Animal Farm – Book Review

Book Cover

Frankly I am not sure if I had had heard about this book, by George Orwell, before my friend Rajesh mentioned it to me. And to be frank again, when he did I thought it should be one of those classic books with talking animals, that I had tried to avoid all these years. But he said it’s different. And I bought a copy for myself.

Yes, it is a classic novel by George Orwell, not a familiar name to me before I started reading this book. Yes, it has animals that talk. And the biggest relief is that as my friend Rajesh mentioned, IT IS DIFFERENT. The basic premise of the story is about the struggle between Men and the Beasts. The reader is seasoned, initially, to consider this as a struggle between the Evil and the Good. And that’s when the real story unfolds – leisurely peeling layer after layer of the assumed “Good”. For me it was too engrossing and interesting because of the current state of affairs in India. With a mammoth revolution against corruption as the backdrop, there is a whole lot of politics being played out with many players. The media and the self-appointed guardians of peoples’ interests have strongly convinced the people who should be thought of as “Good” and “Evil”. That is exactly what happens in the book too, when the animals are trained to chant “Four legs good, two legs bad”. In the course of time, they are re-taught and they are made to unlearn old beliefs and learn new ‘prophecies’. They are initially promised paradise and in the due course of time are taught to be reasonable and at the end are made to believe that the fight was never to create a paradise. The animals’ beliefs are constantly re-engineered to suit the plans of the “Administrators”. The end depicts clearly what happens if pigs take control.

George Orwell’s language is simple, but has deep meaning. He doesn’t hurry with the narration and builds up the anticipation. For a book that is 120 pages, the impact it leaves behind is huge and shocking. I am still not sure if he was laughing at this society, where people follow blindly into a mass movement without some thinking and retrospection, or was just warning them about doing so. It’s easy to rally around for a change – everyone wants to, but in the hurry it’s not prudent to not plan for the future if the change does occur. The seat of power, or even a chance at authority, is a very tempting proposition where the new occupants easily fall in line behind their predecessors against whose policies was their main fight against.

After reading Dan Brown, Archer and Grisham for the past few years this book was a good change. I called up Rajesh and thanked him for this recommendation. If you have missed reading this book, pick it now. It is a real classic that should not be missed.

 

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~ by Jayanthan Ravi on November 20, 2011.

2 Responses to “Animal Farm – Book Review”

  1. Seems good…makes me wanna read too……….!!! Recently finished two great books….Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of Nagas…….!!!!

  2. The opening sentence sets the tone – “It was a bright cold in April”…. fabulous book!

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