- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classic (2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141182709
- ISBN-13: 978-0141182704
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,782 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,333,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Animal Farm Paperback – International Edition, February 22, 2000
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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 --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From Library Journal
This 50th-anniversary commemorative edition of Orwell's masterpiece is lavishly illustrated by Ralph Steadman. In addition, it contains Orwell's proposed introduction to the English-language version as well as his preface to the Ukrainian text. Though all editions of Animal Farm are equal, this one is more equal than others.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
My 1 star review is based on the poorly proofed Kindle version, not the content of Orwell's story.
Animal Farm written by George Orwell is an allegorical and dystopian novel. George Orwell was born in Bengal, India in the year of 1903. He stayed in India where his father was stationed but shortly after his mother moved him and his sister to England. In England he attended a boarding school where he was treated different than other students based on his mother's income. After completing his schooling at the boarding school he did not have the money to attend a university so he joined the Police force in 1922. After leaving the Police force his writing struggled to take off, it wasn’t until 1933 that his first novel was published. Orwell is most well known for his books Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Many of his novels include strong opinions about politics. He includes strong parallelism to communism, imperialism, and fascism.
The animals at Mr. Jones’ Manor Farm assemble in the barn to hear old Major talk about a dream he had. He talked about how his dream was where all the animals lived free from masters. Soon after Major dies the rest of the animals wanted to live out his dream. So they plot to take over the farm and get rid of the humans. They proceed with their plans and their rebellion is a success. They make policies and a government for the farm. Later on Jones and his men return to the farm and attempt to retake it, but the tactics of Snowball, the animals defeat Jones in The Battle of the Cowshed. Later after the battle the animals go through some “government” issues on the farm and get a new ruler with is Napoleon. Napoleon uses Snowball as a scapegoat for who he blames all the hardships on. The animals proceed to build a windmill for the farm. Some animals start to leave the farm and some continue to stay. Napoleon ends up becoming a dictator and takes away food, and has the dogs kill innocent animal.
The main characters of the story include Napoleon (pig), Snowball (pig), Boxer (horse), Squealer (pig), and Old Major (pig). When the story starts, Napoleon is the leader of the other animals. He is smart, fierce-looking, quiet, and manipulative. Snowball is more vivacious of a pig than Napoleon, he’s a better talker, more intensive, and friendly. Squealer is a pig that talks a lot, but not with facts or truth and he has very few morals. Boxer is the muscle of the farm as well as the hardest worker. And lastly, Old Major starts all of the hassle because it was his idea to rebel.
I really enjoyed the Animal Farm because it is a light-hearted dramatization of the very heavy idea that absolute power is likely to corrupt absolutely. The feeling that the book invokes is one of joy as the tyrant humans are being overthrown. This is soon tempered by dismay as the pigs whom are the wisest of the farm animals rise to power and allow that power to corrupt them making them the worst of all tyrants.The feeling of dismay is amplified when you realize you could be like the pigs whom start out good, become great, and end really bad.
The style of writing and the pace of the story are masterful as they make the story captivating and succinct. You are given enough to enter into the drama unfolding but you will not be overwhelmed with trivial detail. My favorite part of the book is that there are some of the animals besides the pigs whom were smart enough to memorize the original seven commandments of Animal Farm and thus are able to unveil the progressive corruption of the pigs.
I have read this book multiple times and would read it again because upon each read I gain some new insight into human nature and the governance of civilizations. This book exceeds my expectations of allegories as it captures so well the effects of power that often lead to tyranny.
I would recommend this book to middle school and high school students learning about communism and the effects of it. This book includes strong parallelism to communism. Many of the main characters in this novel represent real life people.
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