Thursday, September 8, 2011

Animal Farm by George Orwell

This is one of those should-have-read-by-now books that I only just recently picked up because it's also on Son14's school reading list.

Wow. Animal Farm is a freaky, fascinating read about the workings of communism (or is it totalitarianism?). North Korea, anyone? Stalinist Russia? I don't think Son14 has been around long enough to get the bigger picture here; I'm not even really sure I get the bigger picture here. But it certainly exposes what a slippery slope politics and the pursuit of 'freedom' can be.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. 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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Juju at Tales of said...

I read this last year and loved it. Very thought provoking and really was able to bring out allot of emotions in me.

PS Thanks for visiting my blog.

Tracy said...

Animal Farm is one of those must read books, along with Orwell's other political masterpiece, 1984 (the inventor of Big Brother and Room 101, not to mention Newspeak and Doublethink).

Animal Farm can easily be read in a day, but the memory of it lasts a lifetime.

Sam said...

I studied the Russian revolution in history at school and we read Animal Farm alongside it. I revisit it every few years, it's such a powerful read.

Trish said...

juju - yes, for me it was anger and that creepy sense of foreboding. The animals were made to believe that this was all for their own good, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

tracy - I've come to realize that small books can sometimes pack a punch. And, yes, 1984 is another good one! I'm due for a reread.

sam - this book would be a great accompaniment to any modern history class. I wish it had been required reading when I was in school.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I had to teach this one to my ninth graders. Though I enjoy the book, it was really hard to make it relevant to my students. It was hard to get them to connect. I think this is one that I would introduce later. 13/14 years might be too young for anything other than enjoying the story.

wordsandpeace said...

I enjoy very much Orwell. Have you ever read Finding George Orwell in Burma. Fantastic book where the author traces his time when he worked there, and shows the influence on his books. Sounds like Burma was his inspiration for his books on totalitarian regime, such as Farm Animal and of course 1984.
I read it in 2009, when I was not blogging too seriously, so I don't have any review on hand, but you can see the synopsis on Goodreads.
If you enjoy Orwell, highly recommend it

Trish said...

alexis - wow, teaching it to 9th graders has got to be challenging! Perhaps it's meant to sit with them, in the back of their minds, until such a time when it does become relevant. Otherwise, yes, it does just become a story about animals, which I guess is okay, too.

emma - thanks for that link. It sounds very interesting indeed!