At once an allegory for both utopia and totalitarianism, Animal Farm is a story that expresses a dismal view of humans and their attempts to create a just society without compassion, history, and nonviolence. Orwell's book is decidedly anti-utopian and yet an unforgettable morality tale that entertains as it teaches. This concise supplement to Orwell's Animal Farm helps students understand the overall structure of the work, actions and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural perspectives of the author.
This simple and tragic fable, telling what happens when the animals drive out Mr Jones and attempt to run their farm themselves, has since become a world famous classic of English prose.
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When I first came in contact with Animal Farm in 1990, after the collapse of Communism in Romania in December 1989, I was amazed at how well Orwell captured the true nature of communism, even though in a sort of euphemistic form! Written as it is, I guess the story is easily understood by all. Great truths are most often told in easy-to-understand story form. For us in Eastern Europe the story has even more power, for we can identify with it. If Orwell's story is sad, the fact that we know it to be true to our experience of reality makes it indescribably more sad. However, when he wrote it, in the mid '40, he did not yet have the full picture (I suppose) of Stalin's atrocities, nor did he foresee the colossal cataclysm that would befall so many millions of people in Eastern Europe for almost half a century, through the imposed communism, by the power of the Russian (Red) Army and by the Western world turning a blind eye. I am so happy that we can look back on it now as a satire of "past history" and no longer a present political reality. May God never allow it to happen again! The book, I guess, helped to create much awareness in the West about what was going on in Communist countries. Thank you, George Orwell! It is a pity though that history can be so easily forgotten. By the way, anybody out there thinking of writing a "Animal Farm" type of satire about other totalitarian (Muslim or otherwise) states in today's world? Somebody, some day would come back with tears to thank you.
User - A reader from MM, Iasi, Romania
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