Animal Farm

Animal Farm

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Others have written more eloquent words about this book, so I just want to mention the historical background of its publishing. Orwell wrote the book about 1943 but couldn’t get anyone to publish it. It was so obviously about a totalitarian state exactly like  Soviet Russia, our wartime ally. It was a case of bad timing. No one in England wanted to risk offending Russia. The book appeared in 1945. Even so many people were concerned about how blatantly it ridiculed Russia. Leftists and socialists who didn’t want to call a spade a spade were offended at the way Russia’s new leaders were portrayed.

This is a barnyard fable that warns us what often happens when the people overthrow their oppressors. The people now lead their own country but , invariably, end up committing the same excesses as the former rulers. The animals revolt but from among them, the pigs take over. Gradually, freedoms are limited, and special privilege is accorded the elite.

When we see “Freedom Spring” in various countries, we all hope for the best, for a freer life for the people, for more opportunities for education for women, for jobs, a free press and elections. Reading this book, I wonder if it has to turn out so badly. What can be done ot keep the revolution on track?

This is an important book, still relevant now as it was 70 years ago when it was written!

 

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