Sunday, March 30, 2008

Animal Farm

George Orwell's classical political fable is so well-known that I'm surprised I hadn't read it before now. I've certainly had it long enough, it seems that I bought it secondhand in a currency that doesn't exist anymore, Belgian Francs.

It's short, a novella, and reads quickly and easily. But the ideas in it stay much longer. The story is about an animal revolution - the animals of Manor Farm revolt against the human owners and turn it into Animal Farm, running it themselves. It's a commentary on power and what it can do to those with even the best intentions - and this political side to it certainly made me think. But the part that really stuck in my mind wasn't about politics but about nature:

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals."
This sentiment, the original reason behing the animals' revolution, is very important today, as more and more of us start thinking about what we are doing to the planet and to other beings.

Animal Farm is considered a classic and it's easy to see why this is so. Although written in 1945, there is nothing dated about it, the ideas in it still apply. Isn't that a good reason to read it? It's also a novella so a perfect choice for the Novella Challenge. :-)

I'm giving it 5 stars and look forward to reading for of George Orwells's work. I recently heard that his lesser known works are also fantastic.


Lezlie said...

I *love* that quote! I've had this on my shelf for a while, but haven't gotten to it yet. Someday!!


Linda Jacobs said...

I just had my British Literature students read it and they really enjoyed it. Each kid had a person, idea, or event from the Russian Revolution and had to make a poster of it along with the corresponding person, idea, or event from Animal Farm. It led to a lot of good discussions.

bethany (dreadlock girl) said...

oh!! I just bought this thanks for the review, I want to get it started.

have a great sunday!(or maybe monday now)

joanna said...

Lezlie - it'll only take you a couple of hours to read!

Linda - that sounds fun - wish I'd read it in school actually, it would have definitely provoked some interesting discussions.

Bethqny - hope you enjoy it! And yes, it's Monday now, unfortunately!