I decided to re-read Orwell’s allegorical anti-Stalinist satire since I was way too young to understand it the first time I read it. (Aside: an ambitious young reader, I saw the title and must have thought to myself, “Yay, animals!” Alas, these were not the cuddly animals I was accustomed to from the likes of James Herriot.)
So, yeah, this made a lot more sense to me this time — I’m not going to recap in depth because I’m going to assume most people have read this one. Essentially it’s the tale of a revolution gone wrong thanks to government corruption, except here you’ve got pigs = the government, and the rest of the farm = the populace.
It’s a pretty great book, and a short read. Orwell is great at creating a sense of dread and foreboding that carries through the entire novel, and he pulls no punches in sacrificing some of the more prominent and beloved “characters” in order to demonstrate the brutality of the regime. Even today, with communism less of an overt “threat” to the US, there are valuable messages here about power and corruption in the leading/ruling class.