The book Animal Farm is a classic that many students have to read for school. However, besides having to watch the movie for an afterschool activity, I was never forced to do anything related to this book. Therefore, I decided to take it upon myself to read the book on my own time so that I would not miss out on being able to read such a great book.
All the animals in the book live on 1 farm that has a neglectful, alcoholic owner. Old Major, a very old pig, holds meetings to lead the eventual rebellion against the farmer. He even makes laws for when it happens, so that the animals that run the farm do not become like the abusive humans. He dies. When the farmer goes a full day without feeding or taking care of the animals, they have had enough. THe animals storm the feed storage, and when the men come after them to drag them back to their pens they drive them out. Officially owning the farm, called Animal Farm, the birds fly to the other farms to spread the news and their anthem, Beasts of England.
The pigs decided that because they were easily learning how to read and write and because they were some of the more dexterous animals on the farm, that they would be the leaders. The pigs write the Animalism commandments on the barn door, and tell the animals what to do in order to keep the farm running smoothly. At first, everything seems to be going smoothly, and everyone is happy, but the pigs begin to take more and more goods for themselves and utilize control over the other animals’ lives, akin to the humans.
I enjoyed this book, not because of simply the political message, but also because of how it represents how different people actually react differently to independence. Some people, such as the horse Mollie, cannot imagine life without having someone over them to take care of them and reward them, even if the rewards are small. They are so set in their ways that they become physically upset when things change. Then there are people such as Boxer. Boxer wants to obey someone, as long as it is a person in power he feels that he or she deserves his respect. He will work himself in order to please the people in power, and does not expect a reward, simply seeing the people around him living comfortably is reward enough. Those two characters were the ones who stood out the most to me in the entire book.
I wish that there had been more of a conflict between the male and female members of the society. I feel that in a real rebellion of sorts, there would have been the mothers of the society being more worried about their children, and women on the farm most likely getting pregnant. Moreso, an interesting storyline would have been the female pigs being trapped with the male pigs constantly, but not able to make any decisions, only able to have more and more children, and leading a revolt of their own.
I love that George Orwell wrote books that are relatable and comprehensible, even though his works are over 70 years. I hope to read more of his works on this blog in the future.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5