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Animal Farm

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Animal Farm Cover

ISBN13: 9780451526342
ISBN10: 0451526341
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Animal Farm was George Orwell's satirical shot at the then-new totalitarianism of the left. It is so accurate that no one has been able to do it better or more effectively, or even come close. Who can forget "All Animals Are Created Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others." By putting wisdom in the mouths of animals, Orwell uses an age-old artifice and proves again how the pen can be mightier than the sword.

Synopsis:

Revisit Orwell’s classic satire Animal Farm

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As readers witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, they begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization—and in the most charismatic leaders, the souls of the cruelest oppressors.

Synopsis:

Orwell's brilliant 1946 satire, chronicling a revolution staged by the animals on Mr. Jones's farm.

About the Author

Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in 1903 in India, where his father worked for the Civil Service. The family moved to England in 1907 and in 1917 Orwell entered Eton, where he contributed regularly to the various college magazines. From 1922 to 1927 he served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that inspired his first novel, Burmese Days (1934). Several years of poverty followed. He lived in Paris for two years before returning to England, where he worked successively as a private tutor, schoolteacher and bookshop assistant, and contributed reviews and articles to a number of periodicals. Down and Out in Paris and London was published in 1933.

In 1936, he was commissioned by Victor Gollancz to visit areas of mass unemployment in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a powerful description of the poverty he saw there. At the end of 1936 Orwell went to Spain to fight for the Republicans and was wounded, and Homage to Catalonia is his account of the civil war. He was admitted to a sanatorium in 1938 and from then on was never fully fit. He spent six months in Morocco and there wrote Coming Up for Air. During the Second World War he served in the Home Guard and worked for the BBC Eastern Service from 1941 to 1943. As literary editor of the Tribune he contributed a regular page of political and literary commentary, and he also wrote for the Observer and later for the Manchester Evening News. His unique political allegory, Animal Farm, was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

George Orwell died in London in January 1950. A few days before, Desmond MacCarthy had sent him a message of greeting in which he wrote: 'You have made an indelible mark on English literature...you are among the few memorable writers of your generation.'

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matthejna, April 1, 2014 (view all comments by matthejna)
George Orwell’s Animal Farm remains a prominent and powerful allegory about Soviet Communism. In Orwell’s Animal Farm the story opens on a farm run by the farmer Mr. Jones. One night an older pig(pigs are the wisest of the animals) tells the group about a dream he had about a utopia run by animals and centered upon equality. However, Old Major dies soon after he speaks about his dream and his vision is never realized in his lifetime. After his death, all the animals rejoice at the prospect of Old Major’s dream and eventually drive Mr. Jones from the Farm. Led by pigs such as Napolean, Snowball, and Squealer, the animals form a government based on equality and form the principles in the Seven Commandments of Animal Farm. As time goes on, Napolean grows more and more power hungry and eventually drives out Snowball from the farm. With the help of Squealer, Napolean is able to convince the rest of the farm of Snowball’s “evil” nature and maintain rigorous work hours for the rest of the animals. In the end, Napolean and the rest of the pigs begin walking on two feet like the humans they once loathed. In the final scene play cards with the humans they once fought so valiantly against. The true cleverness of the novel comes from the correlation with true historical events in Russia.
In the late 1910s, Russia overthrew the final Tsar Nicholas II and became a communist nation. The revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin who truly believed in the original principles of Karl Marx communism. Soon after the revolution concluded however, Lenin died and Joseph Stalin and Trotsky fought for political control over the nation. Stalin’s brutal and ruthless principles eventually resulted in becoming the leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin betrayed communist doctrine ruled with an iron fist. Stalin’s totalitarian rule continued for decades as he drove millions of his own people to starvation because of the outrageous work requirements and low rations. After researching the historical background of the Soviet communism, the allegory of Animal Farm becomes much clearer.
Animal Farm is known for it’s incredibly clever allegory of the Russian Revolution. Animal Farm ultimately explains the true dystopian nature of the nation. The first symbolic character is Old Major as Karl Marx. Old Major is described by Orwell (...so highly regarded on the farm that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say”(25). His principles were noble, his character was strong, and he was respected by all of the animals on the farm. Old Major had the benefit of not placing this policies into existence however. While his dream is grand and perfect, it’s a highly romanticized ideal. Creating equality is a difficult task since the animals cannot contribute to the farm equally. Even with difficult problems inevitably arising, life for the animals is at first happy, largely because of another pig named Snowball. Snowball is representative of the Russian politician Leon Trotsky. Like Trotsky, Snowball tried to stay true to the original views of the philosophy of his predecessor. Snowball is described by Orwell as “...vivacious pig...quicker in speech and more inventive”(35). He is the leader of the revolution and creates a moral and pleasant society, despite the pigs taking more than their share of their food. However, Trotsky’s rival, Joseph Stalin was eventually able to retain control of the Soviet Union, and is represented by Napolean. Napolean according to Orwell is “a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar”. He is a far more rugged and ruthless pig who eventually takes complete control over the farm. However, without knowing who the character symbolizes at the start, the reader does not experience the story with pre-conceived notions.
The allegory point of view allows for the novel to be a reflection of an entire culture rather than a single individual. The perspective is from 3rd person subjective. From this point of view the trials and struggles are seen in the horses, donkeys and, goats. The pigs deceit is shown in a manner emphasizing the slow accumulation of power before turning on the original Seven Commandments all together. The pigs also constantly utilize fear to gain legitimacy from the rest of the animals. By allowing fear to influence their lives, the common animals gave up their equality to ensure their safety, instead of having faith in themselves. By keeping too much faith in the pigs to keep them safe, the pigs ultimately abuse this power for their benefit. Much like McCarthyism swept the nation during the 1950s, a deep fear of Mr Jones or Snowball returning kept the animals obliging to the will of the pigs. However when the responsibility of reporting the news becomes an opportunity for propaganda, the pigs quickly take advantage. In this regard the major theme could be considered the importance of empowerment and freedom of expression. Even Boxer who is rather gullible begins to deny facts spouted by Squealer. If some of the animals were confident rather than panic-stricken, the pigs would have to be more dignified in their principles. Instead the culture declines into starvation and misery while the pigs show no consideration for anyone else.
The overall value of the story is rested upon strength of the allegory. The story on it’s own is a strong representation of the easy corruption of power. Without knowledge of Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky, the cautionary tale remains powerful and effective. The struggle between Snowball and Napolean is a legitimate dispute and can be applied to politics outside of Soviet Russia. While the story on it’s own is far more bizarre and abstract, it still captures the theme of the power corrupting a strong ethical society. The allegory allows the reader to truly grasp the perspective of the Russian people during this time as their society deteriorates.
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rocky-o, March 3, 2012 (view all comments by rocky-o)
"...some are more equal than others..."...that is a line from George Orwell's brilliant social commentary, "Animal Farm"...

The basic story involves the animals on a farm who want to run the farmer out of town, so that they can run the farm, equally, and fairly...

but, as time moves on, all is not right in the animal kingdom, and, like humans, they begin to show their true colors...

with an exceptional thread to our own behvior, such as his equally brilliant "1984", once again Mr. Orwell proves to be a keen storyteller with one eye on his pages, and one eye on the world...
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Justsomeperson, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Justsomeperson)
This book is a classic, so insightful into our world politics. Everyone should read it!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451526342
Introduction:
Woodhouse, C. M.
Preface:
Baker, Russell
Preface by:
Baker, Russell
Preface:
Baker, Russell
Introduction by:
Woodhouse, C. M.
Introduction:
Woodhouse, C. M.
Author:
Baker, Russell
Author:
Woodhouse, C. M.
Author:
Orwell, George
Publisher:
Signet Book
Location:
Charlotte Hall, MD
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
English language
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
Domestic animals
Subject:
Fables
Subject:
Satire
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
Orwell, george, 1903-1950
Subject:
Totalitarianism
Subject:
Allegories
Subject:
Readers for new literates
Subject:
Talking books.
Subject:
Utopian fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
50
Edition Description:
B-Mass Market
Series:
Signet Classics
Series Volume:
22
Publication Date:
19960431
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7.55x4.29x.47 in. .26 lbs.
Age Level:
Ages 14

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Product details 176 pages Signet Book - English 9780451526342 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Revisit Orwell’s classic satire Animal Farm

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As readers witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, they begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization—and in the most charismatic leaders, the souls of the cruelest oppressors.

"Synopsis" by , Orwell's brilliant 1946 satire, chronicling a revolution staged by the animals on Mr. Jones's farm.
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