Animal Farm

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One of the most touching parts of Animal Farm.

To be honest, I have never written a book review before and seeing as Orwell and Animal Farm are so famous I doubt they need me to add to the swathe of blogs/articles that have been written about them. But this is my experience:

The book is written in a refreshingly direct and concise manner. You could liken it to a history textbook except that it is far more interesting. I learned more about political manipulation through this book than I did reading my Stalinist Russia textbook for A Level History! Anyone who has a studied the Russian communist revolution will be struck frequently by the parallels between the two. As a result, it feels as if the plot twists do not seem surprising, although you couldn’t have predicted them.

I am personally bemused by the fact that I found it easier to read about pigs than I did about Stalin when they were in fact engaging in the same activities. Orwell is a master of writing, however I don’t blame the writing style of the textbook author for my lack of interest in the subject. I think it was more to do with my general attitude; Animal Farm is fiction, which is supposed to be fun, but textbooks are just hard work. I think this is a mindset that a lot of people have, and this is where Animal Farm finds a unique power and purpose. The book’s short, snappy account of a communist revolution has the potential to get the not-so-excited-by-history reader past the nausea brought on by the idea of studying modern history and teach them valuable lessons. In today’s world, where people are often apathetic towards politics, this is a vital tool for sparking interest, or at least understanding, around governance. It is important for people to recognise that they can and may be manipulated by their governments and how incremental adjustments in the wrong direction should never be ignored, no matter how minor they seem at the time. This book made me all the more determined to think critically and analyse what I’m told by the media.

In a nutshell: Lacking the “gosh/wow” factor but thought-provoking and worth picking up!

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