What seems like a basic premise is something that left me rather distraught. I was going to read 1984 straight after this book, but I think I need some time away from Orwell’s dystopian world which reeks far more like our own present than I want to admit.
George Orwell cleverly speaks to us through animals, who seek to overthrow the ‘evil overlords’ (the humans). What happens after Farmer Jones is driven out of his own farm, would be something as close to Utopia (or the working towards of it) as you could possibly find.
But there is always someone (some animal) who is a little smarter than everyone else, though not necessarily wiser.
Where the eradication of one figurehead occurs, it is human nature (or animal nature) to initially think that everyone is free and equal, but undeniably the ‘weaker of character’ (or more laid back, more trusting, more ‘sweet’) always tend to follow, therefore through want or not, another ‘leader’ becomes.
As we can see when we look around our own current leaders, though some or many may have set off with good intentions, in the end, as Tolkien taught us with his ‘one ring’; Power corrupts. And where there is corruption, there is suffering.
The animals of Animal Farm all too blindly followed this, as people have done hundreds of years before, and will continue to do so for hundreds of years more. What the animals strove for in equality, suddenly became levels, classes, the smartest and most cunning of those were on top, scraping off all the cream.
The odd free thinker in the lower classes of animals, were immediately silenced or made to doubt themselves. History was rewritten, as it so often is in real life, to reflect the present and future plans of the ‘elite’ animals and to make it easier for them to control the lower classes. In other words, to make themselves look good.
Just like today.
Did it have a happy ending? I think that is up to the individual reader, and how comfortable they feel, how optimistic or pessimistic their minds are.
I definitely recommend this 5 star book. It is not long and is a reminder to us all to always think twice and trust our own instincts.