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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Animal Farm. (Book Review #5)



Introduction:

          'Animal Farm' by George Orwell is a story about a farm owned and managed by animals. It's a mere 95 pages book which may come off as a simplistic story unless you read beyond it. As I was half way through it, I felt like it is a children's book. But only after I began thinking about it practically, everything made sense. You can read this book in one go and enjoy the ride.

Characters:

          The main characters are all animals, obviously. There are pigs, horses, dogs, hens, ducks, birds and other farm animals. There's nothing much to describe about them as they are a clan and their roles can be conveyed through the story line. Napoleon, the pig is the head of the farm, you can say. If I had to choose, my favourite character would be Boxer, the horse. Although he had no intelligence whatsoever, he was a hard worker and could have ended up in a better way if there wouldn't have been so much greed for money.

Story line:

          The basic story is the freedom of animals from their master Mr. Jones. The animals gain independence from their human master removing themselves from slavery. Post rebellion period was witnessed by the hard work of all the animals, singing of 'Beasts of England' and learning the 'Seven Commandments'. I loved the courage shown by them during 'Battle of the Cowshed' and 'Battle of the Windmill'. Also, the whole windmill incident brings out the qualities of hard work, patience and understanding among the animals. As time passed, the farm was almost divided between pigs and other animals. For the latter, there were long hours of work and for the former there were all the benefits. The convenient change of commandments was something I found really clever. You can see how intelligible this part was by viewing the image below. At the end, all these commandments on which Animal Farm was created are revised by the pigs. So much so that the pigs start walking on two legs, start wearing clothes, sleep in beds, drink alcohol and befriend neighbouring human farm owners.
          Now, I'd like to mention the things which I found incomplete or weird. There should have been more details about Snowball. I know, his updates were placed now and again. But, those were just rumors. The reality of this pig who parted ways with Animal Farm should have been widely expressed. Further, the implication of the cat is quite bizarre. Either there should have been more details about the cat or no mention at all.




            Between The Lines:

         After some extra reading about this novel, now I know that 'Animal Farm' is a political satire which symbolises the Russian Revolution of 1917. But, I'm not going to express in detail over which character symbolises whom. I'd rather infer my thoughts and revelations. To begin, this whole setting is similar to a country which was under someone's rule, it's independence and the subsequent ups and downs. I got that right fortunately. It takes the happening of a huge depressing event to make things revolutionary. In the book, it's the death of the Old Major. After independence, the country's people are transitioned from slaves to democrats in a moment. It's impossible for anyone to handle that. Such a thing brings on ill deeds. The top ones take undue advantage of their power while leaving the ones underneath working and starving. Such type of a system doesn't last until there is an out pour of rage among the lower ones after years of suffering.
          Another thing I thought of was rather abstract. The first few pages struck this onto me. Humans treat animals like slaves. We only care about the work they do for us. It's brutal in some ways that we never check on their struggle. So, I'd like to say here that we should start seeing animals as more than free labourers. Without them, agriculture would be restricted in some ways. The entry of machines has reduced the use of animals by a large extent. But, they are still the basics from where humans started. So, it's only human to care about them. Rather abstract, I know.
          Overall, Animal Farm was a good read. It was definitely something different than regular fiction novels. It's an important and deep piece of literature which should be taught. I believe that such satires help individuals develop a sense of thought and understanding. What's your take on 'Animal Farm'?


9 comments:

  1. wow! This book sounds really interesting, I thought it was something completely different- i too thought it would be more like a childrens book. But this sounds fascinating xx

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  2. Nice review. I still need to read Animal Farm. I have heard many interesting things about its underlying htemes, including in your review.

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  3. Great reminder - I need to re-read Animal Farm. It's been so long I'd forgotten what it's really about.

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  4. Excellent book!! I haven't read it in ages!

    Rosemond
    www.bighairandbooks.blogspot.com

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  5. Animal Farm is crazy! We read it and watched the movie (I would recommend the movie now that you've read the book) in high school. So crazy!

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  6. I read it many years ago so I hadn't remembered this much detail but I remember very well the 'some are more equal than others', which seems to happen all over the place

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  7. Great review. I really really enjoy reading your blog. Waiting for the next post.

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  8. I've taught this book to Sophomores in high school many times. It always amazes me at how they come into it grumbling but as we read the story, they get so passionate about what's happening to them. A big discussion we have is the right to an education; it's a very relevant theme in this book and it really gets my kids thinking about how important school is!

    Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

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  9. Thank you all for your kind words. :)

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