Friday, October 21, 2011

Animal Farm ...by George Orwell

LOL!!! This book brought so many chuckles here and there. Of pigs and horses, dogs and donkeys, goats and chickens... those that make up a farm. At the end of the novel, Animal Farm was renamed The Manor, the ruling animals took to walking on 2 legs instead of 4. What began with noble aims failed, because mortal nature is such that greed always surfaces when power undisputed.

This book is a satire of the Russian Revolution, the rise of the peasants against the bourgeoisie... Stalin, capitalism, Marxism, of ideological struggles so long ago. But as I read, there were many moments where I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. Pigs are smart, pigs are lazy. Dogs are loyal, running dogs... and they are us. Smart lazy pigs... they get others to do their running. They grow fat on inequalities they dupe others into believing is good. If not for the background knowledge I had at the start of the book, I could be excused for thinking that Orwell was describing my own little world, right now, in 2011.

What started of as a noble cause to create an equal society within a short time brought the animals back to square one with a few changes. The pigs (Major) started the revolution going. It was done with a noble aim, to give all animals equality and freedom. By and by, after Major died, the other pigs became what the humans had been to the animals. And the animals, unthinking and ignorant as they were, worked hard with little for themselves for the broods of pigs that came after that. Boxer, the not so intelligent but steady worker of a horse was one such animal. The pigs were smart. The got the dogs to be their bodyguards. The pigs had a good life while the other animals slaved for them. Among the ignorant animals were a few who dared speak out. They we snuffed out, executed and obedience soon prevailed. And the animals worked very hard, feeding the new noble class, not realizing that this new noble class are like them... but more manipulative; the animals that we are too.

Old classics like this are real gems of work. Creative and critical writing in one. Thinking skills too. They make see yourself in a different light; unlike today's literary works which seem to put emphasis on the superficial. I've not come across many present day books written in this vein. We should make such readings a literature read in our schools instead of those stuff that they make our 17-year-olds read.

I read this book in between all the other books that I was reading. It took a while. These days, my eyes tire easily from staring too long into the screen....

3 comments:

Thomas C B Chua said...

You are right, AJ 7. Yours Sincerely has just finished another round of "The Good Earth" by Pearl S Buck. a gem of an "Orang Putih" writer about life in pre-Communist China.

PreciousPearl said...

"all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
classic.
For fans of Pearl Buck, you could also try "The Living Reed" set in Korea before the start of WW2. Talks a lot about kimchee. LOL
Result of a misspent youth :)

AJ7 said...

Yup... some animals feel they are more equal than others. Aren't we all like that? The pigs are they who believed that they are more equal...LOL!