“Animal Farm” is a classic fable written by George Orwell, who is also the author of the book “1984”. Its satirical nature and its brutally accurate depiction of the political world is what makes it a must-read. Set in a farm initially ruled by humans, the book tells the story of the animals’ journey from their revolution to tyranny.
Originally written as a parallel to the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist Era, it is sad to say that it still reflects our world today. From the power driven politicians (Napoleon), the brainwashing media (Squealer), the blind followers (the sheep), to the nationalists (Boxer), the book is a little too honest regarding society. We must always watch out for the signals that indicate the start of tyranny as given in the book, and we should also examine whether or not the circumstances of Animal Farm can apply to our own governments.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a principle illustrated by the book. How can we prevent that? Simple, we can’t. We can however, make the situation better by limiting the power of the government, and by promoting transparency in its infrastructure. We can also help educate the public about their civil and human rights so that they will not be easily manipulated. The only reason why the animals succumbed that easily to Napoleon’s lies is because they have no idea what he was doing violates their rights and the laws they had previously set up. Thanks to the political propaganda made by their media (squealer), the animals were slowly forgetting the whole point of their previous revolution against their human master, and accepting everything Napoleon says as truth.
To be frank, the same media manipulation has already happened in this year’s election. You rarely see the medias reporting any Hillary’s faults, although there are MANY, yet they put Trump on blast every day. Like the sheep in Animal Farm, many people who are too lazy to do their own research happily accept everything the media says, seeing Trump as a personification of Satan himself, while finding no faults in Hillary. It is sad when I ask someone who among these two they would support, and they choose Hillary without even thinking. When I ask them why, they simply shrug and mindlessly repeats the opinion they had heard on the popular media outlets. It is horrifying how they know every little detail of Trump’s hate speech and sexist behavior, yet when I ask for their thoughts on Hillary’s missing emails, they look shocked and asked me if I’m sure that incident did indeed happen. (A SIDE NOTE: this does not mean that I support either Hillary or Trump, and I do recognize that not all of Hillary’s followers are like the ones I described. I simply wish to indicate how biased the media can be on certain issues and the effects they have on people.)
The problem nowadays, is that there are too many sheep, willingly manipulated by the media, while the ones who truly knows what’s going on are drowned in the noised of the bleating of the sheep, who are mindlessly repeating whichever propaganda they are infused with. Whether it be, “two legs good, four legs bad.” Or “two legs good, four legs better,” it doesn't make a difference to them. When it finally comes down to voting, the sheep led by propaganda will most likely outweigh Benjamin (the donkey) who sees through the lies. The one positive thing is the freedom of speech we still hold, and the wide range of online reporting that can be a wakeup call even for someone as blind as the sheep.
Animal Farm is almost like a prequel to the book “1984”, which is also written by George Orwell. One is the step by step process from freedom to tyranny while the other is a world that follows after the tyranny has been established. George Orwell served as a soldier in WWII, and you can see his attitude towards the war in his book “Animal Farm”. Right after the animals have won their first battle, they grieve over the loss of their friends while the pigs/politicians celebrate over their victory against the humans. George Orwell laughs at the way the government and society view war, with their emphasis placed on the results rather than the process, where the victory is more important than the thousands of lives lost. You can also sense the author’s hatred for the twisting of words to make something as horrific as the war sound like a glorious and special achievement.
On a final note I would just like to say that this article is just a tiny portion of the many ideas made in this book. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, I strongly suggest that you do it this instance. I cannot cover all the elements of the book, and there are many things expressed in the book that cannot be conveyed using words alone. You can feel the emotions of the author through the words in the story he has woven, and that is something a review/summary cannot make of. So I strongly suggest that if you haven’t read “Animal Farm” yet, read it this instant, and if you have read it, read “1984”.