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Animal Farm, anyone? (1 Viewer)

Shawn

WF Veterans
Some say it is a little childish. Me? I think it was absolutely brilliant, it put communism in a way that everyone could understand. Characters are brilliant, plot is brilliant, and the prose is fun. Who else loves Orwell? Hates him?
 

Banzai

Senior Member
I personally love it. It is a satire on twentieth century politics, in the form of a children's story (well, almost). It is especially interesting when you realise that Orwell was a left-winger, and so he is criticising the stalinist method of socialism/communism, rather than the actual ideology (which is clear to see in the story, where the ideology is sound, but the pigs abuse it).

I'm also a big fan of Orwell, and yet another of those who thought that 1984 was genius. The ending in particular. But Orwell's writings are far more interesting and make more sense when you look at Orwell himself, and his life and beliefs (such as fighing on the left wing in the Spanish Civil War, as part of a POUM militia, which suffered at the hands of the USSR-backed communists).
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
I completely agree with you. I think few writers in history have been able to put so much into so few words ever. I laughed out loud when he told of the pigs walking on hind legs. Ha. Turned right back around.

I think true communism would be nice, but that is impossible when considering man's nature.
 

Banzai

Senior Member
Have you read 'Homage to Catalonia'? It's an account of Orwell's experiences in the Spanish Civil War. I haven't read it myself (it's on my seemingly endless 'to read' list) but I know people who have, and have said it's very good. If you're an Orwell fan, then it's probably something to check out.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
Actually, I'm kind of embarrassed, I've never even heard of it. Sounds good, I've been looking for something to read after I finish the Jane Marple mysteries.
 

Banzai

Senior Member
Don't be embarassed, I hadn't heard of it either until I met a true Orwell fanatic last year :p
 
E

Edgewise

This was the first book I ever read that could be considered a classic. It is still one of my favorites. Brilliant symbolism, simple language, a bit of black humor superimposed on very serious historical context. If it isn't already, it should be required reading in every middle school history or english class.
 

Banzai

Senior Member
Dexter67 said:
I absoultely despised Animal Farm, I found insufferably boring.

Could you elaborate? I'm not trying to get on at you, I just want to know your reasoning.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Animal Farm was indeed brilliant, and yes, best viewed in context within Orwell's life and experience.

Interesting historical fact: When AF was written (1945) Britain was in the throes of rationing and censorship (much of the fodder for 1984) and books had to get govenment approval before they could be printed both on political and economic grounds - paper had to be allocated.

The government blocked publication of Animal Farm because it was anti-Stalinist and Stalin was, at that time, an ally. This was eventually overturned and, years later, it transpired that the official who attempted to block publication of AF was, in all likelihood, a soviet agent.

Just in case you wanted to know...

I can thoroughly recommend Homage to Catalonia, as well as just about everything else he wrote. Most of his novels are more or less autobiographical, and make for great social history as well as brilliant novels. My favourites are Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Coming Up for Air and The Clergyman's Daughter. His essays make interesting reading also.
 
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Lance

Senior Member
Good book, stupid movie.

The movie was dreadful, I loved the story but they couldn't get it down in the movie.
 

Minka

Member
Banzai said:
Have you read 'Homage to Catalonia'? It's an account of Orwell's experiences in the Spanish Civil War. I haven't read it myself (it's on my seemingly endless 'to read' list) but I know people who have, and have said it's very good. If you're an Orwell fan, then it's probably something to check out.

Homage to Catalonia is amazing. It's not fictional, but Orwell recounts his gruelling experiences with his usual eloquence. As for Animal Farm, that book gave me the creeps. In a good way though (it was the evil pigs that did it). I was only about thirteen when I read it, so the links with communism didn't really click straight away. But now I know more about communism in Russia, I can see it for the brilliant black satire that it really is.
 
S

SteMcGrath

Orwell is one of my favorite authors. Has anyone read- The road to Wigan pier? It's a very interesting book. Talks predominately about socialism. He's an amazing writer. His moral high ground is a force to be reckoned with!
 

Luzici

Senior Member
I felt tempted to pick up this book quite a few times. But then I was assigned to read 1984 in school once, and since I couldn't stand that I doubt I will ever read Animal Farm.
 

wheelz1138

Senior Member
I found a copy of 1984 in my college bookstore last year. Also that same day, after having seen the movie first, I bought Slaughterhouse Five, both in paperback. I think that combo is one of the best, and most complimentary of each other than any other two books of the 20th century. I saw the animated Animal Farm in elementary school, and though I don't really remember much, I do remember the pigs... anyone else think The Beatles were directly referencing the swine in their song "Piggies"? It would be absolutely impossible for me to believe they wrote the song without some indirect assistance.
 

Buddy Glass

Senior Member
I don't see how equality for all people could be anything but nice.
Oh, don't tell me you still believe that rosy fairy-tale bullshit. How old are you, man??

Communism is not simply equality for everyone. Communism is a utopian dream inspired and based on marxism, a historicist theory that claims to have understood the inevtiable development of history without taking into account that this plausbility is nothing more than a complete misunderstanding of the scientific method, as Popper would have it. Inevitably their vision for a utopian paradise on earth lead to the gulags, the murdering, the suffering. Anyone who did not comply to the agenda of the communist regimes - anyone who dared revolt against their oppressiveness - were mercilessly killed.

So, no communism is not "equality for everyone". It's a little more complex than that. Perhaps if you tried reading Marx and Engels or Lenin or even some Sartre you'd start seeing the bigger picture.

Have a good day.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
I said true communism would be nice, and then said that it's impossible. Popper refined the scientific method after Marx was long dead.

In its ideal form, communism is workers rebellion, which is replaced with paradise. The ideal is nice... in practice, not so much. That's what Animal Farm was all about... you don't have to be a dick about it.
 
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