Animal Farm - George Orwell


Animal Farm George Orwell 128 Pages George Orwell, the pen name of Eric Blair, was born in Bengal in 1903. He was educated at Eton School in England, and then served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He returned to Europe and became a writer of novels and essays. Much of his work was political, and although he had a hatred of Communism, he was a socialist. Orwell died at the age of forty-seven of a lung problem, leaving behind several unfinished works. Animal Farm is a parody of the Communist revolution in Russia, and as a result its themes are the evils of totalitarianism and selfishness, and also the importance of hard work. Animal Farm tells the story of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, but from a viewpoint slightly more comical: that of a farm in England. The story begins in a barn, where a boar on the farm named Old Major has gathered the other animals to tell them of a dream he had, a dream of a world in which humans do not rule over other animals. Old Major encourages the animals of the farm to revolt against Mr. Jones, the owner of the farm. Not long after, he dies, but the animals keep his ideas of Animalism (which is essentially Communism) alive and the pigs, who are the most clever animals on the farm, begin to plan a revolution. One day, the workers on the farm forget to feed the animals, and so some of the more powerful horses break down the door to the barn where the feed is stored, and the animals enjoy a feast. When Mr. Jones learns of this, however, he immediately orders all of the animals to be punished appropriately. As they are being whipped and beaten, the animals suddenly turn on the workers. The humans, who had no way of anticipating such an attack, are scared off of the farm. When the animals realize what has happened, they go back to the main barn to discuss the recent events. Two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume control of the farm, and the animals immediately declare the farmhouse to be a sort of museum, in which no animal should enter. The pigs then reveal that they had been learning how to read and write for the entire time in which the revolution was being planned, and the animals agree on seven basic rules, which they called the Seven Commandments. The Seven Commandments consist of the following: ? Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. ? Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. ? No animal shall wear clothes. ? No animal shall sleep in a bed. ? No animal shall drink alcohol. ? No animal shall kill any other animal. ? All animals are equal. The animals then proceed to the hay fields, where they make it their goal to get the harvest done faster than the humans ever could. Each animal does his or her share of the harvest, relative to his or her strength and size. Boxer, one of two carthorses on the farm and certainly the strongest animal, does most of the work, and the animals are able to finish the harvest in two days less time than the humans normally took. Within the first year of the animals? revolution on the farm (which they had proceeded to name "Animal Farm"), news had spread to the neighboring areas, and Snowball and Napoleon send out groups of pigeons to spread the principles of Animalism. Not long after, however, one of these flights of birds spy a group of humans, led by Jones, coming down the path leading to Animal Farm. The pigs, which had been prepared for such a situation, get everyone to their posts, and Snowball sends out a group of pigeons to harass the humans as the other animals get ready for a larger attack. Then, the geese and sheep, led by Snowball, peck and ram the legs of the humans. Snowball orders this group to retreat, however, and the humans, thinking that the animals are retreating, begin to shout with joy. As they move further into the farm, the rest of the animals, including the three horses, come out of their hiding places, and successfully fight the humans off. Over the next few months, the animals hold weekly meetings to