I’m going to start by saying that I understand this was supposed to be about Communism. But, novels are, a lot of the time, what you take away from them. Here is what I saw, or what it made me think of:
First off, I really liked the end where Orwell basically calls man a greedy pig, in so many words. I know it’s a bit deeper than that; I know there’s a message that, because of greed, “people” are doomed to repeat history by giving in to their own self-centered temptation.
Also, I see the book more as a portrait of how Communism was corrupted by greed and lust for power. I get that it is supposed to be a comparison to Russia, but that’s what Russia did: corrupt a good idea with vengeance and lust. The beginning ideas for the rebellion were socialist and Communist and they were good ideas. But, it shows how clever beings recognize their advantage and manipulate that for their own purposes, thus continuing the cycle.
I don’t know if Orwell might have seen it coming and was making a prediction, or if the similarities are purely coincidental, but what transpires on Animal Farm very much reminds me of the current state of America. By that, I mean that the animals who talked all this stuff about togetherness and industry for the sake of better lives and allowing animals to work to their abilities (a Communist idea) saw a money-making opportunity and allowed the entire concept and goodness of their rebellion to be bastardized for the sake of profit, luxury and control. To me, that is the United States right now more so than a corrupted Communist state. To modernize the tale, it would seem that, due to the deal made at the end between the pigs and the humans, this is very much a reflection of Corporatism, too–which has, in my opinion, taken the place of Russia’s corrupt Communism as the most crippling economic state in the history of the free world. The allegory of Animal Farm is obviously that of the Russian Revolution, but in many ways it resembles American Corporatism.
I also love the satirical absurdity of how the animals run the farm by learning to read, learning to write, operate the machines, and strike deals of commerce. I love how the pigs get drunk and also learn to walk upright. This truly is a great book that makes you mad, makes you laugh and really makes you recognize the problems with political history and present.
We’re all just animals in the end.
5 out of 5.