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Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

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Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

4.5/5 (879 evaluări)
147 pagini
2 ore
1 iul. 2009


With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this hardcover edition.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
1 iul. 2009

Despre autor

Eric Arthur Blair (1903 – 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is characterised by lucid prose, biting social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.***Eric Arthur Blair (1903 – 1950), mais conhecido pelo pseudônimo George Orwell, foi um escritor, jornalista e ensaísta político inglês, nascido na Índia Britânica. Sua obra é marcada por uma inteligência perspicaz e bem-humorada, uma consciência profunda das injustiças sociais, uma intensa oposição ao totalitarismo e uma paixão pela clareza da escrita.

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Animal Farm - George Orwell

First Mariner edition 2009

Copyright 1945 by Eric Blair

This edition copyright © the Estate of the late Sonia Brownell Orwell, 1987

Note on the Text copyright © Peter Davison, 1989

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, address HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway, New York, NY 10007.


First published by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd 1945

This edition first published by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd in the Complete Works of George Orwell series 1987

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data is available.

ISBN 978-0-15-107255-2

eISBN 978-0-547-37022-4


A Note on the Text

Animal Farm was published in England on 17 August 1945 and one year later in the United States. Until Animal Farm the total print-run of Orwell’s nine books (including Inside the Whale and The Lion and the Unicorn) in Britain and America amounted to some 195,500 copies. Of these, 47,079 were of The Road to Wigan Pier and 115,000 were Penguin editions of Down and Out in Paris and London (1940) and Burmese Days (1944). Shortage of paper after the World War II restricted the number of copies of Animal Farm printed in Britain, but 25,500 copies had been issued by the time Orwell died in January 1950, and 590,000 in America. These figures give quantitative support to the enormous and immediate success of Animal Farm, and they are backed up by the range and variety of the translations made during the few remaining years of Orwell’s life—translations into all the principal European languages, as well as Persian, Telugu, Icelandic, and Ukrainian. But what genre of book was being offered to these different publics? The most important textual variant of Animal Farm affects its title-page. Orwell called his book, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. This is the description given in all editions published by Secker & Warburg and Penguin Books but the Americans dropped A Fairy Story from the outset. (One of the many publishers who declined to publish Animal Farm in Britain and America did so because he considered there was no market for children’s books.) Only in Telugu, of all the translations made in Orwell’s lifetime, was A Fairy Story retained. In other translations the subtitle was dropped or became A Satire, A Contemporary Satire, or was described as an adventure or tale. This is not the place to discuss the significance of the original subtitle, except, perhaps, to point out that it stems from Orwell’s abiding fascination for fairy stories and the like encountered during early childhood, in his work as a teacher, and his time at the BBC.

Typescripts of two of Orwell’s books have survived—Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four—in addition to an author’s proof for Animal Farm. The number of textual variants is relatively few. When the text was prepared for the English printer, variations in capitalisation and spelling were smoothed out (so that Orwell’s ‘hay field’, ‘hay-field’ and ‘hayfield’ all became one word) and, on average, the punctuation was changed twice on each page. For this edition Orwell’s punctuation has been preferred and what may be a subtle shift from ‘seven commandments’ (page 15, line 17) to ‘Seven Commandments’ (e.g., page 21, lines 2–3), after they have become sacrosanct, is restored. In 1945 the pigeons were not permitted to drop dung on Mr Jones and his men (page 26, line 23), but were required, obscurely, to ‘mute’ upon them instead to avoid offending readers’ susceptibilities.

Of the two most interesting textual characteristics of Animal Farm, apart from its genre subtitle, one is a change made just in time for the first edition and the other is an afterthought that cannot properly be incorporated.

In March 1945 Orwell was in Paris working as a war correspondent for the Observer and the Manchester Evening News. He there met Joseph Czapski, a survivor of Soviet concentration camps and the Katyn Massacre. Despite the latter’s experiences and his opposition to the Soviet regime, he explained to Orwell (as Orwell wrote to Arthur Koestler) that ‘it was the character of Stalin . . . the greatness of Stalin’ that saved Russia from the German invasion. ‘He stayed in Moscow when the Germans nearly took it, and his courage was what saved the situation.’ In Animal Farm, although parallels to historical personages are not exact, Stalin is certainly represented by Napoleon.¹ A few days after meeting Czapski, Orwell wrote to his publishers asking for the text to be changed in chapter VIII (in this edition page 69, line 22). Instead of ‘all the animals, including Napoleon,’ falling to the ground, he wanted, ‘all the animals, except Napoleon’. This alteration, he wrote, ‘would be fair to Stalin, as he did stay in Moscow during the German advance’.

At the end of 1946, Orwell prepared an adaptation of Animal Farm for the BBC Third Programme. On 2 December Dwight Macdonald, editor of the American journal Politics, and a friend of Orwell’s, wrote saying he assumed Animal Farm applied only to Russia and that Orwell was not making any larger statement about the philosophy of revolution. Orwell replied that though Animal Farm was ‘primarily a satire on the Russian Revolution’ it was intended to have a wider application. That kind of revolution, which he defined as ‘violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power-hungry people’, could only lead to a change of masters. He went on: ‘I meant the moral to be that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert and know how to chuck out their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job. The turning-point of the story was supposed to be when the pigs kept the milk and apples for themselves’, and he referred to the naval mutiny at Kronstadt in 1921 when the sailors supported those striking in Leningrad against the Soviet regime. Realising that the turning-point in the novel was not clear enough, he added these lines of dialogue to the radio adaptation he was just then completing:

CLOVER: Do you think that is quite fair to appropriate the apples?

MOLLY: What, keep all the apples for themselves?

MURIEL: Aren’t we to have any?

COW: I thought they were going to be shared out equally.

The significance of these lines was lost on the BBC producer, Rayner Heppenstall, who cut them out. As Orwell did not revise Animal Farm, it is beyond an editor’s remit to add them to the book, but they do highlight what Orwell told Geoffrey Gorer was the ‘key passage’ of Animal Farm.


Albany, London

Chapter I

Mr Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs Jones was already snoring.

As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring and a fluttering all through the farm buildings. Word had gone round during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals. It had been agreed that they should all meet in the big barn as soon as Mr Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so he was always called, though the name under which he had been exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say.

At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never been cut. Before long the other animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after their different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie and Pincher, and then the pigs, who settled down in the straw immediately in front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud. The two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, came in together, walking very slowly and setting down their vast hairy hoofs with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the straw. Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal. Boxer was an enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together. A white stripe down his nose gave him a somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work. After the horses came Muriel, the white goat, and Benjamin the donkey. Benjamin was the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, and when he did it was usually to make some cynical remark—for instance he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies. Alone among the animals on the farm he never laughed. If asked why, he would say that he saw nothing to laugh at. Nevertheless, without openly admitting it, he was devoted to Boxer; the two of them usually spent their Sundays together in the small paddock beyond the orchard, grazing side by side and never speaking.

The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings which had lost their mother filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and wandering from side to side to find some place where they would not be trodden on. Clover made a sort of wall round them with her great foreleg, and the ducklings nestled down inside it and promptly fell asleep. At the last moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr Jones’s trap, came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar. She took a place near the front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the red ribbons it was plaited with. Last of all came the cat, who looked round, as usual, for the warmest place, and finally squeezed herself in between Boxer and Clover; there she purred contentedly throughout Major’s speech without listening to a word of what he was saying.

All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, who slept on a perch behind the back door. When Major saw that they had all made themselves comfortable and were waiting attentively he cleared his throat and began:

‘Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else to say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I

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  • (5/5)
    An absolute must read! The animals at animal farm take over the farm and we see with our own eyes clearly how a brilliant idea turns into the tyranny of one group of people (pigs). This is the story of all the tyrants throughout history and how they landed where they did. Sadly this is also beginning to be our own story here in America....Oh that we would learn. Quotes: "Comrade, can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?""If she had had any picture of the future , it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak...""and yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost their sense of honor and privilege in being members of animal farm." "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."
  • (5/5)
    Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophe
  • (4/5)
    My choice for Orwell Day (today, 21 January, is Orwell's birthday).

    I'm not sure how many times I've read Animal Farm, and I don't know that I have anything particularly profound to say about the book itself that hasn't been said many times before and often more eloquently. What I do want to say, though, is how much I enjoyed this particular audiobook edition read by Simon Callow. The various voices and accents he gives to the characters are great fun: in particular he seems to be channelling Robbie Coltrane for the voice of Napoleon! A very entertaining reading of a classic from Orwell.
  • (5/5)
    I'm going to assume you have read this book.Probably in high school.Even if your English teacher was not the best teacher you ever had, you probably got most of what there is to get in Animal Farm. It's a straightforward book; Mr. Orwell makes sure that everyone understands his point. While the communist revolution may have started well, may have even brought peace, prosperity and equality for a while, Stalin soon seized power and destroyed all that was good about it. I'm a firm believer that Mr. Orwell's best work can be found in his non-fiction; there's nothing in Animal Farm to compare with Homage to Catalonia or essays like "Shooting an Elephant", but the story is still a good one, the critique of Stalinism is still a damning indictment and, unfortunately, Animal Farm still has a message relevant to our time. Even for those of us who never lived under Stalin.Consider three examples:1. In Animal Farm there is a pig named Squealer who has, as his sole function, the job of convincing all the other animals that what their leader, Napoleon, the evil pig who represents Stalin, is doing is the right thing to do. Squealer must face the animals and lie to them, cajole them, convince them that what they saw with their own eyes or lived through themselves, is not what really happened. Squealer is Napoleon's spin-meister, the media pig who corrects the story and tells everyone what "really" is true. This keeps the animals from questioning their society, keeps them working from day to day without raising objection to how they are treated by those above them. Squealer is the agent who convinces everyone not to question the status quo. He must make everyone believe that the pigs should eat better food and while working much less than they do.2. The dedicated, devoted worker Boxer, a draft horse, gives his all for the cause. Whenever anything goes wrong, Boxer takes it upon himself to work harder, to get up earlier than before, work later, do more than his fare share, all he is capable of doing, to make sure that the job gets done and done as well as it can be. Boxer never complains about the effort he puts into his work, never holds anyone else's lack of effort against them, never questions those in charge. He has faith that his work will be rewarded one day with retirement to the pasture set aside for him and for others where he can peacefully live out his old age. Instead, when he has worked himself so hard he can no longer do much of anything, he finds the retirement pasture has been given over to growing wheat for the production of beer drunk only by the pigs in charge and he is sold to a glue factory.3. By the novel's end a few pigs are living the high life while the rest of the animals gain nothing from their labor. They are told that they are better off than they were before under the oppressive farmer, and many of them still believe it, but the readers know this is not so. The pigs are better off, surely, but the rest of the animals suffer to make this possible.Sound familiar?Darn that George Orwell.
  • (4/5)
    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" - Well, that pretty much sums it all up in one sentence, doesn't it?

    I was apparently one of the few I know that never read this book in high school or college, and also never studied the Russian Revolution. However, based on what I've read about it, Orwell managed to tick everyone off with his version of it, played out through the various animal characters. This book is a teacher/professor's dream of a book to discuss in class.

    The characters are so rich, so highly developed - you either want to stretch through the book and protect them to no end, or just do away with them for being such jerks! Orwell so eloquently chooses just the right animals to match their "human" counterparts. I found myself cheering for Boxer (equated on some sites as "the working peasant population") and really hating pigs in general.

    Fantastically and wonderfully surprised - I'm looking forward to reading more Orwell as a result.
  • (4/5)
    Listened to the audiobook version. I enjoyed it. I like this type of book
  • (4/5)
    Although I'm almost sure I read this as part of a required high school English class, I decided I should read it again, just in case! This book takes on a different context as an adult reader.
  • (5/5)
    Fascinating. I read this with my 14 yr old daughter (who also loved it).. For a classic, it was a quick, easy read i.e. great book to introduce teenagers to classics. And yet, it is profound in it's message and lingers with you long after you put it down.
  • (4/5)
    I liked it very much. It is short, but to the point. The last scene was quite shocking
  • (5/5)
    Simply and beautifully written. A powerful message related to modern times.
  • (4/5)
    It's a light read but scary good. Hell, it's just scary in general, and sad. A masterpiece.
  • (4/5)
     ohh, those pigs are crafty! Set on a farm in rural England, where the animals are incited to revolt against their human masters and start to run the farm themselves. The inital dream of a rural idyll is soon eroded by the actions of the pigs, and they way the confound the other animals. They invent 7 commandments that are seen to change over time as the pigs decide to rewrite the rules in their own favour. The lies that they tell to pull the wool over the eyes of the other animals get more and more outlandish as the story progresses, to the extent of writing history to prove their point. I thought this would be difficutl to read, but it's actually quite short, about 100 pages, and isn't taxing. However, I imagine the essay that you could be set on this are probably a great deal more difficult than the source text!
  • (5/5)
    I don't remember reading this in high school - I suppose we had choices of 'good' books and I picked something else. I put it on my list because one of the 8th grade teachers had the students read it together as a class and I was in some of the class sessions... and what I read/heard was intriguing. It only took me a day to read it, mostly because I could hardly put it down. I kept getting more and more angry at Napoleon and the things that he was doing, and then thinking about the real story behind the story.... and it made me upset. As I got closer to the end, I got more frustrated with the sad plight of the animals and more pissed off at the pigs in charge. At the finish, I was disgusted with the way the animals' lives turned out - I was really moved, and to me that makes an awesome book. I can easily see why so many people felt strongly about communism and Russia after reading this book (or hearing about it). At least, Russia is no longer under Stalin and is a lot more free than during those times.
  • (4/5)
    This is an analogy for the rise of the Soviet Union. A classic story that shows how power corrupts. It's short and to the point. Enjoyable.
  • (5/5)
    I loved Nineteen-Eighty-Four when I read it, so I'm not sure why I never got round to reading Animal Farm. It was one of those things I heard about but didn't really hear any details about. Somewhere I heard about it being about communism, or Stalin, or something, but didn't remember where and that didn't really pique my interest...

    Well, and then I saw it on the ridiculous list of one hundred books -- or whatever it is -- that someone thinks most people will only have read six of. So I mooched it and decided to read it soon, in a spirit of defiance. Not that I wasn't doing well already, with fifty-seven books...

    Anyway. The book itself is easy to read. Easier than I was expecting, maybe. I know someone who decided to discount it because it's "about talking animals" and "no one could take that seriously". It's meant to be a fairy tale type thing, though; it's meant to reflect on the truth. It's political writing. It's perhaps less comprehensible to people who didn't live through the Cold War -- communism wasn't really that much of an issue in my life except that there were vague references to it in history class and it came up once I started doing some philosophy at university.

    I've read other reviews saying it's too easy to read, too simplistic. I'd have to agree that it can't cover all the complexities of history and politics and people. But I don't think it's meant to, I think it's meant to be a simplified, more universal version, exploring communism-going-wrong. I don't think it necessarily says that communism is impossible, either -- you have to draw that conclusion for yourself.

    The writing itself isn't stellar, I suppose, in that it doesn't light fireworks and dance and sing. It's pretty matter-of-fact and down to earth. I liked it a lot, though. I think that added to the ease of reading and understanding.
  • (4/5)
    The reading of Animal Farm plunged me back to senior school. My English Lit class had this as one of our O-Level reads about the same time as we covered the Russian Revolution onwards period in the history O-Level Class. Our teacher for English Lit was an enthusiastic chap who really enabled us to see beyond a series of farm animals talking. In many ways it gave a degree of concept to the political history of Russia at that time and the country it was to become. We truly have no idea of how frightening it must be to live in such a Country where there is no democracy. Where you work, live and believe what the regime tells you to if you don't the consequences are harsh and so much more. I wonder what prompted Orwell to write such a book. I know he spent time in India although he died here in England, but I would be interested to know what his catalyst was. Perhaps the stories of what was happening at the time simply prompted his creativity or was there more to it?
  • (2/5)
    While I can understand and appreciate the metaphoric language and concepts in the book, I found it to be dull and repetitive. It was easy to predict what was going to happen next based on nearly every word said throughout the text. I struggled with the amount of personification in the animals (culminating in the "transformation" of the pigs to humans), particularly the amount of English they were able to read and speak, even with other humans.
  • (5/5)
    A man named Mr. Jones did not take care of the animals very well. Therefore, the animals worked together to scare Mr. Jones away, and it worked. Old Major was the oldest and prized pig that was in charge of the farm until he passes away. Snowball was the newest pig in charge. He had plans to advance the farm, now called Animal Farm, in ways that would make all of the animals feel as if they lived in luxury. Napoleon, another pig, did not like that Snowball was in charge and making decisions so he had his dog buddies "dispose" of Snowball. Napoleon stole Snowball's ideas and called them his own, pretended to be the good one, changed the laws of Animal Farm and told bad lies about Snowball. The idea that Napoleon stole from Snowball was to build a windmill for more power to go around the farm. Later on, the people realize that animals running a farm is ridiculous so they attack. They injure many animals and blow up the windmill. While the animals work on rebuilding the mill, Boxer, a horse, gets hurt while lifting a heavy stone. It's his time to retire therefore Napoleon lets the humans take Boxer to a horse slaughtering factory. Years later, the farm is still run by Napoleon. Over the years the farm had changed from an Animal Farm to a farm of animals that were around humans so much they began to act just as if they were humans. I enjoyed reading Animal Farm. It was a very entertaining read. I liked the whole idea of the story, animals running a farm instead of farmers. I wish that it could've ended happily with Snowball still their leader or overthrowing Napoleon. I am very glad that I was encouraged to read this book so much because it really was as good as everyone said it was. I could read this book over and over again.
  • (5/5)
    How better to make the perils of communism accessible to younger or less politically savvy readers than through anthropomorphism. The animals on Mr. Jones’ farm decide that they are sick of ill treatment by humans, who get do none of the work and reap all of the rewards. They institute a rebellion and, what’s more, they win. The pigs, being the smartest of the animals take over leadership at the farm. Progressively though, the pigs take liberties with their power, because although all animals may be equal, some are more equal than others.
  • (3/5)
    The symbolism is heavy-handed, and it really is nothing more than sixty-two pages of COMMUNISM IS CORRUPT, but it's a short read that's entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book as a story until I was "taught" it in a college literature course, where we learned all the symbols and allegorical content, and what it "meant." And then I couldn't stand it. Now that I've aged, and have conveniently forgotten all the symbols, I can enjoy the story again. And I do, once a year or so. The perfect book for a rainy afternoon.
  • (4/5)
    An intriguing look at what has been, and what could be. A book I have read every few years to get a new perspective on.

    You will probably have read this as part of a school assignment, but it is one that I own on my shelf. When you aren't being told to investigate the situation of this book, you sudden want to yourself.
  • (5/5)
    A great read that deals with communism through the eyes of animals.
  • (5/5)
    Totally gripping - I read this as a teenager and nearly went straight through my station on my journey home. One of the must-reads of life.
  • (5/5)
    This is how you do it. There's a reason Animal Farm is a classic of both literature in general and political satire specifically - it's damn near perfect. The allegory is simple enough for a literate child to grasp, even if they have no information about Stalinism or Soviet Communism to base it on, and for those who have studied history it maintains its worth as a fable.The telling of the story itself can scarcely be criticized. You know what's going to happen. It's obvious from Napoleon's first appearance that he'll soon be as much (or more) of a tyrant as the original farmer. Heck, I'd read it before, back in middle school, but I still felt the rush when the animals drove out their owner and burned the whips, seethed with anger at Squealer's endless propaganda (swallowed whole by the mostly-illiterate and trusting workers), shared Benjamin's rage and horror as Boxer is sold to the knackers to pay for the pigs' carousing.I believe it was Terry Pratchett who said something like, "There's a reason they're called revolutions - it all just keeps coming around to the beginning again." What I found interesting, though, was that the book really isn't a flat out condemnation of socialism or even communism - it's about a promise broken, power seized, and ideals twisted into a horrible shape. I think that's part of why, even while USSR-style communism fades into history, you can apply the Animal Farm allegory to any number of political situations. It's not strictly tied to the obvious.final thought: This book scared the crap out of me as a preteen. (I was already fairly paranoid and antigovernment way back then.) These days I find it less frightening, but I think it maintains a current of power found in very little political writing.
  • (4/5)
    Good book. Read it back in the ninth grade and enjoyed it even then. This is a book that everyone should read before they die.
  • (4/5)
    First you should know I'm the furthest thing from a history buff. I find history boring and in general prefer to look to the future. It is because of this that I have no idea who Stalin or Trotsky are.

    To me this book was pretty much nothing more than an interesting tale about animals who take the farm from the humans and run it themselves. If it was written just like this, it would be an awesome book. However it was written as a satire (is that the right word?) on what was happening at the time. It was written in 1943 but Orwell could not find a publisher who was willing to publish it till 1946.

    After finishing the book, although I still didn't know the history behind the novel, I could understand what parts of the book represented what in history. This version has a Preface and an Introduction, both of which I could barely get through and really have almost no idea what they said. However I did catch the part about those people who had a blind eye towards what was really happening and allowed it to go on. It is amazing what the animals will believe when persuaded to believe it.

    I'm glad I read this book and I think others should take the time to read this too. I do want to read up on the history a little, just enough to get the jist of what happened and to appreciate the novel more.
  • (4/5)
    Of course I read this in high school english class. A novel about how the establishment is self perpetuating to all classes of the culture- even if you're not trying.
  • (5/5)
    Animal Farm is a political satire centered around a group of animals who take over a farm and govern it themselves. After defeating the humans, the animals try to create their own form of government and soon end up creating something analogous to communism. In fact, the majority of the book is an analogy whereof every character and event relates to history. As the animals suffer and become more distant from their original principles, the story becomes bleaker and things continue to take turns for the worst. The wiser animals take more control and the other animals ignorantly believe that everything is equal and for the good of their society.In reference to utopias and dystopias, George Orwell’s Animal Farm was a perfect example of a dystopia. Bred to be a political satire, Orwell illustrated a world chockfull of historical figures doing foolish things consequently creating a terrible society. Though the point of view is 3rd person omniscient, since the animals are so ignorant the reader is left to wonder when the animals will realize what’s happening around them. Orwell’s dystopia is very similar to Candide’s cruel Europe and Brave New World’s World-State (where the people live in ignorance).Ultimately, I really enjoyed this novel because of the symbolism and meaning inside each page. While a younger audience could appreciate the idea of animals running wild and governing themselves, I thought Orwell did an excellent job incorporating analogies. By doing this, an entire layer of subtext was created that connected to reality and history. I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel because with my understanding of history I could follow this subtext better. Therefore, I recommend this book to anyone with a couple extra hours on their hand and those with a mild understanding of world history.9/10
  • (4/5)
    This is a story of the affects of communism portrayed through the lifeon a farm. The animals take charge over the humans and start their own democracy, but abuse the power and create a dictatorship among them. Main characters include various animals such as a pig named Napoleon, who dictates the farm, a horse named Boxer, who is popular among the rest of the animals and another pig named Squealer, Napoleon’s strong follower.