Status: Read from Aug 30 to Aug 30, 2015
My rating: /5
Author: George Orwell
“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”
Mr. Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walks on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges…
Animal Farm – the history of a rebellion that went wrong – is George Orwell’s brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.
This is one of the classics talked about a lot. It is an amazing book and definitely this will be read for many more years to come. I just wonder why I didn’t pick this book sooner to read. Better late, than never.
This is story about the animals in the Manor Farm owned by Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones is lazy and a drunkard. Among all the animals, the oldest white boar, Mr. Major motivates all the animals about their freedom. He shares his dream with the animals, about animals becoming a rebellion. He even teaches them the song ‘Beasts of England’. His speech is inspiring to the animals.
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. Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin.
But after three nights, Major passes away in his sleep. Now two of the boars, Napolean and Snowball, take up the responsibility to make the animals ready for rebellion. They both elaborate the teaching of old Major and give it a name as ‘Animalism’. They fight with Mr. Jones and drive him away from his own farm. After testing their first victory over human, they rename the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm. They even put down the seven commandments.
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS
- Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
- Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
- No animal shall wear clothes.
- No animal shall sleep in a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
The animals start working in the fields, not as any human’s slave, but for their own needs. Their efforts are rewarded, for the harvest was even bigger success. Snowball, even designs a flag for Animal Farm.
The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown.
The pigs even got engaged in educating the Animals in the farm. Few of the animals were able to learn the English alphabets. But since majority of the animals could not go further than the letter A, the seven commandments was reduced to a single maxim.
Four legs good, two legs bad.
When Mr. Jones comes back with a bunch of humans to re-claim her farm, the animals declares a war against them and wins it. They name this war as the ‘Battle of the Cowshed.’
As the time passed, the difference in opinions keeps popping up between Snowball and Napolean. Snowball advocates the construction of windmill, to make many of the works in the farm automatic and for generating electricity in the night. But Napolean stood against this proposal. He drives away Snowball from the farm with the help of his dogs. And declares himself as the leader of Animal Farm. Napolean slowly one by one changed the seven commandments to suit the pigs. He even moved into the farmhouse. He made the un-educated animals to work more with little food. The animals started starving but Napolean kept them convinced that they are getting enough of everything and they are better off other animals as they are not anyone slave.
The modified commandments are:
He even banned singing the ‘Beast of England’. Instead composed another song to be sung every Sunday morning.
Animal Farm, Animal Farm,
Never through me shall thou came to harm!
With time, the animals forgot about their revolution. They worked hard to complete the wind mill on time along with their regular farm work. Napolean began making friendship with humans to get his farm supplies. The pigs started enjoying the human privileges, staying in the farm house, sleeping in the beds, drinking alcohol. The entire milk, apple and other good supplies where kept only for the pigs. The other animals were made to believe that it was for their own good.
Comrades!’ he cried.’you do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink the milk and eat those apples.
The sheep that had bleated ‘Four legs good, two legs bad!’ started to bleat ‘four legs good, two legs better!’ The pigs began walking on two legs holding whips. When Benjamin, the donkey went to read out the rules written on the wall, everything written earlier was erased. Instead only one Commandment was written:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL. BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.
As the animals look at the men and pigs, they realize that they look the same. The farm has become just like the farm they overthrew. The new regime simply became the old.
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.
If you search about this book in Wikipedia, it is mentioned that this book reflects the events of Russian Revolution in 1917. But once you read the book, you will understand it reflects the human society and how power corrupts even the best people. The true motivation behind the revolution is forgotten and man starts exploiting man for personal benefits and comforts.