Animal Farm Study Guide

Animal Farm Study Guide

Original title:
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story
Published May 6th 2003 by NAL (first published August 17th 1945)
ISBN 0452284244 (ISBN13: 9780452284241)

George Orwell has always been a loud critic of the social wrongdoings and worrying tendencies around the globe. No wonder he took a strong position about the Soviet Union regime and openly criticized Stalin.

In 1945 George wrote a dystopian novella about evolution of animals that expel their human master, Manor Farm owner Mister Jones. The fight for independence from cruel farmer ends up with animals giving into the rule of power of a dictator pig called Napoleon.

With help from the pig who knows how to affect other animals’ perceptions, the pigs started to gain authority. Due to external threats, such as Mr. Jones attempting to regain control over the farm and another human kidnapping the horse, Napoleon tightens the belt on his authority.

Along the way he has to betray his partner, the Snowball, who is thereafter blamed for any problems the farm might incur. The pigs start breaking more and more laws, but the animals become more and more compliant. A lot of animals have to pay for it with their life and wellbeing, but nobody complains. In the very end the animals are no longer able to tell the difference between the pigs and the humans, both in terms of conduct and appearance.

Based on the revolution that happened in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, the book shows how a change doesn’t always bring along improvements. Or even real changes for that matter. Sometimes revolutions simply change the title and decorations of the evil they intended to fight.

The book is a great read for those who like the dystopia genre but are turned off by their atrocities. While the harsh reality of living in the dictatorship society is portrayed to the very details, the fact that the main characters are animals makes it easier to read the text for those who have very vivid imagination.

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