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Animal Farm by George Orwell
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Animal Farm (original 1945; edition 2004)

by George Orwell

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39,45257316 (3.99)884
Member:jsmileytigg
Title:Animal Farm
Authors:George Orwell
Info:1st World Library - Literary Society (2004), Paperback, 116 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:
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Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)

  1. 512
    1984 by George Orwell (Phr33k, haraldo)
    Phr33k: The theory behind the two books is the same, and if you enjoyed Animal Farm, you should read Nineteen Eighty-four
  2. 235
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (mikeg2)
  3. 70
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  4. 92
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (BeeQuiet)
    BeeQuiet: Whilst this book follows one day in the life of a Soviet prisoner in a gulag as opposed to merely a worker, this is still a stunning indictment of the revolution's disregard of human life.
  5. 137
    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (mariamreza)
    mariamreza: Another great use of allegory.
  6. 31
    Snowball's Chance by John Reed (infiniteletters)
  7. 53
    Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (weener)
    weener: A good real-life example of what a repressive government can do.
  8. 10
    Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Both books use animals to illustrate human shortcomings and a base nature, animals gain human consciousness,both are allegories , and dystopian novels.
  9. 76
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  10. 21
    Red Plenty: Industry! Progress! Abundance! Inside the Fifties Soviet Dream by Francis Spufford (lewbs)
    lewbs: Both books look at the shortcomings and hypocrisies of communism with some fine humor.
  11. 21
    The Descendants of Cain (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European) by Sun-Won Hwang (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Portrait of the mechanics and effect of Soviet-style communist takeover.
  12. 22
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (SqueakyChu)
  13. 23
    Utopian Tales from Weimar by Jack Zipes (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Some of the stories in this anthology are earlier allegories with animals forming governments. The politics is just as sharp as Orwell's.
  14. 12
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (kaledrina)
  15. 45
    The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek (sirparsifal)
  16. 36
    Utopia by Thomas More (luzestrella)
    luzestrella: marvelous!! definitively worth reading
  17. 18
    Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (mcenroeucsb)
  18. 319
    Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (PaperbackPirate)
  19. 321
    The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul (ChrisSlavens)
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Showing 1-5 of 537 (next | show all)
What a great book. I can't believe I haven't read it before.

Written at a time when the evils of communism hadn't been fully exposed and some still thought it could work in practice, Animal Farm was sure to be an eye opener. With the famous quotation

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others

The setting is a "normal" farm--controlled and managed by humans. But one day the animals have had enough of being oppressed and abused as human slaves. They rise up and take over the farm. Their goal is for all animals to be equal--to work for the good of the farm and for the sake of their community. Communism in action, in theory. But what will happen in practice?

I can see why this book has become a classic. It demonstrates that all ideas based around a communist model are doomed to failure from the outset. Humans are basically selfish due to sin--they cannot motivate themselves to work for the good of the masses. There will always be dictators who will rise up and seek to control the workers. Who will make the rules if everyone is equal and how will they be enforced? What happens to those who depart from the agreed standards?

I wasn't expecting a short read like this to cover so many aspects of life. Previously accepted historic facts are airbrushed out of existence, and the animals in time become convinced that they have imagined things. It reminded me of those who seek to deny the Holocaust or even the death and resurrection of Jesus--both historically proven but now widely doubted or ignored.

The animals are kept superfically satisfied by being inundated with statistics, facts and figures. These tell them why they are better off than they used to be and how things are improving all of the time. Of course, this is not how the animals actually feel--they are hungry and miserable. But, the facts don't lie, right? Ceremonies and certificates galore compensate for the meaninglessness of the animals futile daily activity. I witnessed this exact phenomenon whilst serving in the police--statistics can be manipulated to say exactly what the powers that be want them to say. A community feels that their neighbourhood is becoming more dangerous and that crime is on the rise. But, have you ever heard a politician or a police chief say that? Of course not, crime is always falling, unemployment is going down and the cities are safer than ever......

From a Christian perspective there is much to be learned also from Animal Farm. We know that communism will fail because of human nature towards selfish behaviour. Those who believe that the early believers in Acts were practicing a form of communism are forgetting that the text tells us that they voluntarily shared their possessions with each other. There was no force involved. Even then there were leaders who instructed the people and organised them. That is the way society has become since the original fall of man--there will be some rich and some poor. The Christian life is about what we do with the resources, talents and abilities we have been given by God, we can use them to bless others. Assuming that a common level of limited wealth would lead to satisfaction is a gross error because it removes our innate desire for innovation and to carry out a hard day of work and reap the benefits. To be able to share with others out of our abundance or even in our poverty.

It amazes me that despite the numerous (and tragic) failures of communist countries worldwide there are still so many people that think it can work. They point to an insignificant aspect of each dictatorship as the reason for the demise ignoring the obvious--communism will never work no matter the circumstances or favourable conditions because it is not part of God's plan for mankind which has been clearly laid out in the Bible.

I recommend this book to all readers. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Sep 27, 2016 |
The fiction book "Animal Farm" by George Orwell is a book about history. The book is describing the Russian Revolution with animals in a farm. The characters are animals representing historical figures during the Russian Revolution and things they did. I really liked the way that I could be more informed about our history by a entertaining book about animals. What I really thought could be improved was that he would put more information about a single character. But overall I really enjoyed this read. ( )
  SarahGP4 | Sep 13, 2016 |
I'm not even going to lie, this is not my favourite book.

I know it's a powerful allegory and has some rather memorable lines and I know it's a really important book but it really doesn't interest me at all. It's quite cold, clinical and masculine and it has a purpose, but I wouldn't (and didn't) read it for enjoyment. I read it for school.

Orwell also really doesn't write female characters well at all. Of the two female characters represented in this book, one is a frilly, feminine, silly female, and the other is an old matron-type figure. Of course this is part satire and so character's traits are emphasised... but they're still poorly-written female characters.

I don't know. I don't want to seem like a bitter feminist. This book has its place in the world, and a valuable one at that, but Orwell is not my favourite writer, or my favourite person.

... that being said! Animal Farm is a really good snippet into George Orwell's writing and his perspective.

It's just not for me. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
An important and smart parable on communism. Very telling. ( )
  parp | Aug 29, 2016 |
Never trust the pigs in a revolution, especially when they promise to make the farm great again. ( )
  stochi | Aug 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 537 (next | show all)
This little book, about as long as Candide, may fairly be compared with it as a searching commentary on the dominant philosophy of the age.
added by Sylak | editPunch
 
Animal Farm is a very politcal novel that tells a story about a farm and the way it's run but the story of the animals the way the run the farm represents the 2nd world war and the politics behind it, this technique is known as an allegory. Old Major (a wise old pig) gives the animals a lecture about how unfairly they're treated by the humans. the animals do all the work and don't get any profit, everyone works so hard and don't even get enough food to satisfy their hunger each day, they've had enough. the animals decide to stand up to their rights, and run the farm in a way that is progressive and to shut down the humans and agree that all the animals should be treated fairly. this does not last long when the pigs start to take control of things. they assume that because they're smarter they should have more rites. The start to take advantage of their intelligence by giving themselves more rites and modifying the laws that the animals agreed to live by. while this happens alot more events occur, the animals complete the windmill but then it gets knocked down during war, this reoccurs a number of times, the farm has lost animals due to war but one of the most significate loss' was the death of Boxer who sadly gets taken away then killed by humans. alot of other major events occur that all contribute to the main theme of the novel. Animal Farm was unique from any novel i've read but I did not enjoy it but using an allegory to represent an event that is a big part of history did impress me and they way George Orwell executed it was fantastic.
added by mgranotz | editschool
 
With an unusually piercing blare of trumpets from the Book-of-the-Month Club, whose co-selection for September it is, and with a resounding ruffle of publicity drums, an odd little book is published today.. There is nothing so startlingly brilliant about this quite elementary fable, it seems to me, to justify a tempest in anything larger than a teacup.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Orville Prescott (pay site) (Aug 26, 1946)
 
'Animal Farm' may be taken as the most compact and witty expression of the left-wing British reaction to Soviet Communism... [Orwell] writes absolutely without coyness or whimsicality and with such gravity and charm that 'Animal Farm' becomes an independent creation, standing quite apart from the object of its comment. The qualities of pathos in the tale of the betrayal of the animals -- in the account, for example, of Boxer, the faithful horse -- would compel the attention of persons who never heard of the Russian Revolution.''
 
George Orwell, a talented leftist writer, has emerged as one of Britain's best satirists. Britons, chuckling at his new book, Animal Farm, a 92-page laugh-and thought-provoking satire on Communism and the Soviet Union, are calling its author the most brilliant political satirist since Swift.
added by Shortride | editTime (Feb 4, 1946)
 

» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George Orwellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abella, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baker, RussellPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bulla, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crick, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crick, BernardContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gueillet, SuzonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nydorf, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekkanen, PanuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quéval, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, ElinorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, AnthonyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steadman, RalphIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szíjgyártó, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tasso, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tournaire, J.-P.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tucker, GeraldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wahlén, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodhouse, C. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodldridge, IanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes.
Quotations
For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
These people don't see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you. [from preface]
Make a habit of imprisoning Fascists without trial, and perhaps the process won't stop at Fascists. [from preface]
To exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance. [from preface]
If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. [from preface]
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Op een dag wordt boer Jansen van zijn erf verdreven en nemen de dieren de macht op de boerderij over. Wat de dageraad van een nieuwe tijd had moeten worden eindigt in een afschuwelijke nachtmerrie. De slimste dieren, de varkens, vestigen een bloedige politiestaat en de overige dieren van de boerderij treft een triester lot dan voorheen.
Haiku summary
"The old king is dead!
"The farm overflows with good things."
"We'll let you know."

(one-horse.library)
"Wake, Boxer, with cause!"
Friends offer snake-sly wisdom.
The wheel turns, grates on.

(one-horse.library)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451526341, Mass Market Paperback)

Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophecy. --Joyce Thompson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:41 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A satire on totalitarianism in which farm animals overthrow their human owner and set up their own government.

(summary from another edition)

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