Book Review – Animal Farm By George Orwell

So a classic tale to kick off 2016…

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As always we begin with the Goodreads blurb…

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

How do you review a classic without turning it into an academic essay? With books like this it is something that you have to consider, you can get drawn into the discussions about social commentary and whether or not since the fall of the Iron Curtain and dissolution of the communist block whether it is still relevant, but the first thing to consider is not the message but the story.

The characters have stood the test of time, regardless of changes in society we can all recognise those characters not only as caricatures of types of people but as individuals we know and identify personally. The story line while seeming whimsical is indeed reflective not only of a communist regime but also the modern capitalist one, how often do we fall for the promises of politicians only to stand by and watch as they break or bend every promise they made.

The issues in this book are as relevant today as they were when it was written only aimed at different groups, the neighbouring farms while originally being intended to show the perils of open markets economies could as easily be identified today with migrant issues and conflicts between different religions.  The sad reality I take away from this book reading it now as an adult rather than as the teenager who believed in change is that as a race we seem incapable of learning from our own history or the failings of others and that human nature will always allow those who exhibit the worst traits such as greed, cruelty and selfishness to rise to the pinnacles of power.

As for a score, if I was worthy of giving one on a classic like this it has to be 5 out of 5

Gold star

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