I came into Animal Farm with high expectations as this was my first time reading a George Orwell novel, and I must say I am blown away. The hype around Orwell is well-reasoned as far as I am concerned – so much so that I am sinking my teeth into 1984 right now.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
I found Animal Farm not only compelling on so many levels, but what I loved most is how accessible it is. I can understand why it is a popular choice for English classes in schools, there are so many layers that readers of all levels can engage with the text. The beautiful simplicity of the story and the prose makes Animal Farm a prime candidate for re-reading: timeless and recurrent themes, accessible prose, and short enough to reading in a couple of hours.
“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.”
While it is easy enought to view the Pigs as bad and the rest as good, I could not help but find a little of myself in each the different classes of animal. I went through a phase where I sought power like the Pigs, was as studious and determined as Boxer, just wanted to be with myself and not give a care about the world like Benjamin, or just do my job and live my life like the Chickens, Cows, and everyone else. Read earlier or later in life, I imagine that some will resonate more than others, and perhaps that is the point of this story. While many suspect it is based on the Russian Revolution, I would like to think of it as just a case study of human society. Everyone is inherently different, in their skills, aptitudes, desires, along with everything else. When co-operation occurs be it in the form of a rebellion or some agreed-upon rules in society, there are bound to be winners and losers. It is impossible to be truly equitable all of the time.
Highly Recommended. What I love most about Animal Farm is how accessible the prose and the ideas are: a political allegory that a reader of any level can engage with.