Monday, December 17, 2012

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell

"Life will go on as it has always gone on – that is, badly." The animals in the Manor Farm live a hard life. Human beings control them, use them, abuse them and misuse their powers. A wise old boar, who is on his deathbed, calls all the animals and tells them that a rebellion against the human cruelty is the only way the animals could ever think of escaping the hardships in their lives.

All the animals are very charged and with fire in their bellies, they start chalking out the plans for a rebellion though they don't know when it would be possible. The chance comes fairly soon and the animals are able to overthrow the humans and establish a rule purely by the animals and for the animals.

The ideals with which the 'Animal Farm' (the new name of the Manor Farm) work begins are pristine, pure and divine. There is the advent of education. Over time education creates a basic divide between the wise and the not-so-wise. The pigs, the most intelligent and the ready witted of all, slowly start establishing their supremacy. The humans try to regain their lost control, but the united animal force is too much for them to handle and thus, they have to retreat. Little by little, changes start happening. The pigs don't seem to agree on any one point and then, we see, one of the pigs, Napoleon, drives away the other and becomes the leader. Extremely slowly and gradually, the leader, Napoleon, establishes total control over the lives of other animals, all the rules the Animal Farm was established with, are violated. The pigs become more and more human like  they walk on two legs, they sleep in beds, wear clothes and drink alcohol. The commandment of "All animals are equal" is changed to "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". The tenet of "Four legs good, two legs bad" is changed to "Four legs good, two legs better" and many more. Over time vices corrupt the leader class to an extent that they are blinded by their addiction and would rather get their wounded best worker slaughtered and get money than spend money and get him operated upon.

Once, the totalitarian control is established, the pigs rename the farm "Animal Farm" to "Manor Farm". And as Benjamin, the wise donkey said, "Life will go on as it has always gone on – that is, badly." 

Though the book is based on a similar problem that occurred in Soviet, I feel, India too has undergone a similar pattern. The long years of strife under the control of the British Raj led to the uprisings and rebellions, and ultimately, the war of independence and then freedom. The values we began with have been altered and interpreted to suit the ones who have, against the have-nots. Education, improperly distributed, created a class divide. Eventually, the good and the 'high class' befriended the oppressors of the past and many were engulfed in vices of sorts.

Overall, a good but depressing book. Wonderful vocabulary.

Rating: 3/5

(Picture Source: Internet)

1 comment:

  1. I liked the book so much, I wrote the review in a poetic way!

    Please share your favourite passages from the book.