Animal Farm by George Orwell
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 Russia.
What happens when the overworked and underfed animals of Manor Farm rebel against their cruel leader, Mr. Jones? George Orwell’s political satire, Animal Farm, it tells just that. Animal Farm is a 1945 political satire about the communist ways of Josef Stalin. George Orwell tells the story of poorly treated animals who revolt for the promise of freedom. However, not everything is what it seems in this dystopian novel. Although the entire novel keeps you on the edge of your seat, my three favorite aspects were its characters, plot, and its challenging theme.
I enjoyed the characters of Animal Farm and their changes made throughout the story. My favorite character was the pig, Napoleon. Napoleon was not my favorite because of his nice personality, far from it. He was my favorite because of his seemingly innocent guise throughout the first part of the book. Throughout the novel Napoleon definitely makes some changes, especially in the last chapter. He starts off as a leader who appears to only want what is good for the farm, such as the building of the windmill. Towards the second half of the novel the reader starts to realize the change in his personality. However when he waltzes through the farm on his hind legs wearing Mr. Jones’ clothes, the reader will definitely know that something is amiss.
My second favorite aspect of the book was the plot. Though the novel mainly focuses on the U.S.S.R., Stalin in particular, I noticed some similarities to the flawed government system of the United States. The theme was about a new dawn, however things are not always what they seem. The plot was set in a barn in England where the animals were all underfed and overworked. The animals finally decided to overthrow Manor Farm and run Mr. Jones off. After the animals took over the farm everything seemed better. However, the pigs start taking more for themselves until the animals become the most underfed in all of England.
Lastly, I enjoyed the challenging theme. The theme was made to criticize the communist government of the U.S.S.R. The self proclaimed leader, Napoleon, represented Josef Stalin. About halfway into the book Napoleon began turning into the very powers he had overthrown, Mr. Jones. The pigs and dogs take the power for themselves and leave the rest of the animals in complete equality. With the pigs and dogs on top of the food chain Napoleon adopts a new slogan: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In the end of the novel, Napoleon begins walking on his hind legs only, an act that was forbidden, and wearing the clothing of Mr. Jones, another forbidden activity. Napoleon becomes worse than Mr. Jones and it is revealed that despite what the animals were told throughout the book, they are the most underfed and overworked animals in all of England.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and plan on reading other political satire novels by George Orwell, such as 1984. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books that have more to offer than meets the eye, books that will challenge you to think about their deeper meaning. The theme of this book should definitely be kept in mind, so as to not let this happen to such an extent. Though the book is intended to represent the U.S.S.R., I could definitely relate this to America. Using the interesting characters, enticing plot, and challenging theme, this book has surely become a timeless classic.