mars 2017

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The animals on Manor Farm rebels against their human master and starts to run the farm for themselves. This novel became an instant classic when it first
was published in 1944. It is still worth reading. 

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

You have to have been living under a rock if the quote above isnt familiar. This book is about how the animals, led by the pigs, takes over the farm and how the newly acquired power corrupts the new leadership. Mr Jones had been neglecting to feed the animals for a little while and had also become quite the drunk. His men didn't really do much work either. 

The two pigs Napoleon and Snowball lead the rebellion and it all starts out well. They establish a sense of equality between the animals with a list of 7 commandments. Since most of the animals are somewhat limited in the cerebral department the commandments were reduced to "four legs good, two legs bad." Which in a sense was the essentials of Animalism.  At first every animal contributes to its capability and at the same time all the needs are provided for. The song "Beasts of England" is used to unite the animals. The lyrics is provided in the book but the melody is simply described as something in between "Clementine" and "La Cucharacha". There are several versions of the song on youtube, and I particularly like this one.  Even though it is probably not what the author envisioned. 
After just a short time in charge the pigs starts to hog (pun intended) resources and power. They do it with deceit, lying, propaganda and not to mention threatening with the return of Mr Jones, and doing so they provide the animals with an external enemy.

This story is primarily a satire of the Russian revolution, and Stalin is represented by the boar Napoleon.  "violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power-hungry people, could only lead to a change of masters", according to the writer himself. It does however have a wider application. I think the author wants to show how easily a legitimate struggle for equality and justice can turn into a dictatorship. Unfortunately this is not very uncommon. The character Snowball is probably supposed to be Trotsky, but I don't know the history well enough to be sure.

I thought I had read this book, but it turns out I hadn't. It's a good read and since its a rather short one it's done in a couple of hours. My copy of the book only has 94 pages. My friend Vegard also recently read and reviewed this book. You can read his take on it here.
My hooking point was the Russian revolution,  since I'm currently trying to learn more about WWI. 

Rating 5/6 

496 books left!

#bookreview #AnimalFarm #GeorgeOrwell 

, Notodden

Im interested in the natural world and normally read books about science such as biology, our evolutionary history, astronomy, and general popscience. I occasionally dabble in archeology, philosophy, ancient history, and world religions too. To mention a few interests. Ive also been interested in Diving, Kayaking, and Triathlon for years. Have also done all kinds of martial arts for more than 10 years. Ive now been working for the Norwegian Humanist Association (Human-Etisk Forbund) since 2012.