Animal Farm is an allegorical tale about intelligent animals that overthrow their ruling farmers and set about creating a society of equals.
Yet this co-operative doesn’t quite work out as well as it did on paper. You see some of the animals recieve a bigger share of the spoils than others do and some of the animals begin to question this supposed utopia.
It doesn’t take long before the rules of this society begin to change to give the pigs more and more power. The new found freedom the other animals had hoped for does not seem to be as forthcoming as had been promised.
Animal Farm is easily the most famous political allegory ever written. Its depiction of power hungry pigs taking advantage of the other animals is a brilliant description of what happens when a social revolution goes wrong.
Allegory is not an easy thing to achieve successfully and yet Orwell manages it with exceptional skill. While you need at least something of an understanding of the Russian revolution to fully appreciate Animal Farm you’ll still get the point without knowing anything about it. It can even be enjoyed as a straight up animal story with no political message, I know that’s how I first enjoyed it when I was a child.
The story shows humankind at its worst but also its best, it is a simple yet moving look at the demons within every human, the demons of greed, jealousy, cruelty, and a lust for power.
The way the novel slowly twists the original Commandments put forth to keep order and unity within Animal Farm into a means of control shows how easily political dogma is poisoned into propaganda.
The greatest example of this corruption of the original premise of the revolution is given by the new commandments, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”, and “Four legs good, two legs better!”
The pigs change from hating the former ruling farmers to wanting to be just like them.
Animal Farm is a moving and bitter warning from history. Except we’ll ignore it all of course, we humans excel at repeating all our errors and mistakes.
This is a must read for everyone.