“ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL,
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS”
I may have failed to post these over a consecutive 7 days, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten my remaining four books! So, for book 4 I chose my favourite novella (surely most people’s favourite novella…) – George Orwell’s infamous Animal Farm.
Set on an English farm, the book follows a group of animals who rebel against their human farmer and unfair working conditions. They set out to create a fairer farm, one that benefits them all and where they are all treated equally, in the hopes of having happier lives – but of course, that isn’t how things end up going. It is an allegorical take on the Russian revolution by way of farm animals and is so astute in its observations.
It is wonderful in that it makes a certain period of time and regime (though arguably works well as a condemnation against dictatorships in general) extremely accessible – there is a reason it was originally subtitled as a fairy tale – whilst being knowing enough for anyone with some understanding of the Russian Revolution and Stalinism. Yet it is also terrifying in that the satire remains ageless, relevant as ever, as the animals are easily swayed by a big personality and big promises – it is impossible these days to look from animal to man, and from man to animal and tell which is which…