Animal Farm – George Orwell

Resolvi adquirir e reler a versão em inglês do célebre livro de Orwell… Animal Farm!

Written By Jake Garner

“Animal Farm, Animal Farm, Never through me shalt thou come to harm.”

FarmPerhaps one of the most thought provoking English novelists, Orwell’s books station themselves within the heart of political critique, producing some of the most profound social commentary on such matters we have, as far as fictional accounts are concerned, ever seen. The novels he writes contain a preponderance that favours political concerns, as well as class struggle, and also the human condition within such exertions of society. Orwell, as seen in many of his major volumes, seems extremely sceptical of the British social order in particular. Being a man who frequented institutions such as Eton, the English writer is familiar with the upper class, and almost strives to condemn such living standards within his work; though rather a general critique of such as opposed to a direct demonization. He is often very analytical of both capitalism and its arch enemy, communism. Again he writes in a way that doesn’t come across as preachy, instead he debunks the formalities of such ideologies through fictional accounts, one of the best examples of which is Animal Farm. Written in 1945, Animal Farm is a fruity cocktail consisting of three key ingredients. The menu for such a drink would read as follows; A creamy political satire with a hint of zesty brutality, topped with a dash of sweet originality.

“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.”

Animal Farm is a story based around the development of Soviet Russia, and in an obscure way helps the reader to develop some sort of understanding of its history. In later years Orwell’s fiction became an observation of unjustified power struggles in general, though Animal Farm in particular is a straightforward critique of Stalinist Russia. Personalities, such as Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, can be seen reflected within some of the animals themselves. This was not a scholarly discovery found coded within the lines of the novel, but rather it is a blatant commentary on the Soviet climate, and its effect on the populace. As the title suggest, the story follows a farm where together animals converse in a human way to try to solve and overcome the many problems of ‘community’. After a gloriously galvanising speech given by Old Major, a time-worn boar, the rest of the animal populace on the farm are motivated to drive away their human suppressors. They gain the farm by expelling Mr Jones, the owner, and take command of their own lives. But with such freedoms comes an equal amount of complications. Three pigs, Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer gain respect due to the creation of their philosophical ideology, ‘Animalism’. This grants the pigs a shared respect amongst the animals of the farm as the others look to them as their naturally appointed leaders. Snowball, with great effort, teaches the other animals to read, and everything seems to be going swimmingly for a while. When Mr Jones returns to try and reclaim his land he is again driven away by the animals. Following the events of Mr Jones’ return, two of the most prominent pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, develop conflicting views, something unavoidable in any free society. Assisted by nine attack dogs, Napoleon manages to drive Snowball away, much to the same fate as Mr Jones. And here the tyranny of Animal Farm unfolds. Perhaps the only thing here that isn’t so predominantly red, so to speak, is the black ink of the text itself.

“Too many farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of licence and indiscipline would prevail.”

It is evident that Orwell placed an assortment of themes within the pages ofAnimal Farm. It feels like he endeavoured to portray the dishonesty and debasement found within Stalinist Russia, and scrutinises the socialist ideals found in such regimes. It is fair to say that there is indeed a vast comparison to be made between actual conditions in Russia during the rule of Joseph Stalin, and the few dozen animals held within a remote English barn. Despite this though, the political thought process amid the leaders remains remarkably similar. Much like that of the disadvantaged classes of Soviet Russia, the majority of the animals cannot read, and due to their lack of understanding are easily swayed, and in turn controlled by the governing pig, Napoleon. Orwell depicts the naivety of the working class as they appear blind to the mass manipulation that surrounds them. Ultimately language is used as a tool of sovereign authority amongst the animals. For anyone who has an interest in Russian history, Animal Farm is an imperative read.

“Forward, comrades! Long live the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!”

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