: George Orwell
Orwell paints a picture of a violent revolution of farm animals against the farmer who own everything, works the animal population hard, sends their offspring to slaughter, and feeds them little. Arguably not critical of revolution itself, Orwell describes a corruption that undermines the goal of the revolution: in which those leading the revolution rally the masses not so much for the good of the masses, but so that the leaders can assume the role of master.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm
All Animals Are Equal
But Some Animals Are More Equal than Others
The Seven Commandments
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4.No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
Written in a nice simple style, Orwell uses the trouble faced on the farm by the animals as a metaphor for the Russian Revolution itself. It shows how people's fight for freedom can so quickly change into a power play as chaos spreads. Orwell smartly plants lies, illiteracy and even a head hunt throughout the book to explain the oppression, propaganda and excuses that led to the rise of the Soviet dictatorship. Yet, this book goes beyond the Russian Revolution, it speaks to all revolts there have been and will ever be. It suggests an uprising is ineffective, that things will remain how they have always been neither getting better nor worse. Everything remains constant. Here I do not agree with what George Orwell has to say, but right or wrong this book is a great politically minded piece that is an irrevocable page turner, easily read in one sitting.