“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”
In this contemporary satire, Orwell criticizes the Russian revolution and totalitarianism regimes. Orwell wrote this book amidst WWII and published it in 1945, during the rise of Soviet Union.
George Orwell work is not what can be said as purely classical literature, rather Orwell’s mastery lies in his simple yet elegant style of writing and his depictions of common life problems, social injustice, and his intellectual honesty. His work is characterized by opposition to totalitarianism and support of democratic socialism.
Manor farm is a farm in England where oppressed animals sick and tired of enslavement, after exhortations of old Major, revolted against their human master and drove him out. Animals then attempted to rule themselves on an equal basis, the main aim being to work according to one’s capacity for everyone benefit; i.e. on principals of communism. Released from all chains, there is but one key rule: All animals are equal. Yet, as the story progresses we soon see some animals are more equal than others…
In a simple style (which is not without its own elegance), Orwell describes the animals and power struggle between the pigs (rulers) and identifies them with the Russian revolution and communist figures. It depicts in a powerful manner how a people’s revolution morphs into a power play. Originally it’s satire on communism, but it can be related to almost all revolutions where in the ensuing chaos after a successful revolution, someone or many someones come forward and mold the struggle in a way according to their own whims.
Orwell’s mastery lies in his depiction of horrors of the totalitarianism regimes. It represents how a revolution is hijacked. When facing a situation where their own interests matter, ruling class unifies despite their own discords.
How rivals are chased away and their history is corrupted making them traitors in eyes of public using mass propaganda. In the form of Boxer, Orwell depicts the loyal middle class and it’s exploitations by the rulers, and how they are discarded after their usefulness has ended. It shows the working of propaganda mechanism during Stalin rule, where people can be made to believe anything.
Orwell also shows the use of religion (church) by communism, identified with a tame raven “mosses “who talks of a happy place sugarcandy mountain, where all animals go after death, allowing animals to dream of a better life after death so they would not attempt to have a better life when still alive. As the time passes, the animal farm starts reverting to old ways,its seven commandments changing into a single one:“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
Story : 4.5/5
Prose/ Writing style :4/5
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