Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell is a thought-provoking and very well-written book.
The plot follows the revolution of the animals of Animal Farm (formerly Manor Farm) against the humans who are treating them unjustly. This story deals with a lot of major issues at once. On the surface, there is commentary of the injustice animals face at the hands of humans and the cruelty of killing them for food so that important issue is put across but there is other important issues put across too under the surface. The story feels like it is also a metaphor for the power that social conditioning/brainwashing can have over people in terms of politics and religion. The use of names like Napoleon and Moses and the use of Commandments and a far off land where you go when you die all tie into these underlying themes in the book. It was rather scary reading the majority of the animals just take everything that was said to them and not question it and to see animals like Boxer who began to question it be twisted so easily back to going along with things.
This book is very realistic in its portrayal of so many not using their own minds and letting others tell them what they are supposed to think. It is quite sad to read too because it destroys those who go along with things from reaching their full potential and being truly happy and it’s sad on those who don’t go along because they are treated like there is something wrong with them. This book shows us that we need to use our own minds, make our own decisions and not feel pressured into believing anything we do not believe. It is also realistic in the sense of showing how power is all some want. It is even often a desire by those who act like they don’t which is shown very well through Napoleon.
My favourite character was Snowball. Snowball is a pig who is a proper nerd. He is always researching and putting things together. He is an honest soul which isn’t liked in the story by many characters. He genuinely believes in what he is doing, he has his own mind, he isn’t easily manipulated and so it was never going to end completely well for Snowball. I also quite liked Mollie. She was adorable.
I didn’t like Napoleon. He was a power-crazed, lying and manipulating pig who was very cruel to my Snowball in his pursuit of power. Thereafter, he took over the thinking of the animals on Animal Farm so that they couldn’t be themselves. He was dangerous and controlling and definitely very mentally abusing to the animals. I also didn’t like the use of the word ‘knackers’ by some of the characters and that was something I didn’t like in those particular characters.
The writing in this is brilliant. The character portrayals are great. It is written honestly with great metaphors.
An amazing read.
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