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Animal Farm by George Orwell
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Animal Farm (original 1945; edition 1996)

by George Orwell, Russell Baker (Preface)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
38,71755516 (3.99)844
Member:alle72998
Title:Animal Farm
Authors:George Orwell
Other authors:Russell Baker (Preface)
Info:Signet Classics (1996), Edition: 50th Anniversary, Mass Market Paperback, 140 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:allegory, communism, russian revolution

Work details

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. 136
    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (mariamreza)
    mariamreza: Another great use of allegory.
  4. 70
    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (chrisharpe)
  5. 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.
  6. 51
    Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (weener)
    weener: A good real-life example of what a repressive government can do.
  7. 30
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (sturlington)
  8. 31
    Snowball's Chance by John Reed (infiniteletters)
  9. 76
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (mcenroeucsb)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 22
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (SqueakyChu)
  14. 22
    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.
  15. 12
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (kaledrina)
  16. 45
    The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek (sirparsifal)
  17. 36
    Utopia by Thomas More (luzestrella)
    luzestrella: marvelous!! definitively worth reading
  18. 18
    Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman (mcenroeucsb)
  19. 319
    Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (PaperbackPirate)
  20. 321
    The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul (ChrisSlavens)

(see all 20 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 520 (next | show all)
Reading this in my 40s, I have the knowledge and experience to appreciate the political and social satire that had to be force-fed to me in high school. It’s eerie how well Orwell predicted all the horrible policies of Chairman Mao in this book. When they say that those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it – they aren’t just talking about summer school. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
George Orwell

Animal Farm:
A Fairy Story

Penguin, Paperback [2008].

8vo. viii+95 pp. "A Note on the Text" by Peter Davison [v-viii].

First published by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, 1945.
Published in Penguin Books, 1951.
This text first published by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd in the Complete Works of George Orwell series, 1987.
Published in Penguin Books with a new Note on the Text, 1989.
This edition published, 2008.

=================================================​

This charming little book is Orwell’s greatest masterpiece of fiction. It explores pretty much the same major themes as 1984, but it’s three times shorter and far more amusing. At least, it would have been amusing if everything in it – and I mean every single thing – had not happened in human form. This is what makes it tragic.

Animal Farm is a scorching satire of the Russian Revolution in particular and totalitarianism in general. It is so ingeniously crafted and so superbly written, so easy to read and so entertaining, that some people are quite taken in by it. (One publisher reportedly refused to publish the book in Britain and America because he thought there was no market for children books!) Don’t you believe it! This satire is far smarter and far subtler than it looks. Every characteristic feature of totalitarian dictatorship is included here, from the hideous propaganda that perverts past and present to the threats of violence that easily turn into a reign of terror, not to mention quite a few references to real events (e.g. the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact). Perhaps the most depressing take-home message is that such totalitarian governments cannot be achieved without the active cooperation of dumb and meek masses. What could symbolise them better than a bunch of sheep bleating propaganda slogans? What could symbolise better the zealous party supporter who has not the brains for more than Boxer? And who can read the passage in which he is taken away and fail to be moved? Unless your historical education has been very badly neglected or you are completely deficient in empathy, you ought to find these hundred pages or so uncommonly disturbing.

Orwell’s message is quite unambiguous. Bloody revolutions in the name of the people sooner or later turn into something at least as bad, probably worse, than the old regime they purported to overthrow. What, in the end, is the difference between the pigs and the humans? They look and sound absolutely alike! “I meant the moral to be”, Orwell is quoted by Mr Davison, “that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert and know how to chuck their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job.” Orwell goes on to describe such revolutions as “violent conspiratorial” and their leaders as “unconsciously power-hungry”. These are perceptive remarks. The worst about such revolutions is that they do start with the best intentions. But as soon as the milk and the apples are reserved for a limited number of privileged leaders, they – the leaders – have become quite consciously power-hungry. From this point on, it’s only a matter of time the leaders to become more equal than the rest and all undesirable elements who disagree to be eliminated. If only the masses would know it!

It’s a shame to write a long review of so short a book. And it’s not necessary. Unless, I repeat, you are tremendously callous or historically ignorant, the work speaks eloquently for itself. (Even if you completely miss the point, you can still enjoy it as a children book. Nobody can take that consolation away from you.) Granted that today its message is less topical than it must have been in the 1940s, it remains relevant. History may not repeat itself, but we are very fond of repeating its mistakes.

By the way, what happened with Snowball? ( )
2 vote Waldstein | Apr 24, 2016 |
A wonderful short read! Everyone should read this along with 1984.
  bartt95 | Apr 10, 2016 |
While this book was, of course, meant for readers in a time passed, I still enjoyed it immensely. With each new chapter and each new event in the animal's lives, I found myself growing more and more horrified. It really goes to show you how easily the public can be manipulated into thinking that their leaders are doing what's best for everyone while only living to serve themselves. This was a thought provoking book as well and if you've an interest in politics, history, or the dystopian genre, I think you'd enjoy this book. ( )
1 vote MynTop | Apr 8, 2016 |
I can't believe I made it through High School and college without reading this one. Glad I finally did - quite a good message for today (especially in this political climate), don't you think? ( )
  sbenne3 | Mar 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 520 (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
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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]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

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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