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Friday, November 16, 2012

Animal Farm - George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell is a novel that carries strong social and political overtones that readers would do well in noticing.

Snowball the pig and his fellow animals are tired of suffering under farmer Jones, who unfairly takes advantage of their hard work and life. He doesn't treat them with respect they deserve. After much discussion, the animals decide to rebel and run the farm themselves.

The community begins with the best of intentions. All animals are equal and each will perform his duties to the best of his ability. Filled with optimism each animal is willing to do this.

The pigs, as the most intelligent of animals, put themselves in charge and create seven rules. Gradually, the pigs begin giving themselves special privileges with explanations that the others find reasonable. Soon the animals notice that rules seem to be changing, but since the painted words on the barn match what the pigs say, they determine that they must have misremembered.

The socialist society slowly becomes something much different than they intended. The lessons Orwell portrays are easy to find for those who pay them mind. I recommend this simple tale of political commentary.

This novel has been challenged on many occasions. Reasons ranging from conflicting ideology to offensive illustrations that show pigs drinking liquor.

Recommended reads:
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Recommended viewing:
V for Vendetta

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