Mar 29, 2014

Animal Farm

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Animal Farm is one of those books I can understand easily and very much relate to.

I did a little research (this happens to be very rare of me) and found out that Orwell wrote this novella in criticizing Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union. I did not yet exist in that era (duh), but this work is still relevant, even now, when most people claim to live in a democratic society, when in fact they are not.


The following part might be a spoiler to you:


The characters in this book are varied, just like how people in society are. There are classes. Humans are placed in the highest position (before the animals rebel) of the social hierarchy. Then goes the pigs (as the smartest among the animals), the dogs (as the guards), and at the bottom of the structure are the other animals, such as horses, sheep, and hens. They represent the working class.

Animal Farm teaches me the importance of having courage to resist to those who repress (Because if anything, it's only misery that comes upon people who let themselves being repressed), and also, the importance of being literate. In this book, at the very beginning of the establishment of Animal Farm, the animals create The Seven Commandments, in which the rules tying them exist. The pigs (of course it's the pigs) write them down on a wall. The rest of the animals can't read, so they just stand and watch the pigs write the seven commandments down. In the end, when the pigs change the commandments, no one bothers, because they thought that was the original, and that they just forgot some little details about them. Illiterate people are highly exposed to manipulation, because they are not in the know. I personally think this is what makes a society tumbles down. The illiterate.

Anyway, this is not gonna be a social campaign from the government, so let's move on to other things.

Here, in Indonesia, we used to had a totalitarian regime, during the three-decades regime of one of our presidents in the 90s. Pretty much the same. In this book, Napoleon is depicted as a dictator. Almost all pigs were evil except for one, Snowball. Yet his existence was eliminated because he was considered as "rebel". It's like a rebel inside a rebel society so it's a rebelception. Also there is Benjamin, the ignorant donkey. People like Benjamin are literally everywhere. And the ignorant are (most of the time) ironically the smart ones.

Animal Farm is one of those books you can read over and over again and still think it fits you. Timeless.

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.


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***edited by removing spoiler button from the html code

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