Book Review : Animal Farm

Animal Farm-George Orwell
Animal Farm-George Orwell

The year was 2004. I was with couple of friends, discussing books that we’d read and how they were. After moving on from the heroines of Sidney Sheldon and the shrewd rags-to-riches billionaires of Jeffrey Archer, we broached upon other lesser potboilers. Somehow the talk led to Animal Farm. I’d finished reading that book with much patience and bit of difficulty about a year back or so. At the mention of this book, one of my friends piped up, “It’s so boring. There are only animals talking all the while and ordering other animals about. Such a stupid book!” I sat there, stunned. I was torn between wanting to laugh, to smack her or just commiserate with her for I’d felt that way when I’d heard of the book for the first time.

When I’d picked it up, I remember struggling through first few pages and trying to see beyond it. Then when the pigs began to become more equal than the others, I thought I knew where it was leading. I read the book a second time immediately after finishing the first read. Saw through the representation of animals, human nature. The book is said to be an allegorical depiction of USSR and communism. The book is said to be a lot many things, a dystopia, a representation of politics and so on.

For me, the book remains the representation of human nature, the balance of power between people and how the scales tip. Any society, every society functions on rules and rules give power. A society is how it distributes power and who it deems worthy to hold the power. I’d like to believe beyond the political conflicts implied in the book, it goes beyond isms. It is a very subtle, dark and almost comical depiction of how human society functions.

The greatest thing about the book is it’s size. An hundred odd pages, minus much musings and ponderings that lead nowhere, a fable told directly and with simple words, the book asks only one thing of you. That you think, that you read and think.

Read the complete review here.


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