“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
In the first chapter of the book, we learn that Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm, is a drunkard and ‘Major’, an old hog is the ‘leader’ of the animals. He calls a meeting and tells the animals they need to ‘stand up for their rights’. He also tells them he is dying. Soon after this the animals revolt and take over the farm.
At first it goes well for the animals, then the old adage “Power corrupts”, comes into play and the animals are found to be in a worse situation. The pigs take advantage of the animals poor memories and rewrite history and the “7 commandments”.
Animal Farm is a satire of the Russian Revolution under Stalin. It was very difficult to get this book published, even in London because of the pro-Stalin sentiment. After all, Stalin had helped them defeat the Germans. He didn’t fight against the Germans out of the goodness of his heart, Germany was making moves on the Soviet Union and also Stalin wanted the countries that Germany had occupied during the war. Berlin was this nice little city and he wanted it.
What I got from this is commentary on how the poor, regular people suffer when government has too much power. I’m not up on my Russian Revolution history, but apparently what happened in the book was a mirror of what happened in Russia. Orwell was trying to make people aware. The book became much more popular during the cold war.
This was a quick read, some people find it grim, I thought it was scary, if we aren’t careful we might lose our freedom in our efforts to stay safe. The animals thought they were safe, and that they were better off with the pigs ruling, but were they?