In its first reading, Animal Farm seems like a story with animals that can speak, read, think and communicate with each other but there are hidden meanings and metaphors throughout the book. The story starts in an English farm, “Manor Farm” with a Mr Jones as the owner. One day, the oldest and wisest animal on the farm, a boar, tells his fellow animals about his dream. His dream was to establish Animalism on earth with animals taking care of themselves and their needs without any human masters. He also warns them about not adopting the vices of man e.g. drinking, smoking, trading money etc. After his death, one day the animals revolt and take over the farm, which is renamed as Animal Farm. The pigs become the decision makers, as they were the most intelligent with two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon holding the reins of control. Animalism also had seven rules, namely:
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs or has wings is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
What happens afterwards is a classic example of corrupted power. Snowball, while making plans to build a windmill, which would improve the conditions on the farm, was attacked and chased out of Animal Farm by Napoleon and a pack of ferocious dogs. What follows was that Squealer, effectively the propaganda manager, changes history by lying to the animals that Snowball was in fact, a traitor, and it was Napoleon who exposed him and chased him out. Through deception and treachery, they turned the animals on Snowball and made them work like slaves, while the pigs and dogs enjoyed themselves. They tried to build the windmill, but it ended up being destroyed every time. It showed the slow change from pigs, to humans. The rules were also changed by the party in power, in this case, Napoleon. They were changed to:
1. Four legs good, two legs better.
2. No animal shall wear clothes.
3. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
4. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
5. No animal shall kill any other animal.
6. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
In the story, it shows how the pigs in charge of the farm
The book was written in 1943-44 and is a satire on the USSR and communism. There are incidents throughout the novel resembling Russia's 1st War of Independence, 2nd War of Independence, and Stalin coming to power and his ruthless execution of opponents.
The review of this Book prepared by lyr89
Mr. Jones, a farmer, is a tyrant to his animals. He is overthrown by his animals. The pigs on the farm take over, and put forward seven rules. The animals face the trials and tribulations of running a farm. The pigs turn out to be Mr. Jones' themselves, breaking the rules, such as no animal can sleep in a bed, or no animal can drink alcohol, or all animals are equal. They put forward the maxim, ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. The pigs break the law saying, No animal can kill another. The pigs are tyrants, yet seem to be tolerated, because every time they are opposed, they either, kill the opposition, or they ask the question, "Do you want Jones to come back?" and follow it up with, "If we weren't doing such-and-such, Jones would come back." This always silences the animals.
The review of this Book prepared by Toni Alimi
Animal Farm by George Orwell is a novel based on the lives of a society of animals living on the Manor Farm. Although the title of the book suggests the book is merely about animals, the story is a much more in depth analysis of the workings of society in Communist Russia. The animals are used as puppets to illustrate how the communist class system operated, and how Russian citizens responded to this, and how propaganda was used by early Russian leaders such as Stalin, and the effect this type of leadership had on the behaviour of the people of Russia.
One thing which relates to the topic is how the pigs are favoured on Animal Farm. The main source for this was because their leader Napolean was a pig, the pigs were subject to favouritism by Napolean, and were given privileges that other animals were not given, such as sleeping in beds, wearing clothes and drinking beer. The pigs were also the only animals involved in making the vital decisions on Animal Farm.
The fact emulates in a way how our Government tends to operate. The Government Party members are paid an exuberant amount of money, with this money the members of the Government can purchase costly cars and houses, if they wish to do so. They make all the important decisions about the country where as the tax payers rarely have a say in it.
Another thing that “Animal Farm” and todays society have in common is that the powerless people are subject to propaganda . In “ Animal Farm” Squealer and Napolean used propaganda by telling the animals that Snowball was a traitor, and convincing them that he was a criminal. They threatened that if Napolean was not in leadership Jones may come back. This happens in our society during the election period , the opposing parties all warn the public of the consequences of voting the other party, and how bad it would be if they were in power.
The issue of Boxer the horse represents how people are used for their skills and talents. As soon as they are not needed they are disregarded. Boxer was the hardest worker on the farm, he contributed the most to the development of the windmill. As soon as Boxer was unable to continue working, Napolean got rid of him. “Boxer's face disappeared at the at the window…Boxer was never seen again.” This scene illustrates that “Animal Farm” is a story about human nature, as it is a human tendency to use people to achieve certain means, but disregard them as soon as they are no longer needed.
Clover's feelings for Boxer also illustrates how animal farm is about human nature and behaviour, Cover's fondness for Boxer showed when Boxer confided in Clover admitting to her how much his split hoof hurt, Clover treated Boxer's troubled hoof with poultices of herbs. After Boxer's hoof had healed, he worked harder than ever, Clover tried to convince Boxer he shouldn't be working so hard and he should be taking better care of his help , but Boxer paid no attention. When Boxer had his fall Clover was first to come to his aid, for the next two days Boxer had to stay in his stall, Clover would give Boxer medicine, In the evenings Clover would lay in his stall and talk to him. When the Knacker's came to collect Boxer Clover did all in her power to stop the knackers taking Boxer away. This example of behaviour indicates the human quality of love and compassion towards others.
Although “Animal Farm” tells the story of Russian society using animals, the fact that it is a story about real people makes “Animal Farm” a story about human nature and behaviour.
The review of this Book prepared by Jen
The animals of Manor Farm are unhappy, in fact, downright angry. Jones the farmer is a brute and not even a good farmer. Led by the pigs, who are the cleverest and most persuasive, they rise up and stage a revolution. They plan a future for the good of all animals, all for one and one for all. They run the farm themselves, they struggle through the hard times and battles to retake the farm, they weather the internal political struggles of the pigs who cannot agree who should be leader, and in general make a better life for themselves. Then disaster strikes. The pigs seem to be changing the rules to suit themselves and have ways of frightening those who speak out. The one pig who really had a good heart is ousted by the bad pigs. The dream turns into a nightmare, will it all end in tears? Aimed at adults (for the political satire, and a prophecy fulfilled) as much as at children (who will love the animal characters and strong, straight storyline), this is a book for all.
The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose