What is it about
Animal Farm is a dystopian fiction novel by George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) and it was first published in 1945. George Orwell is best known for his controversial novel 1984 and Animal Farm.
The book Animal Farm is about animals of a farm run by men where the animals are treated badly, overworked and underfed. Under the leadership of a pig leader (Old Major), a revolution starts. Eventually, animals take over the farm and men are thrown out of it. Animals figure out how to run the farm all by themselves. Pigs take over the administration to govern the farm and assign different duties to all animals. The seven commandments are written after independence. These commandments act as laws for every animal of the farm. Later, power starts corrupting the mind of pigs and they start abusing their authority. Pigs start manipulating the Seven commandments and manifesting for their own benefit. The story is very captivating and shows different angles of power abuse in politics.
Because of such storyline, the book became controversial right after its publication. It seemed to be targeting Stalinist Russia and the story of the Russian revolution. But even today, the
My Expectations and Experience
My main reason for picking up this book was the previous work of George Orwell. I have already read his other dystopian novel 1984 and liked that. Click this link to read my review of 1984 By George Orwell. I read animal farm because it is another well-known work by the author. One day, I was looking for something quick to read. I found this short book of around 150 pages and immediately picked up this book without even reading its synopsis. Hence, I was in for a surprise.
This book went beyond my expectations. I was expecting it a light read, and didn’t expect any impact from it. But this book turned out to be highly impactful. It made me understand the possible ways people in power can abuse their authority. After finishing the book, I found that the author targeted this book to Stalinist Russia and the Russian revolution. The writing style of the author was clear and concise similar to his previous works. It was a quick and easy read. But I can definitely say that this book made a significant impact on my mind and it changed my point of view about government organizations and history.
Lessons to learn from Animal Farm
One can find a lot to learn from this book. Here, I summarize a few important lessons from this book
- History is rewritten repeatedly or manifested in different ways for personal benefits. For example, one commandment says: “All animals are equal”. Later It was rewritten as “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Which made other animals think that it is okay if some animals have more privileges. People start accepting the lies to be true when said repeatedly. Eventually, they forget what really happened. Over the generations, people in power keep manipulating the history and manifesting it in different ways to control the people.
- The minds of those in power can easily corrupt. The book resonates the idea of corruption. How people with authority can abuse their power for personal benefits. How they try to control the people to remain in power and how powers at the different level of hierarchy affect each other.
- The blind devotion and non-questioning attitude of people can lead to disasters. Boxer, the horse, is highly devoted to the animal farm. He never questions anything and Pigs misused his devotion and hard work. In a way, the book tells how important is the duty of the citizens to question and constantly assess the work of government.
- How people in power use distractions to divert the minds of people from the important issues and use for their own political advantage.
Book vs Movie: Animal Farm
Animal Farm was adapted by many movies since it was first published. I watched the movie Animal Farm released in 1999 on YouTube. The duration of the movie is 1:30 hours but it appears boring and lengthy. The book delivers the message way better than the movie. In fact, movie miserably failed to make an impact similar to the book. I suggest, skip the movie and read the book. The book is short so it can be read within a couple of hours by an average reader. You can also check out my other blog about Reading a book in a day – How to accomplish this.
I highly recommend this book. This book has a lot to teach about how the power and politics work. I usually don’t like dystopian novels, still I rate it 5/5 because of the writing style of the author, captivating story and the impact it leaves on the mind of the readers.
My Rating: 5/5
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