When you start this book the first thing that strikes you is how muddled up the ‘World History’ is in the storehouse of your brain. Thanks to rote learning in our country, we never really understood the Russian revolution. So the first thing to do will be to revisit the Russian revolution chapter and then tune back to this sharply written book.
Animal Farm is a very witty allegory of the Russian revolution and the subsequent rise of Joseph Stalin, which needless to say, was a grim phase in the lives of the proletariat. Satirical remarks at the corrupting power of influence and class-divide that only aggravates with time provide such charm to reading this book. The capitalist West isn’t spared either. The people in power lying to their subject about the super efficiency of their governance/leadership is utterly relevant to this day.
How communism, as intended by Karl Marx, got moulded into various forms only to serve the purpose of those in power, is captured shrewdly by the constant rewriting of ‘The seven commandments’, hence tainting the original spirit.
Orwell uses dark humour in places to great effect. Towards the end, we are offered some chilling lines.
‘All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.’
‘It was impossible to say which was which.’
How it stays and will continue to stay relevant in our increasingly controlling political climate is one of the striking features of Animal Farm.