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Animal Farm

📅 2007-Oct-07 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 🏷️ communism, george orwell ⬩ 📚 Archive


I must thank VC and P for bringing up George Orwell’s Animal Farm so many times that I ended up reading it this weekend. This is the first Orwell work I have read, no not read 1984 yet.

The novella is about animals on a farm that free themselves from their human masters. At first they work hard, have equality and are happy. Soon, different classes form (pigs, dogs, the rest) and the farm takes on a communist flavour. From here on, Orwell takes the reader on a complete transition of the farm from freedom to communism to communist-dictatorship. Since Orwell is using animals (instead of humans) he can create classes and gets away with some brilliant analogies. The book is tiny and takes only a few hours. Must read.

The book leaves a lot of questions hanging. It shows how even in an ideal communist flavour of an equal society, greed and power will slowly work their way and turn it into hell. But, what kind of society/governance was that of Mr. Jones (their human owner)? Monarchy/dictatorship? Communism certainly didn’t work on the farm, but was there really a better solution where one class wouldn’t screw the rest? I don’t expect Orwell to answer this, but the question is inevitable. Also scary is the fact that the techniques the pigs use on the animals can be seen at work in both the most famous and the most popular democracies of the world today. I don’t mean to say that these are becoming communist, but rather that the public no longer know what’s really happening with them.

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