“No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?” ― George Orwell, Animal Farm
I’m not going to lie, I think the only reason that I picked up this book is because I know that it’s one of those books that are considered “classics” that people have to read at some point in their life.
Animal Farm is definitely the most political novel that I’ve read by far in 2016. It mainly is the retelling of what happened with the Soviet Union in Russia with Stalin as a leader. It is inspired by what the author, George Orwell, witnessed during his time fighting in the Spanish Civil War.
The plot itself is interesting enough. While the story is written about Stalin and the Soviet Union, it can be interpreted for any totalitarian government that attempts to brainwash or abuse it’s citizens.
The story is told from the perspective of the horribly treated animals on a farm, whom overthrow the humans running it and create their own civilization. While initially this civilization is fairly well organized and has a belief system that all animals believe in, power easily tips in the favor of those in charge and soon all the animals are in the same, if not worse, social classes then they were before.
I found this book really simple to follow, in the sense that you can see the manipulation and the power structure that the government uses to control their citizens. I definitely understand how and why this book is so demanded to read.
While it definitely was interesting, and something that I definitely don’t regret reading, I think that like many of the classics it’s something that requires a certain type of taste in order to truly enjoy everything that happens.
It’s a book that everyone can read, but it may not be one that everyone enjoys.
Personally, I think that his reflection upon humanity and government as a whole is well done, if a bit pretentious, and that this following quote is definitely one of my favorites in the entire book:
“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm