Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm
Summary
  1. Orwell describes a farm from the barn animal’s perspective and each animal has a certain human stereotype or quality and often is tied to an important Russian figure (Lenin, Stalin, etc.). The animals on the farm form a social structure in which each is supposed to be equal and work for the the sake of the farm and their own survival but the pigs, being the smartest, eventually rise to power. The book ends with the pigs and humans playing cards and they accuse each other of cheating. They get into a fight while the rest of the animals are outside watching, and it ends with someone saying that it was impossible to tell the difference between the two. The book is meant to be a satire of how life was in Russia in the early 20th century.
 
Key Takeaways
  1. Orwell does an amazing job of satirizing human nature through these animals. It is often extremely comical because everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in some way
 
What I got out of it
  1. I really enjoyed this book as it shines an indirect light on human nature and makes us question and reflect on our own ambitions and tendencies

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Character list:

  • Snowball – pig who ends up losing to Napoleon (Lenin)
  • Napoleon – ends up becoming leader of farm (Stalin)
  • Boxer – hardest working horse, believes Napoleon is always right, “I will work harder”
  • Clover – Boxer’s friend
  • Mollie – white narcissistic horse
  • Squealer – Napoleon’s propaganda pig
  • Old Major – prophesizing boar
  • Moses – Raven who talks about religion
  • Benjamin – Donkey who does not do much one way or the other
  • Mr. Jones – original farm owner