Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell | bluchickenninja.comRating: 4 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 17th August 1945
Book Depository | Goodreads

‘All animals are equal – but some are more equal than others’. When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless elite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.

A thing I want to just mention before I start this review is that I already knew the Animal Farm story before reading this. Sort of… I watched the cartoon as a kid not realising that it was Animal Farm. So for the longest time I’ve had this image of a horse dying burned into my memory and only just recently learned it was from the Animal Farm cartoon made in the 80s.

Animal Farm by George Orwell |

It’s actually really difficult to review Animal Farm because it is a classic and loved by so many people. The one thing I’ve found with all of George Orwell’s books (not just Animal Farm) is that they feel very modern. It’s almost eerie in a way, how he managed to write a book 60 years ago that still feels relevant to modern day.

I mean really all I can say about this is it’s a George Orwell. It’s very good. It’s definitely worth a read (it’s really short too so you should be able to finish it in one sitting). It’s the kind of book I would have enjoyed learning about in school (and I am a little surprised to be saying that). But it’s a book I would love to learn more about.

It’s actually really interesting now seeing how many times Animal Farm is referenced in modern culture. And please tell me I’m not the only one who noticed the similarities between this and Babe. Though I suppose it would be that Babe was based on Animal Farm? But it was still interesting to see the “evil” pigs in Animal Farm and how Babe turned that idea upside down. Also I can’t help but notice both had dumb sheep who repeat a single sentence (I’m not trying to make a point with that I just thought it was funny).

One last thing to mention, there is a moment in Animal Farm close to the beginning where Old Major talks about the animals being taken away to abattoirs when they are of no use to the farmer anymore. And I’m being totally serious when I say that it made me seriously think about becoming a vegetarian. I know that if I want a cheeseburger a cow had to die for that, I’m not naive or anything, but I suppose I never really thought about it before. So Animal Farm might have turned me into a vegetarian. I’m sure that was not George Orwell’s aim with this book but yeah. It happened.

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29 Responses to “Animal Farm by George Orwell”

  1. Alice

    I love the book and like your review. Me too, I thought about being a vegetarian. I cannot stand people who are mean to animals and dismiss them as inferior or simply see them as tools.

  2. Dagny

    Those dumb sheep have been showing up for ages. I can remember the mindless sheep who follow the crowd in Voltaire’s Candide. Now I’m curious to know if there were any in Shakespeare. 😉

  3. Magpiemakingdo

    Oh man, Animal Farm <3333 I read this in school, and it was SUCH a good tool for helping us understand how the Russian Revolution went so awry as to end up with a sociopath/psychopath like Stalin in control. The critique of the Russian system in this becomes even more interesting when you realize that Orwell was a staunch democratic socialist himself… oh man, now I feel like I'm going to have to go re-read it!

    Also – I've never seen that cartoon! I'm going to have to go check that out too…

  4. reesertshadow

    Somehow, I avoided having to read this book all throughout my high school and college years…I almost feel like it would be weird to read for the sake of reading…

  5. Jinzo_2400

    While Orwell may have written Animal Farm with Russia in mind,it is America whom this book is truly about. We have young idealists who thrive and promise to make things better while running for public service only for them to become completely corrupted by the very system they vowed to fix. It’s a endless broken cycle….

    We read Animal Farm when I was in school but there is no way in hell its being taught about in today’s schools. So huge props to you for both reading it and writing about it. As you get older and wiser,you’ll find yourself thinking about this book and becoming very angry…..

  6. Lisa

    One of my all time favorite books! I’ve read it so many times already and this post made me want to go read it again. I know it was written to critique Stalinism in particular but it does make you think about how any system of government, no matter how good the intentions of those who set it up, can slide into inequality and cruelty.

    P.S. I had no idea there was a cartoon, I might have to check that out, for curiosity’s sake.

  7. debramoolenaar

    Hi Emma – thanks for your review of a great book – I can definitely understand why reading it made you want to become a vegetarian – but worse I think is the social commentary on the way that as well as animals, people are used up and tossed away – and it’s not just the modus operandi of the government or capitalists but of most of us in every day life. Often enough when our friends, partners, pets, careers, families no longer ‘make us happy’, we toss them away as easily as did the farmer with the animals that were sent off to the abattoirs. This really concerns me and I wonder if you think that Orwell presented a potential solution to this?

  8. Raney Simmon

    Oh wow. I read this in high school myself. I don’t remember much about it, but I just might have to reread it.

    • bluchickenninja

      It’s hard to say, I first watched the cartoon when I was really young and though it didn’t scare me, it stuck in my memory. It’s not massively violent, though there is one scene where a pig goes around killing a bunch of animals. I mean I’ve read more violent kids books.

      I can’t say for definate that it’s appropriate for a 10 year old. But I am also against stopping a kid from reading something just because they aren’t old enough. It really depends on how mature they are.

  9. katelynnhillier

    Animal Farm was one of the books we were given the option to read in high school, but I choose The Stranger by Albert Camus instead (I think it was the right choice for me back then). Maybe this weekend I’ll sit down and give it a go! I remember that cartoon, although it never stuck with me. I must have been older when I watched it..
    Wonderful review!

  10. Shamika Lal

    I was just about to start this book. Now I’m more convinced to give it a go!

    Also, thanks for giving my post a like! Do follow my blog, if you like the other posts as well!😁


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