My Rating: 5 Stars
I read this book many years ago while I was still in high school and it still gives me goosebumps to know how it represents society still. This classic dystopian novel is one of the most famous of its time and an absolute must-read.
This little book tells the story of the rebellion of the farm animals against the farmer Mr Jones, the culprit of their slavery system and poor conditions. The initial idea is to rule the farm themselves as equals. When the farmer is overthrown, problems start to rise when the pigs gain a taste for power and quickly follow a totalitarian regime in which only the brightest animals (aka pigs) can rule.
The style of writing and the language used by Orwell are absolutely amazing. Satire and sarcasm are used perfectly to describe and criticize the political and social systems, along with the personification of the animals which represents the different social classes.
I don’t think that Orwell is simply referring to the totalitarian regimes but all the systems in general. Every single system has people that think themselves above all others and above the rules, maybe because they had a better education or come from a line of influential people or even because they have more monetary stability than others. Orwell describes perfectly the consequences of jumping into a system based on the illusion of justice and just how easy it is to manipulate people into believing it. This point is made stronger when the animals created their “Seven Commandments”, a set of rules to ensure equality amongst all animals. A fake sense of security and liberty is given, and as all the animals trust the power of these commandments, they fail to see how easily the pigs evade them and reverse them until it’s too late. The lesson: intelligence and power are a very dangerous mix. Furthermore, the reference to propaganda and the brainwashing typical of the dictatorship is very well represented right there. In the end, the pigs quickly take the place of the farmer. It shows that people don’t learn from their past and keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Orwell shows the danger of blindly and superficially believing in leaders not realising that words and actions can be changed or reversed just as easily as they are said or done. He shows how ignorance and a fake sense of security create the illusion that freedom is permanent and unchangeable, and how serious the consequences may be.
A great book that sends many wise messages that everyone should read at least once.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.