06 April 2015

Book Review: Animal Farm, George Orwell

Animal Farm

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Published: 2000 (originally 1945), Penguin Classics
Pages: 120
Source: Library
Format: Paperback

Rating: 3/5
"'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong – and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished. Its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable, telling what happens when the animals drive out Mr Jones and attempt to run the farm themselves, has since become a world famous classic."

This was a re-read for me.  I first read Animal Farm when I was around 14 for my English class.  I didn't enjoy it too much back then.  For such as short book it took my class weeks to read.  I enjoyed it far more this time around and the story also came flooding back.  However, I couldn't always get my old English teachers voice out of my head when reading.

The style in which Orwell write Animal Farm makes it a very easy story to take in.  I feel that the use of animals is quite an effective way to teach (older) children about the Russian Revolution and Communism without going into the heavy detail.  It represents the Russian Revolution and Communism in an easy-to-understand format.  I don't know much about the Russian Revolution (just the basics through reading this way back in English) but my thoughts are that if you did you would be able to predict the ending fairly easily.  The book, although fairly short, does move at quite a slow pace, but the event do occur over a period of many years like the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism. (I feel like I have used the Russian Revolution far too much in one paragraph... oh well).

I really felt for the horses, Boxer, Clover and Mollie.  To me they represent the working class citizens of Russia.  They are constantly being put to work and are forced to keep working harder.  Especially Boxer, he does like working but keeps forcing himself to get up earlier and earlier in the hopes of getting more work done.  To me Mollie is the lucky one as she is able to leave escape from the farm.  She couldn't give up her previous lifestyle that she led with Mr Jones in charge, including the sugar cube treats and the ribbons in her mane.

I liked Animal Farm far more than I did the first time I read it.  It provides a great insight into the Russian Revolution for those that do not know much about it.  I think everyone should read Animal Farm at some point.  I'm not sure if I'll ever read it again but I'm definitely planning on reading 1984 at some point.

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  1. Great review. I read this in 7th grade and then again in college. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more (and understood it better) as an adult.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Definitely understood it better this time around. Thanks for visiting :)

  2. It's definitely taking a lot from the enjoyment when you have to read it for school. Luckily in Greece such classics are not taught in class (we study instead tragedies and philosophy). Great review!

    Aeriko @ http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com

    1. Oh you're so lucky! Almost all the books we had to read were classics. I think the only one that wasn't was The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
      Thanks for visiting.


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