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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-25 20:51
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm - George Orwell

This might be one of the most popular stories, mostly read in school. And yes, I read it at school as well, but back then I couldn't appreciate this parable to its fullest. But given the developments in the last 25 years, nations risen and fallen, political systems overthrown in the hope for something better - only to end up worse than before -, this text had much more of an impact on me now. Because, as sad as it may sound: the imagery and the message ring true, almost painfully true - despite, or maybe because of the not so very hidden hints of communism and the date it's been written. And what does that say about humankind nowadays that it's still relevant in this day and age?

 

All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.

 

The animals of Manor Farm stage a rebellion against their human owner which succeeds. What begins as a common effort to establish equality among the animals, so that no one rules over them... soon ends up producing the ruling class of the pigs with its leader ever more removed from the "common" working animals and surrounded by vicious dogs. History's rewritten, enemies are created, demagoguery rules - all just to pull wool over the eyes of the rest of the animals.

 

Now I ask you: Is reality so much different?

 

Definitely a must-read.

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review 2018-03-24 00:00
Animal Farm
Animal Farm - George Orwell As I understand it, the entire story of Animal Farm is one giant cynical metaphor for a failed communist utopia (because a communist utopia is a fail all of itself). It includes all the most representative tropes from mindless masses (animals) and propaganda (Squealer) to class enemies (upper class/management/capital owners), both outside (humans) and inside (Snowball and other ‘traitors’) ones, and everything in between.

In addition, its allusions to the strife between the West and the East, reminiscent of the Cold War that was yet to begin at the time of writing and publishing the book as well as the story’s cycle from capitalism to communism and back (as it happened in the 1990s) are also quite visionary.

As such, Animal Farm is a very clever work of fiction.

However, coming from one of those ex-communist countries, I also feel more than a little offended by its cynical satire that mocks the silly, blind working-class people, comparing them to animals.

The insult is somewhat softened only by the fact that the story also shows that neither the capitalist masters nor the new ‘people’s’ leaders have actual working people’s best interest in mind but only their own and would therefore ally themselves with each other despite whatever contrary principles (that can always be twisted to suit them) they otherwise preach to the people ‘below’ them.

Next, the final outcome of the story implies that the working masses are incapable (too stupid and meek) of the self-managing they long for; since they are only capable of (blind) loyalty and obedience, they should clearly submit to the will of their betters (of which the better ones are the capitalists, of course).

In that point, Animal Farm also serves as a warning/anti-communist propaganda, which makes sense, given the time of its conception: there is no hope in defeating capitalism, no recourse for lower and working classes to free themselves of governance and better their positions/lives; quite the contrary, they should be grateful for their lot in the capitalist world.

Personally, I think both capitalism and communism are failed systems and we need to find an alternate viable option that would allow people both individual expressions of their aspirations as well as offer protections to the underprivileged and limit their exploitation by the privileged (what social state is supposed to be if it wasn’t all too often hijacked/strong-armed by capitalism.)

But, I strongly resent the Western media’s portrayal of people from (ex)communist countries that reduces them to half-starved idiots decades and more behind times, which isn’t true and has, majorly, never been, not to mention that the so-called ‘Eastern Bloc’ has never been a uniform, one-dimensional entity and there have been vast differences between, for example, USSR and Yugoslavia.

Hence, I have mixed feelings about Animal Farm; I could give it either 4-5 or 1 stars, so I’m giving it sort of median 3. Still, it is a highly thought-provoking story that is quick and easy to read (and also fun at times if it doesn’t make you mad) and as such I’d recommend it as well-worth to read.
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review 2018-02-20 08:34
Where Politics Today Can Be Found In Animal Farm
Animal Farm - George Orwell

When I first heard of Animal Farm, my curiosity peaks to a point if I should read it. This was in fact in the 1990s when I heard about it. Of course, I didn't read it at all and never even go further and didn't even know there was a TV live-action movie that was released in 1999 or even the 1954 animated featured as well. Straight to 2018 and finally, I read the book. After so many years and I bought it last year, I finally read it for an upcoming book discussion and as it turns out, I didn't really enjoy it nor hate it a lot. I just felt indifferent.

 

I am sure many have read Animal Farm before. It is this book that George Orwell, besides 1984, he became successful compare to his early writings during his journalistic days. In many ways, Animal Farm is a political book. Reading it on the other hand, it is what transpire of what is happening today. I mean, there isn't any thing I do not know about that will give such value on this book that I do not know of what is happening in today's politics. In fact, I look at all angles and it is a straight-forward adult fairy tale... one that doesn't have a good ending. To me, its more of 'this is what happens when you become ignorant' and 'you don't blame anyone when you support loyally to a greedy swine' than just a story with a good ending. Its an awareness book that was meant as life in totalitarian ruling of the old Russia, when it had its revolution and the rise of Joseph Stalin (I am not sure how many younger generation knows this) and the degeneration livelihood of Russia then. But reading it I can see its almost similar to the world's politics today even in certain countries (I don't think I need to mention which one, if people aren't ignorant on reading news). To me, its nothing exceptional but rather, a representation of what the world was then in politics, its the world that it is now in politics.

 

Although I had not much complains on the writing, as it is clear and simple and easy to follow, I can't say I do enjoy the book. I mean, I like the writing but not the tale itself. Still, I can understand why it took such difficulty for George Orwellto publish this book but only after
the World War II he was able to, but by that time itself, after his death it became even more popular, although not among critics, read by many and even introduced in literature classes as well. Animal Farm is a book that whether to read or not, it doesn't matter. All around us are... well, we are living in a huge animal farm of our own. As I quote the famous line 'All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others' is now part of life we are living. We still have, in fact, ignorant people that believe in words of Napoleon of such (we have lots of Napoleons, that swine reincarnates!) every where, this book to me... doesn't make much difference but it can be a discussion worth debating.

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text 2017-06-08 12:10
8th June 2017
Animal Farm & 1984 - George Orwell,Christopher Hitchens

Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.

 

George Orwell

 

June 8, 1949: George Orwell's dystopian classic, Nineteen Eight-Four, was published 68 years ago today. The popularity of the book led to our adoption of the term "Big Brother" as shorthand for a surveillance state.

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review 2017-04-25 02:54
My Favorite Classic
Animal Farm & 1984 - George Orwell,Christopher Hitchens

1984 is my all time favorite book.

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