Animal Farm

George Orwell
Manor Farm is like any other English farm, expect for a drunken owner, Mr Jones, incompetent workers and oppressed animals. Fed up with the ignorance of their human masters, the animals rise up in rebellion and take over the farm. Led by intellectually superior pigs like Snowball and Napoleon, the animals how to take charge of their destiny and remove the inequities of their lives. But as time passes, the realize that things aren't happening quite as expected. Animal Farm is, one level, a simple story about barnyard animals. On a much deeper level, it is a savage political satire on corrupted ideals, misdirected revolutions and class conflict-themes as valid today as they were sixty years ago.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2016-11-29

I don't know how often I've reread Animal Farm but, reading it again this morning, the opening paragraph felt like a much loved poem learned in childhood. Heartbreaking though it is, it still gives me huge hope when the animals rise up against the farmer's tyranny. The loss of their more (if not completely) selfless leaders leaves them at the mercy of the power-grabbing Napoleon. And then the story follows the path of so much of human nature. The lust for power and wealth dominates and class warfare ensues, disguised as nationalism or religion or whatever else is handy.
We learned, in school, to relate this story to a particular time and place, but it is clear now that human nature is largely universal and the story of those who would pursue power at any cost is repeated across time and place. It is every bit as powerful today as when Orwell wrote it.

Reviewed: 2015-09-09

The thing about classics is that you feel bad if you give them a bad rating – at least I do – after all, they’re classics for a reason.

I didn’t really like Animal Farm. That doesn’t mean I thought it was a bad book.
I thought it was clever, unique and the writing style was nice and easy to approach.


One of my main issues with this book was that it was indeed about animals. I understand that these animals are supposed to represent something more – and yet, in my mind I could just not get the image right. Unless it’s Disney – I don’t really like stories about animals with human characteristics. And that is exactly the image I kept having in mind: Disney animals. And though I tried not to see it that way, the image was very persistent. This storyline does not mash well with Disney images in mind and made it difficult for me to get a real hold on the story. Nonetheless, I do not regret reading it as I felt it’s something I should have read at least at some stage in my life.


I would like to have seen some justice for the animals. I felt sorry for most of them and often felt frustrated and angry with the pigs (especially Squealer!), but I’m assuming that’s the kind of feeling this book is trying to give you.

These are the kinds of stories that make me feel like there will never be a truly peaceful and ‘good’ time – it seems there’s always a percentage of people who, for whatever reason, are against it. I guess in other words; stories like this one depress me.

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