Ryan's Reviews > Animal Farm / 1984

Animal Farm / 1984 by George Orwell
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Mar 20, 12

Read from March 10 to 20, 2012

I don't know how I feel about this book. Sometimes I feel like it was deserving of masterpiece status and other times I feel as though it was just a waste of time. I think one of the main detriments it suffered was that I went in thinking that I had read it, and then discovered that I had never read it before, but had instead mistaken it for 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley. That was downfall number one, and far and away the biggest problem I faced, which is unfair, I know, but try as I might I spent the entire time comparing this book to Huxley's take on the same issue.
And the truth? Huxley did it better.
For one, Orwell's classic felt a tad slow for me, and the overall message seemed to often get lost in the trivialities of Winston's day. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I'm too swept up in the modern trend of action-packed plots (Although I doubt I could enjoy Austen as thoroughly as I do were that the case). Regardless of the reasoning, 1984 felt slow and often menial. Thinking about it more, I imagine that reading it in the year 2012 is indeed one of the factors that resulted in the book failing to grab me. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't one of the people that sat there mocking Orwell and internally jeering "Ha! That's NOT what happened in 1984, George! You were WRONG!", it's more that the mentality has shifted somewhat. I'm not certain that the future possibilities now are the same as back then.
On that note, the other major issue I faced was that I continually butted heads with Orwell's envisaging of the future (especially when compared to Huxley's version, which I find to be far more realistic). I just cannot comprehend that the human race would allow itself to totally submit to a power that abusive. I don't think history has supported that. Orwell was certainly clever in his reasoning, but I was left unsatisfied.
There's certainly more I could say about it, but I've already exceeded the 'just a quick note on it' limit I had given myself. It's certainly a notable book, for many reasons, though I can't say I would consider it 'required reading'. Perhaps if you don't read 'Brave New World' years earlier and then confuse the two books.
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