It’s been a while since I read a book and I googled short books to read in a day and I picked up Animal Farm by George Orwell. I don’t read novels but I’m trying to get into the Fiction genre and this is my first novel.
It’s a short book just around 100 pages and was written by George Orwell way back in 1945 to criticize Stalin’s dictatorship. He used animal characters to represent people in Russia during the time in which Stalin was in power. The animal characters in the book all represented different types of people in Russia during the time.
What is Animal Farm by george Orwell about?
It is a novel that criticizes communism and its basic premise, which is the equality of individuals. Animal Farm focuses on the life at Manor Farm, which is run by Mr. Jones, a drunk, abusive, and neglectful farmer.
The downtrodden and abused animals, form a revolution and take over their farm, kicking out the farmer and taking on their own governing system.
However, they soon find out that equality was not what they expected it to be. This is a story about how the greedy, the lazy, and the selfish take the upper hand over the ones who work hard and are honest. The novel shows how easily good can turn into evil and how the idealism of one kind can lead to destruction.
Their plans prove successful, but they soon change their minds and, instead of running a socialist farm, they create a society where the animals live comfortably but only the pigs are allowed to indulge in the fruits of their labor. Then a pig named Napoleon takes over the farm and transforms it into a place of tyranny and oppression, where the other animals are forced to labor to exhaustion and hunger.
The animals work hard to develop the farm into a prosperous one. But the pigs seem to be growing corrupt. They begin to feed upon the food that they used to distribute to other animals. It is also later revealed that they have been secretly controlling the thoughts of other animals from behind the scene.
The animals revolt and send the pigs away from the farm. The pigs return with their old leader, the farmer, and win the battle of Animal farm. The animals are forced to accept the rule of the farmer and the pigs, and the animals lose their freedom once again.
What are the 7 commandments from Animal Farm?
Once the pigs and other animals drove out Mr. Jones from their Farm, they changed the name Manor Farm to Animal Farm and created a set of seven commandments to govern the society.
The 7 commandments of Animal Farm are:
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
Once the animals passed the law life was good in animal farm for a while and things turned sour soon thereafter. Corruption and ego led to the downfall of Animal Farm.
What are the important lessons from Animal Farm?
The most important lesson from this book is that every revolution has to go through its own Utopia, its own ‘changing of the guard’ before it can become successful. I was greatly inspired by the way the animals on this farm overthrew their human oppressors because it showed me that any society can become more civilized without first being perfect.
However, I was disheartened by the way this revolution ended up: the pigs became the leaders of the farm, and the other animals became their slaves. It was a classic example of how a revolution will naturally evolve into a new hierarchy, and not always a more fair one.
The main message of the book is that you shouldn’t blindly follow a leader, even if the leader is right sometimes. You need to think for yourself. You need to form your own opinions, and support them with your own facts and arguments. The message that George Orwell is trying to convey in Animal Farm is that revolutions do not necessarily bring about the changes expected by them.
In fact, they can worsen the situation they were intended to improve. The animals in the novel start out by revolting against the farmer just because they were fed up with being worked like slaves and living in extremely poor conditions.
They were, however, unprepared to run a farm, and their farm deteriorated rather quickly. The pig leadership, just like the Farmer before it, oppressed the animals they were supposed to lead. Animal Farm is evidence of the fact that revolutions are a double-edged sword that is better left alone.