The satirical book by George Orwell reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Wikipedia provided me the historical context
Vocabulary.com, the modern online dictionary's light-hearted definition of allegory is amusing - An allegory is like a metaphor on steroids: a writer tells a fictional story where everything and everyone in it is supposed to represent a deeper meaning. Using a plain old metaphor, you might call death "the grim reaper," but an allegory might build a whole tale of how the grim reaper goes around in a black cloak and informs people of their impending doom. Aesop's Fables are allegories, with animals taking the place of different human character types
Though it was written in 1945, Orwell's phenomenal story-telling prowess keeps the story & message, relevant and timeless in an entertaining way.
The dialogues are simple & yet incredibly funny. Following is a sampling of what I laughed at the most -
The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing.
Man serves the interests of no creature except himself
The only good human being is a dead one.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
And remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him.
THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS of the animals
1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
As the story progresses, some of the commandments are tweaked -
No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.
The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others.
Boxer, the horse's answer to every problem, every setback, was "I will work harder!"—which he had adopted as his personal motto. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest.
The truest happiness lies in working hard and living frugally
The pigs control the other animals on the farm and Squealer, minister of propaganda, calls the reduction of rations as a readjustment
"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others"
Human owner of a neighboring farm to Napoleon, the dictatorial pig - "If you have your lower animals to contend with, we have our lower classes!"
Labels: Book Review