic history about the rise of Communism, and I was shocked by how many of the details had been recreated in Animal Farm. What surprised me, even more was how well I remembered these events now, since I had first been exposed to them not as a boring history lesson but as an engaging story. But the true beauty of Animal Farm doesn’t lie in its satire of Communism; it lies in the way it exposes the way a totalitarian regime comes to power in the first place. Sure, the Russian Revolution happened in the past, but history has a way of repeating itself. And in most historical instances of totalitarian regimes, from Italy’s Mussolini to Germany’s Hitler, the citizens of the nation never realized what was happening to their nation until it had already happened.
Animal Farm teaches you the sinister ways in which propaganda can convince a country to stray away from the values they once strongly believed in. It teaches you to watch out for egotistical leaders whose true priorities are their own lust for power. It teaches you to question your leaders and to avoid blind devotion. It teaches you that a divided people are powerless. There is a reason why a novella published in 1945 is still relevant today. Its famous quote, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” continues to resonate with issues like income and class inequalities, communal politics, and discrimination that are still relevant, perhaps more than ever.
This is a book you cannot miss out on in your lifetime. So grab a copy, devour it from cover to cover, and keep your eyes peeled – the next dictatorship in history might be closer than you think. You can get the book here! 📖
When I first read Animal Farm by George Orwell, I knew it was hinting at something more than it let on, but I just wasn't sure what. I came across the book at an aunt's house during a particularly tedious family function, and since the book is a novella (a short novel), I picked it up so I could finish it by the time I had to go home.
Author: George Orwell
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