Original title: Animal Farm: A Fairy Story
Genre: Political satire
Published: 17 August 1945 (Secker and Warburg, London, England)
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” -George Orwell, Animal Farm.
Animal farm is a strikingly humorous novel by George Orwell. Author Eric Arthur Blair who was born in 1903 in Motihari, Bihar, British India wrote under the pen name of ‘George Orwell’. It took him two years to publish this novel. This book is considered one of his most relevant works. It is an animal fable where animal farm is regarded as any society which is capitalist, socialist, communist or fascist.
Plot Analysis The story revolves around a group of animals who are rebellious and have ignited a spark of revolution against the tyranny of their cruel human masters. The sole purpose of this revolution is to ensure that all animals get treated equally and live a happy and secure life. The animals who were getting oppressed raise their voice as they are neglected, overworked and mistreated. But as the plot evolves the reader comes to figure out that the efforts of the animals have been wasted. During the revolt, the farm gets renamed as ‘Animal Farm’ which makes the title apt. Later, a pig named Napolean takes over the farm and gives false hope to all the animals. Furthermore, he starts imposing his ideology on them and tries to eradicate the idea of revolution from their minds. Manipulates and oppresses other animals. With time, the name of the farm also gets changed from ‘Animal farm’ to the original name ‘Manor farm’. The site of the farm and animals becomes more unpleasant as they start working under the dictatorship of Napolean. All stirring slogans and ideas of revolution, justice and equality fade away.
Satire Overall this novel is an allegory and a satire of the Russian Revolution in 1917. It is a satirical novel of Soviet totalitarianism, it is considered the most extreme form of authoritarianism. In this system, an individual’s public and private life is controlled. Orwell has not failed to bring the touch of reality in this fable. The exaggeration, contrast and vivid details make it a good political satire.
Exploitation of Animals The animals have to suffer and are exploited by humans in the novel. A reader can form an image of supremacy, oppression and suffering in their mind. As animals are struggling to make their lives easier.
Also, there are elements which show they were physically abused/harmed by the owner too.
Equality and inequality Before 1917, the majority of people suffered as they didn’t have enough money and food than the ruling classes. Similarly, the concept of equality doesn’t remain for a longer time for animals as inequality returns amongst them.
Tyrants and power The owner of the farm controls all the animals. But he fails to maintain his power upon them as animals take over his power. And establish principles of equality and integrity. Eventually, pigs with their power of convincing words start ruling over other animals. And again all the animals have to become submissive and follow their orders. The idea of power is deeply embedded in the entire story as with lack of power only animals were getting exploited.
Recommendation This novel is highly recommended for readers of all ages. Even today, this book remains relevant and is quite popular among young reading minds.
Excerpts from the book “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
-George Orwell, Animal Farm.