Jackie Daggers's Reviews > Animal Farm / 1984

Animal Farm / 1984 by George Orwell
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's review
Apr 28, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: unpopular-opinions
I own a copy

This review is not to talk you out of liking or reading Orwell, it stresses looking at Orwell under a different lens. We're taught in high school that Orwell/Blair was a deep, well-intentioned man using his literary skills to bring attention to social issues via his dystopian works. In reality, he's an imperialist, he's incredibly racist, and it's all the in black and white in every page of his books. You're taught to look deeper into his work than you should. A lot of it is lost to the modern age, but to people reading his work when it came out, his point of view was clear. 1984 opens with the line, "It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen." Orwell's Soviet-style empire is run in 24-hour time, largely supported by the Catholic church of his age (a common target) and in fact, the work's main antagonist, O'Brien, is an Irishman. Orwell's work, supporting the English ideas of the time, vilified Irishmen. Part of what makes Orwell such a fantastic writer is his ability to match his obvious racism with continuous claims of anti-imperialism. For every outward stab at the non-english, there is a line denouncing the empire. His rhetoric is never fierce enough to genuinely disparage the 'empire,' but always strong enough to get people talking about him, bringing his word to the attention of so many. His ability to create hype over his work was genius, his ability as an author really is something to admire (why these works received 4/5), but the man was far from the great being he is made to be.

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