Letter Essay #6: Animal Farm

I recently finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was written in 1943, but it wasn’t published until 1945. The reason it took so long to publish was because in 1943, the world had a very positive view of the Soviet Union. The Soviets were fighting the seemingly invincible Nazi army to a standstill. The west and Britain, especially were very admiring of communism in the east.(before the cold war, of course). This book is book is satirical of communism, and it is quite obvious to anybody who reads the book and knows anything about communism. Napoleon is Stalin (the ruthless dictator of the Soviet Republic), and Snowball is Trotsky (Stalin’s rival, a man who is often seen as the “good guy” counterpart to the evil Stalin). The book starts off with Old Major, the most respected animal on the farm, having a vision in his sleep. He has a vision of the animals overthrowing their oppressive ruler, Jones the farmer. Old Major dies within the week, and his vision is soon realised. The pigs, the most clever animals, assume authority over the farm once Jones is run off the property. At first, all animals are treated equally and fairly-exactly what Old Major and the others had envisioned. But there are feuds and struggles for power, and the line between man and pig starts to blur. The book highlights the main problem with communism: it is nearly impossible to have all people be equal. There will always be the rich and famous who live a life of luxury. There will always be the hard laborers, who work harder and longer than anyone and still face hardships. There will always be a middle class, the average working citizen. It’s human nature that some people will work harder than others, and the people who work the hardest don’t deserve to live in the same conditions as the lazy. My favorite quote from the book was when the animals are reading the wall of commandments because they believe the pigs are breaking the law (once again. The pigs are constantly changing the rules to benefit them). The commandments have been painted over, and the only thing on the wall is “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”. The pigs finally decided to just get rid of the rules instead of changing them once again. Just like in real life, the animals aren’t equal at all in the end. Communism is great in theory, but it will always fail in practice. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would give it a 9/10. I think it is similar to Harrison Bergeron in a way. I think it’s interesting to see what the pigs do when they have control over the farm. I would recommend this book to a friend (especially one who thinks communism is a good idea).

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1 thought on “Letter Essay #6: Animal Farm

  1. I really like how your essay was very descriptive, and I really know a lot more about animal farm than before. It seems like you really enjoyed the book. I’m not the biggest fan of the book, but your essay is making me considering reading it. Was there anything that you really did not like about the book? Overall the essay was great,

    From Nick

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