After enjoying 1984 so much I decided to re-read Animal Farm. This wasn’t too challenging, it was done within an afternoon. I am sure that everyone knows the story and that it is Orwell’s critique of Stalinist Russia.
When the animals of Manor Farm decide to revolt and expel their owner Jones ( who represents Tsar Nicholas II), things look promising they agree to live a socialist existence with all animals being equal. However this state of affairs does not last long and Snowball (Trotsky) is expelled by Napoleon (Stalin) and his pack of wild dogs.
Orwell wrote this during World War II when in fact Stalin was an ally of Britain but this novel eventually became a success during the Cold War.
The novel portrays the way that corrupt leadership betrays the principles of a revolution and it could be argued to represent Orwell’s disillusionment as seen in A Homage to Catalonia with the Communist system. One of the problems portrayed is that of the other animals doing nothing as the revolution takes a different direction. Hitler is even portrayed in the character of Frederick and Napoleon makes a brief alliance with him representing the Nazi-Soviet Pact. In the end the animals become just like men.
It as enjoyable to read this again but 1984 is a more thought-provoking read.