“Four legs good, two legs bad.”- the summary of the ten governing commandments of Animal Farm. George Orwell wrote this disturbing parable about communism when tensions between The US and Soviet Union were at there peaks and the Cold War was in full swing. On a personal note, I didn’t begin reading books until after high school when I decided to take writing more seriously and Animal Farm was the first book I ever read without a report or school’s curriculum, though it was taught to me in the 8th grade. The story is short and sweet but effective. The Animals of Manor Farm live under the drunken neglect and tyranny of Mr. Jones. One night, an old respected pig named Old Major calls a meeting amongst all of the animals where he tells them his time is near an end but he had a dream where they would all be free, without man. A day or two later Major dies and life goes on. Finally comes the day when the animal’s rebel and overthrow the Jones’s and cast them out. The word spreads; Jones tries to recapture the farm to no avail. From the ashes of Jones comes the rule of the pigs, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer. Snowball goes about trying to improve the animal’s lives and slowly they form there own laws, abilities to read and write, and eventually formulate a plan to build a windmill to power the farm. Suddenly Napoleon breaks the peace by unleashing a group of dogs he’d been hiding away on Snowball, chasing him out and taking control with Squealer manipulating the limited intelligence of the animals. History becomes distorted by false facts and promises; resources deplete to shit; and in the end with the heartless death of Animal Farm’s most loyal worker, the spirit breaks and suddenly the realize they became what they hated to begin with. The story is short but powerful- definitely a great book if you don’t read much or you want a more modern fairy tale. Do not expect a happy go lucky story for the kids.
2 thoughts on “Animal Farm”