All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
What left me awestruck was the mastery with which Orwell has crafted a tale, using animals as the actors, that speaks of social injustice, exploitation of the lower classes, and negative propaganda used by the ruling elite to further their ulterior motives.
Animal Farm has the stature of a classic. It deserves all the praise that it receives. It seems to me as a timeless novel for the analysis of history reveals that the novel successfully tells the tale of revolutions that fail to live up to their expectations.
On a farm known to the world as Manor Farm, an old pig called Old Major assembles the animals and asks them to realize the maltreatment that they receive at the hands of their human masters. He argues that while animals produce useful products like eggs, milk and meat, humans produce nothing of the sorts. They are like parasites who use the animals to the last blood and in return give them just enough food that helps them sustain their existence.He foretells of a time when all animals in England would overthrow humans and gain independence leading a life of dignity and prosperity. All farm animals are enthralled by the idea. The Old Major dies within weeks of this historic address.However, his ideas live on.
The animals succeed in driving the humans off the farm in “the Rebellion”and proclaim independence. When it is time for a governing body to emerge, the pigs who are the smartest animals, form the executive ruling body. Resolutions guaranteeing equal rights and prosperity for all animals are drafted and humans are declared as the permanent enemy. All human behavior is condemned in the strongest words.
So far so good but soon things start to fall apart. The power struggle between the pigs (the ruling class) and the greed for influence over the other animals soon proves that power can corrupt anyone. The vision brought forward during the Rebellion is distorted to ensure that ruling class can enjoy at the expense of the other animals (the middle and lower classes). As the story progresses, the narrative takes unexpected turns that are crisp representations of the actual world.
Written about the Soviet Union, Animal Farm is an elegantly written novel that is an enjoyable political commentary with a disguise perfect for the situation.