Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Animal Farm - George Orwell

'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'


I got this book from my brother for Christmas and decided to start it on my birthday. It was very good, incredibly creepy, very harrowing. I'm a bit at loss as to what I can, should or could say about it without utterly spoiling the experience from anyone who has yet to have the immense pleasure of reading it.

So, the Manor Farm is owned by a Mr. Jones. He has the animals working long hours, takes the spoils and drinks. The animals, after a seed of revolution is planted, decide to take control and turn the farm in Animal Farm. This revolution, fuelled by noble ideas and nobler values, brings them all equality, the Seven Commandments and harmony, but this does not last for long.

This novel is, safe to say, an allegory and a satire for Soviet Communism. It's mostly harrowing because it feels so real; the animals are very well fleshed out as characters from the beginning and I can experience everything with them. They're all so distinctive from each other, I never had any trouble figuring out who was who and who did what where. I could also imagine it really happening; it's not fictional in a way that would mean all the events could not take place exactly as they did in the book.

My edition had 95 long short terrifying exciting pages and in them, there's a full arc of drama and then some. I can tell in hindsight and even at the time when the most important things happened, but the story never gave me a restful moment when I thought I could relax without anything crucial going on in the book.

I loved the cat as a character most of all. She was not very prominent, and was described as much a cat as anything, and for her character I could not figure out any Soviet relation. What a charming mystery this was. Maybe I'm not thinking hard enough. Or maybe sometimes, a cat is just a cat.

I'll give this a full 5/5 because I certainly couldn't wouldn't shouldn't change anything and because it was an impressive, important read. I'd recommend it to anyone so long as in your current mindset you're not too put off by thinking of these things. I really don't know how to properly praise this work. There's so many allegories and thoughts I don't know how someone thinks of writing something like this, and I don't have any doubts as to why this thing is considered a classic. At the same time, however, it doesn't require any prior knowledge or understanding about these subjects to be appreciated.

Also, for the Helmet 2017 reading challenge I put this book in category 41: There's an animal on a book's cover!

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