Did you know that George Orwell, forward-thinking author of both Animal Farm and 1984, was a pen name? Fun fact, his real name was actually Eric Arthur Blair and he was born in India 🙂
In an attempt to catch up on some of the classics I missed as an adolescent, I picked up the audio book for Animal Farm. Although I’d never read it, I had watched a pretty decent cartoon rendition of the story as a child, so I already knew the majority of the plot, but still wanted to get the full literary rendition.
Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.
A short description for a short story. Orwell’s satirical novel doesn’t mince words, but is straightforward and honest in its telling. He does an excellent job portraying historical horrors: forced servitude, rebellion, caste separation, educational repression, political execution, brainwashing, and dystopian society, through the use of animals representing different classes and sects of society affected by revolution.
I loved this book. Orwell’s writing style is direct, yet strangely poetic. The reader cannot help but hurt for the exploited horses and chickens who can’t even begin to understand the drastic changes overwhelming their farm under the direction of the feudalistic pigs. This story emphasizes what many fictional tales tend to ignore- good does not always win out in the end.
I give this book Five out of Five stars. Although touted by Orwell as a “fairy story”, this book seemed more real and relevant to the world’s current political climate than most public news broadcasts. A scary thought. One thing’s for sure though, I’ll have an even great sense of satisfaction the next time I eat bacon…