Book Review – Animal Farm

Animal Farm (43)

by George Orwell

Animal Farm starts with a revolution. A revolution designed to promote fairness between Cows, Pigs, Horses and every other animal in the farm.

However the lofty ambitions of the animals on the farm turn sour when power corrupts and the idealist aspirations of a meritocratic society falls to the wayside as certain animals take power.

Now Animal Farm is a pretty famous book however if you haven’t read it I’d suggest you pick it up from Amazon or rent it from your local library.

Whilst the story is simple and the language is easy to grasp the analogy of how totalitarianism regimes (and in particular post war communist Russia) slowly subvert their lofty aims and change the rules to suit their leaders own ambitions.

The edition I read had a foreword from George Orwell who explained the difficulty in getting Animal Farm published in an environment where it was pretty obvious where the totalitarian farm eventually run by the pigs was a direct reflection of Russia but at a time when just after world war 2 Russia was a firm ally of the west.

George Orwell as particularly critical of the fact that in a country where freedom of speech was supposedly allowed his work was being censored. However I suppose this criticism whilst relevant at the time is academic know that times have changes and Animal Farm is a modern classic but it does give a sense of both how both attitudes and freedoms change.

If you’ve read Owells most famous work, 1984, you’ll recognise the themes of control, (mis)information and manipulation which were originally explored in Animal Farm.

In short, Animal Farm is a must read for old and young alike and although it was written many decades ago it’s surprising how pertinent the book is in todays new political landscape and ‘post truth’ world.

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