The world as we all see is just a distorted image reflected through the mirage of our perception. So the quest to view the events occurring around you through another perspective is what makes one read more and more. In my attempt to read musings of George Orwell, I zeroed upon Animal Farm. It was not someone’s suggestion but merely the less number of pages that prompted my to pick it up. The expectations, thus, were not much. However, as I progressed through the book, the story got hold of my attention. The beauty of this book is that though it is said to be a political satire it never picks up any actual political figures to convey its message. Even if you are narrating it to a five-year-old kid, it would still be as gripping as it is to a political science student.
The book begins when the animals in the Manor Farm are grappling with the negligence of their owner and the talks of rebellion are circulating among the animals. After days of deliberate effort by the dedicated animals, the rebellion does take place and Mr. Jones Manor is thrown away from the farm. The animals, as they wished, thus become the sole owner of the farm. Like any nation that gets freedom after grappling with the dominant opposing forces, the animals, too start to set up some rules (constitution in our language) which each of them would abide by. The rules that let them govern without any malice and any inequality towards each other. They call it the 7 principals of animalism- which makes sure their rights are well taken care of.
It has been rightly said, power corrupts. As the time progresses, animals also change their way of living. The pigs who are the intelligent creatures take charge of the governing of the Animal Farm and slowly start engaging into malpractices. Just the way each regime changes its colors once they come to power. The leaders who once fought for oppression start oppressing once in the regime. Amidst all this, the heroes have turned villains through propaganda. Napoleon, the pig, who fought bravely when Mr. Manor made a failed attempt recapture the farm is treated as a traitor. Little does people realize that the minute behavioral change taking place each day sums up to a drastic change in attitude in the long term. Animals forget the principals of animalism and the laws are tweaked to suit the pigs in power. Slowly, chaos takes over the farm but no one has the courage to raise a voice against the rulers because by now they have been habituated to live under fear and tyranny. The story of the animal farm by the end comes back to square one.
George Orwell has wonderfully carved out each character of the novel and they reflect the different types of people existing in the society – from the ones who doesn’t bother about political change to the ones who believe their work is supreme no matter what, from the ones who feels something wrong in happening in society but never raise a voice to the one who starts to gel with the people in power. At many instances, you would simply be dazzled by the wonderful character and story build up by the author. The book though written in 1945, holds relevant in today’s time. You can relate each and every scenario described in the book with the contemporary politics and the political parties and it would hold true.
If you are interested in politics of the nation, are curious to know how narratives are built by political parties, how smallest of the decision matters in the long term then I would highly recommend this book to you.
There are a number of thought provoking as well as amusing quotes throughout the book, however the following indeed makes you think twice about the meaning it conveys.
“Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.”
Rating – 5/5