Saturday, 11 February 2012

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Publishers: Penguin Classics

Pages: 144

Main Characters:
Napoleon, Snowflake

Animal Farm is the cult classic from George Orwell. Set at Manor Farm, the story tells of a community of farm animals that throw off the shackles of oppression from the farmer (Mr Jones) and form their own utopian society where all animals are equal, sharing the work and the food the farm produces. The new society is led by two pigs Napoleon and Snowflake, who at first try to keep to the rules of the utopia and administer the farm freely.  However after a disagreement between the two pigs, Snowflake is chased from the farm and Napoleon becomes dictator of the farm, raising the pigs above all other animals. With power comes corruption and the pigs start to see themselves as superiors, making the other animals work whilst they live in the farmer's house and drink alcohol (which was banded when all animals were free).
Like 1984, Animal Farm is a statement about our society. That there will always be a ruling class and that the rest are forced to live underneath them, using fear and oppression to keep control. It also shows how an ideal can so easily be corrupted by power. I like how Orwell calls this book his ‘fairy-tale’ showing that such a utopia could never ever exist.
This was a good book and very easy to read (but the pragmatics are a little harder to work out). I would suggest this book to anyone who has read 1984 by Orwell or anyone who is into sociology and how societies work.
Official author’s website click here


  1. I have just worked out that rather scarily it is 38 years since I read this. It is interesting to see it through fresh eyes. Back then the USSR was still not just in existence but posed the most serious threat to our lives let alone our freedom. Back then it was still pretty straight forward to identify Snowball as Trotsky and Napoleon as Stalin, but of course you are quite right that it is applicable much wider than that. Thanks for the review.

  2. Glad you enjoyed my review. It is strange how this book can be applied to anyone at any time and mean something different. I'd forgotten that this book was written when the USSR was still in existence and if you look at it from that perspective it is clear (as you say)who Snowball and Napoleon represent, so the book is now even more thought provoking for me considering it only has 144 pages!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...