In my first high school, Animal Farm was not in the works in my literature classes. When I switched my junior year to a private high school, the kids in my class had already read this book and talked about how creepy and wonderful the book was. I always wanted to read this book and was reminded about it daily with the poster of the cover in the front of my English classroom. Finally, out of college and looking for work, I decided to sit down and read the book I have heard nothing but good things about.
George Orwell has a gifted tongue. He writes in a humorous way that is easy to understand but has an underlining truth and meaning to it.
Orwell starts out the book with a very old white boar named Old Mayor giving a moving speech on how they are not living the luxurious life they could be. He dies a few days later, and the smarter animals of the farm (aka the pigs) move towards changing that.
The farm animals throw out their humans and take over the farm. The pigs, being the smartest of them all, take leadership. All is well in the beginning, and they win the Battle of the Cowshed lead by their leaders Snowball and Napoleon.
What’s this? One of their leaders hates the other? He doesn’t like the other’s idea for a windmill? He has an army behind him and chases him out? He turns into a dictator?
Hypocrisy. The farm is run by pigs changing rules to benefit themselves and not making conditions better for the rest of the farm animals. The animals are loyal to the pigs and their army and believe every word they twist.
Strange enough, the end looks oddly like the beginning…
This book is very enlightening and I am surprised that all schools are not teaching the many lessons inscribed in this book. I deeply encourage all readers of all ages to read this book. It can be sad, it can be infuriating, and it can be giddy; but most of all, it is a very powerful read of 141 pages.
Orwell is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading more of his work.