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Animal Farm, by George Orwell

January 29, 2014

Animal FarmThis captivating allegory of Russia during its civil war describes a seemingly normal farm in England where something amazing happens. The mistreated animals of Manor Farm overthrow Mr. Jones, the owner, and start their own society called Animal Farm. However, things turn bad quickly. The Animal Farm utopia becomes totalitarian when the pigs take over, and the animals in power live in luxury while the horses, donkey, chickens, goats, and cows work like slaves.

I would rate this book a ten. The animals are not clichéd and are so effectively crafted with opinion, personality, and emotion that they seem human. In addition, I love how Orwell tackled such a dense subject using farm animals. It turned it into a fast-paced and exciting read.

Orwell uses a simple storytelling tone, and he includes the thoughts of many animals. But even so, Orwell’s little details tell the whole story. For example, Orwell doesn’t include Squealer the pig’s thoughts, but through his speeches a reader can tell he’s cunning and manipulative, and from Boxer the horse’s description, he is hardworking and loyal.

I thought the theme of Animal Farm was that you can try to make everything equal, but there will always be greed and desire for more than what your fellow comrade has. No society is every really perfect. This is the clear message when Napoleon the pig, who represents  Stalin, takes over and starts a dictatorship. The smarter animals, which I think are symbols for the rich and powerful communists, take advantage of the less intelligent animals.

Orwell’s powerful themes, well constructed-characters, and  fast-moving plot that captures a dark era in history will entertain any reader.


Publisher: The Penguin Group, 128 pages

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