Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Thoughts: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm is about the animals in Manor Farm who are treated cruelly by their master, a farmer named Jones. Led by the intelligent pigs, the animals—an eclectic combination of horses, goats, chickens, and even a donkey—manage to overthrow Jones, and declare themselves free. For a while, the animals live in peace, but things go awry when they decide to build a windmill. The animals soon discover that although they agreed that all animals are equal, some animals believe they’re more equal than others.
First off, I’m glad to say that this book wasn’t depressing at all. At first glance, Animal Farm seems like an intimidating book, because a) it’s a classic and b) it’s satire—ooh, big word, satiiiiire. The funny thing is, Animal Farm isn’t intimidating at all. It was actually pretty funny, and it never took itself too seriously. All the animals had little quirks. For example, there’s a raven named Moses who keeps telling the other animals about a place called Sugarcandy Mountain where “it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges.” Also, there’s a dictator/pig named Napoleon. ‘Nough said.
I fully understand now why Animal Farm is considered a classic. The book’s message is pretty deep once you think about it, but the story itself is pretty good. I wanted to know what atrocious thing the “dictator” was going to do next, and what the other animals were going to do once they realized they were being abused. Reading Animal Farm was a lot like coming across a car wreck. You know it ain’t gonna be pretty, but you just have to see it anyway.
Animal Farm is obviously satire, but it’s not the confusing/ambiguous kind. As a reader, you know what Orwell is trying to tell you, and you end up wondering whether you agree with him or not. I love Animal Farm because it made me care about the characters. I laughed at them until I realized what was happening to them happened to real people before, and could happen again in the future. It was definitely a sobering afterthought to a very humorous book.
If you’ve read the book, can you tell me if Moses the raven really stands for organized religion? What do you think?
If you haven’t read the book, are you interested in reading it? Why or why not?