Published: 2007 (originally 1945)
By: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
In this satire of the Russian Revolution, Mr. Jones’s Manor Farm is transformed into Animal Farm, a democratic society proclaiming All Animals Are Created Equal. After totalitarian rule is re-established, the reality becomes But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.
The downside to me reading/listening to Animal Farm is the fact that although I learned a little bit about Russian Revolution and some of the contributors I would’ve loved to say that I was paying attention. Unfortunately, I was not fond of Russian history, didn’t get my blood going like, say, the Second World War, or a genocide (which I wish they would teach more often). I knew there were situations and almost each character played a part in mixing reality with fiction but who the characters were meant to depict flew over my head.
I do say that I understood the use of religion as a form of power. Sheep always seem to be the animal of choice when describing mindless followers who don’t question. Boxer, in my opinion, was being described as nothing but ‘man’, a hard worker who has nothing compensated for them in the end except to be shipped off the “greener pastures”, I did honestly check into the Cliffnotes of this book to find out who the characters were meant to portray as and what the political background “Animalism” was referring to:
Animalism is really communism.
Manor Farm is allegorical of Russia
Farmer Mr. Jones is the Russian Czar
Old Major stands for either Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin
Snowball represents Leon Trotsky
Napoleon stands for Stalin
The dogs are Stalin’s secret police
The horse Boxer stands in for the proletariat, or working class
(paraphrased from Cliffnotes)
Needless to say I was right about Boxer, apart from that I wouldn’t have figured out the characters.
This isn’t much of a review, but I can definitely say that I need to brush up on my USSR/Soviet Union/Russian history.
Please feel free to weigh in on how you felt about this book or any of Orwell‘s other works.