Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell is a historically accurate depiction of the Soviet regime under Stalin. I gave it a very well deserved 5 stars! Its subtitle is a fairy story, which is ironic and interesting at the same time.
The book was banned during the communist regime in Romania, unsurprisingly. I wanted to read it and bought it last year, but only now I’ve read it. What a shame it took me so long so read it because it is amazing. I loved the story, so well made, funny and sad at the same time, as Orwell presented magnificently how the Russian communists worked.
The novel was written when Stalin was an ally to Britain, so it was not published for a couple of years as many publishers refused to print the book. Orwell wrote damning comments on the freedom of speech, quite ironically considering contemporary views on free speech on the political spectrum.
As I said before, I loved the book. Manor Farm represents Russia and Mr. Jones is, obviously, Czar Nicholas II, lazy, cruel, uninterested in what happens to his people. The pigs (Bolsheviks) were under Old Major; which for me is clearly Lenin who took matters into his own hands, but died shortly. Now a power struggle starts between Napoleon (Stalin) and Snowball (Trotsky). I liked the choice of name for Napoleon too, a similar “lowly” soldier who managed to turn the French republic into an empire with him as an Emperor with a hereditary monarchy, for whom he left his wife to take a 19-year old Austrian archduchess suitable for producing an heir. It was a very appropriate choice of name for Stalin.
For me it was less clear who Squeeler was, after doing a bit of research I saw that he is either Molotov or Pravda. Squeeler’s role in Animal Farm is very important. What I did not know about was whether the Stakhanovites were represented by Boxer.
I liked Mollie. She symbolizes the selfish and materialistic middle class, but the story doesn’t end well for Boxer or Benjamin or any of the others, with the exception of the pigs and the dogs, which is what happened in real life too. So, for me, Mollie made the right call. But my favourite was Benjamin, a realist observer.
The novel touches on the purges, events from WWII, so knowing a bit of history is necessary to fully appreciate the novel. I know that it is required reading, but I guess teenagers are less incline to appreciate all the details, so reading it again as an adult is a must.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
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My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: YES
Published by: Penguin Modern Classics
Year it was published: 2000 (first published in 1945)
About the author: Eric Arthur Blair, known by his pen name George Orwell, was a well known English author and journalist. In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma from 1922-1927 and fought with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1937. Orwell was severely wounded when he was shot through his throat.
Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. He was a prolific polemical journalist, article writer, literary critic, reviewer, poet, and writer of fiction, and, considered perhaps the twentieth century’s best chronicler of English culture.
Books by Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four; Animal Farm; Homage to Catalonia; Down and Out in Paris and London; The Road to Wigan Pier.
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