“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”
Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges…
This is George Orwell’s famous allegorical tale – a satire on Communism and the Russian Revolution, showing how power can corrupt even those with the best of intentions.
After the animals on the farm have revolted and chased away their tyrannical master, they believe that they can look forward to a happier future, where each will work according to his ability for the sake of the farm as a whole, and receive a fair payment. However, things go awry when their designated leader (the pig Napoleon, who is based on Joseph Stalin) starts to forget the ideals which the animals have collectively decided upon.
This book is a classic for a good reason – it is just brilliant. It’s very funny in parts (and very sad in one part; it actually made me cry) but it does carry a stark message about how the desire for power can take over. It can be read simply as a story about a group of animals who decide to take control of their own lives, but Orwell’s intent and meaning is very clear to see. The book also warns of the dangers of a lack of education and not being able or willing to think for oneself, but rather just accepting what you are told is correct.
It’s a short book, at less than 100 pages, and can be read in just a couple of hours. It is well worth a couple of hours of anybody’s time. Just brilliant and one of those rare books which I would recommend to just about anybody.