1. David Tice

    David Tice Member

    Dec 27, 2015
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    Animal Farm by: George Orwell

    Discussion in 'Discussion of Published Works' started by David Tice, Mar 18, 2016.


    I first read this book in 5th grade, and looking back on it now I really respect my teacher's choice in literature for us as kids to read. It's hard to tread the line between an interesting and informative read now a days and even harder to get kids to want to read in the first place. But I actually found this book to have been quite interesting back then even though I couldn't even begin to comprehend what I was reading.

    First published in England in 1945 Animal Farm is a satirical take on the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 followed by the reign of Stalin and the Soviet Union. Orwell believed that the Soviet Union was a brutal dictatorship built off of terror and the false premise of equality and wrote Animal Farm in his own words: "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".

    The overall plot of the book is one of liberation of animals from under the oppressive human rule. Lead by a group of enigmatic and egotistical pigs they accomplish their goal, first overthrowing Mr. Jones and taking over his farm which they promptly rename "Animal Farm".

    All is well at first as the animals run the farm themselves beneath the guidance of a set of laws known as the "7 Commandments of Animalism" chief of which being the first one which states: "All Animals Are Equal..." But as time goes on as Is the case in most democracies someone eventually elevates themselves above the rest eventually turning it into a dictatorship, in this case it is the pigs, who after lifting themselves to a higher position and standing begin to set aside food for themselves for their own personal health and enjoyment. The original law is changed a bit to justify the pigs actions as "All Animals Are Equal... But some animals are more equal than others..." becomes the pigs justification for all of their sins.

    In the end the animals wind up removing one dictator only to have another take his place, and IMO Orwell does an excellent job of depicting the events that occurred during this most trying time in Russia, so much so that I had no clue what I was reading until years later when I was asked by another teacher this time as a senior in High School to do a project on Satires and after looking online came across Animal Farm. It was only then that I realized the direct correlation between Old Major the an aged boar who provides the inspiration for the rebellion and Vladimir Lenin who drew up the principals of the Russian Revolution just as Major did the laws of Animalism or Napoleon the large boar who was the direct and I mean direct image of Joseph Stalin while Snowball, Napoleon's one time ally turned rival represents Leon Trotsky.

    Without question Animal Farm was much too deep a book for my peers in 5th Grade or myself to really appreciate. To be able to convert real life situations into an allegorical tale that Is interesting enough for a 5th Grader to enjoy but also powerful enough to make you a direct target of the KGB as it was rumored Orwell became is a tough task but one he accomplished with room to spare. If you haven't read the book yet I highly recommend it if not so that you can read and appreciate exactly what allegory and satire is then at least so that you can kill a few hours with a book about animals on a farm doing something rebellious...
    JLT likes this.
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    El Tembloroso Caribe
    Having worked for many years as a Russian interpreter and translator, I cannot help but read that cover as "Deeimdl Fdyam". :confuzled: :-D

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