Friday, 6 April 2012

George Orwell, Animal Farm Secker & Warburg
By Mauricio A. García Blanco, 2º Bachillerato EFL

Mr Jones is the farmer of Mannor Farm. Like in any other farm, there is a house where he and his wife live, fields to cultivate and of course, animals. But these animals are not one of the kind, they are able to talk, to understand and to reflect. At the start we are introduced to what it is like to live in the farm, thanks to an old pig’s speech, who talked about how mean human beings are to them and the bad condition in which they are living. He proposed to the rest the idea of Rebellion to take over the farm and manage it themselves. As the book develops we can see how difficult it is to turn ideals into reality. For example there is a different level of intelligence, strength and opinions among the animals that crashed to take control over the leading place. Even thought they all fought for their freedom, the book ended up with the pigs manipulating the rest of the animals forgetting the main purpose of the rebellion, which was equality.
This is a fictional novel. It does not specify any dates; it only says that it is a farm in England. The book is presented to the reader by an external narrator. When I started reading it, it reminded me of the soviet era, with Lenin as the thinker, Trotsky and Stalin fighting for their country to make it better, etc. I looked on the internet and it seems that Orwell was inspired by the corruption and decadence of Russia, and he wrote this book to criticize that situation.
For me, the climax of the novel was when Clover (a mare) was about to die and she said to Benjamin: - “read me the seven rules again, please”, Benjamin said crying: - “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other”. To me it is like, after all this, convenience rules over principles, generally. This, of course, is a fictional novel but in reality something similar has happened, and like I said before, it is sad to see how brave men have died to make a change and then to see the same opportunistic people throw everything away.
I think this is a novel that requires some knowledge of psychology to really understand every detail the writer wants to show, but it is an easy, short novel, that has also fun parts, and that is why I would recommend it to everyone.

You can read Animal Farm free online: 

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