I really had lot of expectations from this novella by George Orwell. Animal Farm makes it to all the lists of must-read books of this century and it did live upto my expectation. Orwell’s satire on communism with just about 100 pages couldn’t have been more succinct!
Animals rebel against humans and capture a farm in England to call it Animal Farm! They start with 7 commandments to run the farm, most important being ‘All animals are equal’. The efforts that animals put to run a farm efficiently without any humans is remarkable and proves that nothing is impossible. They call each other Comrades, grow their food and make a windmill! Their life on the farm is fable of friendship, resilience and courage!
But it’s very realistic when some animals (much like humans), which are more intelligent than others (the pigs!) start taking advantage of the inferior ones. They use the same vicious means like brutality to create terror, deceitful words to manipulate like humans do!
And soon the 7th commandment changes to the only one left at the end “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. Irony of life! More powerful will always try to suppress the less powerful! Whatever age, era or society we live in, this will hold true! When the pigs take advantage of the fellow animals, it sounds so unfair. But, human societies follow the same pattern! The way it is portrayed is unique and the brutal honesty with which the book is written is captivating! A brilliant classic!
At the end , when the pigs party with the humans, other animals are watching them from outside and the book ends with this line:
“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.”
I read it over and over again! What an apt closing sentence!!
Everyone must read this allegory, atleast once!
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.
“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”
“The distinguishing mark of man is the hand, the instrument with which he does all his mischief.”
“At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question.”