“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”
With all of the back-to-school excitement (ok, and probably a little dread) in the air, we decided to dig up an oldie but a goody from our high school days—a book which we didn’t fully appreciate way back in Mr. Moore’s English class. However, after listening to Animal Farm again as an older (and of course, wiser) adult, it’s clearly a story of great symbolic value and an important read for students everywhere.
Animal Farm is of course not some cutesy barnyard tale, but an allegory about George Orwell’s favorite themes. Known for taking on politics, social injustice and conformity, Orwell tells a political fable, creating simple scenarios to convey complex situations, showing how authorities use excuses to keep their power and how that power can easily be manipulated.
Sometimes there’s more to literature than meets the eye (or ear in our case) and with Animal Farm, many people discuss it in the context of communism. Even if you don’t have a handle on the Russian Revolution, if you pay more attention than we did in the tenth grade, you’ll probably pick up on the underlying reasons for why communism can be thought of as ideal, but also how an equal society is pretty much impossible due to a little thing called human nature and our inability to control greed and temptation.
The story is read by a very talented narrator, Ralph Cosham. His interpretation was fantastic and we were mostly impressed with his ability to adjust his speech to give each animal its own distinct trademark, without going over the top and sounding ridiculous.
We’re huge fans of this book for its satire and comedy, but mostly for its ability to generate questions about human nature and the evils we can easily commit. It’s compelling and entertaining…and who knew a seemingly simple story about pigs could turn into a classic?