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Animal Farm

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(pub.1945)


Webmaster's Note, 5/10/2007 - We have been informed by the rights holder that this work is still copyrighted in our territory. So we have removed it. You may still read our original summary though to the left.

This is an allegorical dystopian novel by George Orwell, published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism, an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. The Soviet Union, he believed, had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin ("un conte satirique contre Staline"), and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), he wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he had tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole".

Time magazine chose this book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is also included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.

Plot summary: Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as parasites and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called Beasts of England. When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it "Animal Farm". They adopt Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, "All animals are equal."

Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health. Napoleon and Snowball struggle for preeminence. When Snowball announces his plans to build a windmill, Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and subsequently declares himself leader of Animal Farm.

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. When the animals take over the farm, they think it is the start of a better life. Their dreams is of a world where all animals are equal and all property is shared. But soon the pigs take control and one of them, Napoleon, becomes the leader of all the animals. One by one the principles of the revolution are abandoned, until the animals have even less freedom than before.--Submitted by Anonymous.

Animal Farm is a classic work by George Orwell and a noted piece of literature, which, of course, may help the reader to catapult the imagination beyond the horizons of dogmatic adherence to idealistic or Utopian thoughts. It however, represents human characteristics in an analogy of animal instincts, but it really gives insight into the Russian Revolution of 1917. It also mimics the doomsday of a precipitated change, brought by a modicum of bureaucratic class called as Bolsheviks.--Submitted by Rahimullah Baig Hunzai

In this book, written in 1943 and 1944 while Orwell was working as a journalist and commentator for (among others) the BBC Orwell vents his profound disdain for Stalinism and his disappointment with Marxism as political praxis. A particularly English brand of Socialist with a towering social conscience Orwell himself not only campaigned on behalf of the ILP but had the courage of his convictions to join the Poum in the fight against fascism in Spain in 1937. However, disappointed and endangered by the political machinations of Stalin's Russia in Spain and disgusted by the Molotov Ribbentrop non aggression pact of 1939 and early communist rhetoric against involvement in World War II as a capitalist war, Orwell turns his not inconsiderable facility for satire against totalitarian socialism. Not so much against the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 but against the hypocrisy, the repressiveness that that revolution descended into from the threat of Lenin. This is one of the best books in the English Language written by one of the most viscerally intelligent and humane geniuses of the pen to have lived. It comes highly recommended.--Submitted by Anonymous

ALL humans ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME humans ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS. This is what happens in many country nowadays.--Submitted by Anonymous


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Recent Forum Posts on Animal Farm

a research paper for last year in college

Hi ! I am 4th year student in college of arts/dept.of English I want to make a research paper on animal farm and relate it to the real events in Arab world -Arab spring- what do you think of this research? will be great topic to make a research about? and what the title of topic would be?I want an attractive title ! :D Finally, How can I start with this research??? note:my research should be more than 21 pages :( ...

What is it illegal to call a pig in France?

The Ask Jeeves (search engine) question of the day was What is it illegal to call a pig in France? Apparently Napolean. It was never removed the statute book. I wonder if that caused a problem with the French translation of Animal Farm.

Animal farm essay O.o

:piggy: Me, piggy rosebush and my fellow pig loving friend are TRYING to write an essay our topic is; 'Animal farm explores how communists behave under pressure :conehead: can anyone give us references or just help us out.... were really stuck in the muck... we will love you forever, almost as much as we love rusty spoons and pig slosh :ladysman: -Piggy rosebush & Miss Piggy "Oink, Oink"

Interest

I am reading 'Animal Farm' for fun. I am find it very interest the way Orwell writes 'Farm Animal', mainly at moment chapter 5 it in refer to russian re and bolsk That Snowball in visions about how to use the windmill and built it. Also that Napolean only kept Snowball on side just for cowshed fight with two legs. Napolean is very clever complex character is secretly turn the pigs in to only communists army. Squealer is like store pigeon just wait right time whisper in the ears of animal. Squealer is one suppose put Napolean side of thing of now everything hes doing for good of animals. Napolean is true communist, just out own purpose.

The confessions/executions of the animals

How do the confessions (perhaps, false confessions) and executions of some of the animals on Animal Farm show that the animals are naive and easily taken advantage of?

The danger of a naive working class

Hey there. I'm writing a research paper on Animal Farm right now, and my topic is: The vulnerability of a naive and uneducated working class. Is this a good topic to research? Would anyone be able to provide some links to articles I can read to use as sources on my paper? Also, any tips, suggestions or ideas about a better research topic or potential sub-topics would very much be appreciated. People here seem like a smart bunch and I'd like to learn from you to reach a better understanding of this novella, which is why I came here for help. Thank you.:)

I need help!

I have to answer this question: Discuss the way language is used to shape ideas and themes. Could anyone give me some help

Was Animal Farm funny?

I finished reading Animal Farm with knowing the background of Stalinist Russia, and I didn't find it funny at all. I probably wouldn't have found it funny even if I didn't know it's historical context. I did get a small grin at the very last line where it said the pigs and humans looked exactly the same though. Many tell me that this novel was written with satire. The definition of satire is using humour (which I did not see) to criticize something. (In this case, Stalin/Russia). Was it suppose to be humourous? Am I missing something? If it was, what did Orwell do to make it funny for you? (In other words how did he manipulate the text in order to bolster satirical content?) I feel I'm truly missing something here. ;(

Help please

Hi. I had some questions regarding animal farm that i needed help with. 1)The overthrow of Mr. Jones was easier that Old Major had predicted. Briefly account how the Revolution was acheived. 2) What was the significance of Snowball referring to the other animals as 'comrades' throughout the book. 3) Do you think the pigs teaching themselves to read is important. Discuss. 4) At the start, why is Major referred to as 'majestic - looking'? Thanks

animal farm research paper!:(

can someone tell me how George Orwell used satire in Animal Farm to make fun of the Russian Revolution? this is my first research paper ever!

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