Sunday, January 17, 2016

Animal Farm (Book Review)

So I finally got around to reading this iconic classic by George Orwell, and I really enjoyed it! It's a fun, witty political satire against Stalinism and I think totalitarianism in general. I loved 1984 when I read it back in May of 2009, so it was about time that I got around to reading this. It's a short novella, so you get through it quickly, especially since Orwell was such a great writer. He charmingly and brilliantly takes you through the following events and stages: The first speech that instills, within the minds of the animals, the idea of an uprising against their unjust master, the farmer, who keeps them in their miserable, short, slavish state that usually ends with them being either butchered, drowned, or something else terrible. Then there is the revolution, the sense of victory, the illusion of freedom and the implementation of the new "government" run by animals. Then come the inevitably polarized factions. It is a split between a pig named Snowball and a pig named Napoleon, the latter of whom just disagrees with the former about anything and everything, simply because it was Snowball who said it. After that, comes the wicked and unscrupulous means by which Napoleon violently scares off Snowball in the middle of an election and, by power of fear and sheer brute force, appoints himself as leader of the farm. After this, comes the Orwellian propaganda that is also presented to us in 1984, executed by a shrewd, double-talking pig named Squealer. The majority of the animals are depicted as being illiterate and too stupid to know what's going on, kind of like the dumbfounded masses of a nation in constant upheaval (or, some might say, pretty much like the mob in general all over the world, upheaval or not), and, in the end, they're all (except for the liars and swindlers running the show) worse off than they were when enslaved by a human being. Meet the new boss, WORSE than the old boss. The motto? Politicians are pigs, and the majority of people are as dumb as sheep.

My rating: five stars!

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