The animals of Manor Farm decide to take control of their own land and banish the humans. Life will be perfect on their own. After a rebellion, they change the name of the farm to Animal Farm and create seven commandments. Somehow, though, over time, those commandments seem to change just a little bit (must be their faulty memories) and stories of battles change (definitely their faulty memories). Work is increased, rations are cut, and, suddenly, the pigs are in charge.
Orwell did a truly amazing job when he crafted Animal Farm. It is in actuality the story of Russia, from the Russian Revolution on through the Stalin era. It is funny because all the action is done by animals (I am sure it is no accident that the leaders – Orwell was very critical of Stalin – are portrayed by pigs). It is just completely absurd. It is sad because the action really happened – to humans. Especially poignant is how the animals (humans) accepted whatever the leaders told them, even if their own memories contradicted the stories being told. A great, quick read on its own or to go along with a study of the rise of communism for older teens or adults.
5 (out of 5) Stars
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