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animal farm

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message 1: by Inging (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:38AM) (new)

Inging i was talking to my friend the other day about how sad i was. one of our close friends has just become like the four legged leaders who eventually tiptoed on two legs.

the images that orwell created were vivid and lasting in their simplicity. trying to picture the pigs (swine?) trying to walk on their hind legs seems funny on the surface, but juxtaposing it in reality - it is hardly a laughing matter.

message 2: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:46PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Meghan yeah. I think that the pigs where really evil. I didn't like any of them from the start, but I really liked Boxer so I was mad about what happened to him.
The pictures that this book create in your mind are really interesting.

message 3: by asdfasdf (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

asdfasdf I NEED to read this. It's on my Christmas list and everything! It sound fascinating...

message 4: by Greg (new)

Greg Younger Animal farm is a great allegory pointing towards the social mileau of Orwells day. The pigs, if ever there was an allegory of Corporate leadership, this is it. Not meant to be taken literally, in any sense. Much like Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Go deeper.

message 5: by Veronica (new)

Veronica This was one of the first books that I read that didn't have a happy ending. This book really made me think. I don't think that at the time I realized what it really meant though. I read it two years ago and I may read it again sometime.

Dale Pearl I was watching Planet of the Apes the other day and noticed a reference to Animal Farm that had somehow escaped me before.
the character played by Heston was on trial and They questioned him on the equality of all Apes and Heston mentioned that it would appear that some apes are more equal than others.
Got to love it.
I love being from America don't get me wrong but I find it quite insulting as an American as how our government tries to dictate to the rest of the world how they should lead their lives. We tell South America to stop burning their rain forest or face sanctions... meanwhile we do nothing to prevent urban sprawl in our backyard. We tell Cuba what type of leaders they should have or face trade embargos.... meanwhile we elect the ones who can raise the most cash and call it democracy.
Yes, all men are created equal or err animals. But it would appear that some are indeed more equal than others.

Coalbanks Definately worth a re-read and to use as a lens through which to view current governments/organizations.

message 8: by Brigid ✩ (new)

Brigid ✩ Animal Farm is weird, but also haunting. It's just one of those books that you can never forget, you know? It's just so creepy...

message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 09, 2008 10:59PM) (new)

the parallel is with the "workers revolution" or the rise of socialism and the horrors of Stalinist Russia

orwell was commenting on the abuses of the state

good god this was less than 50 years ago people

i guess i should be happy that this generation doesn't remember

but good god...we're talking what 10-20 million systematically imprisoned and killed in the name of communism

doesn't the preface to this book say anything about context?

if you find yourself reading an allegory you don't understand, do some research

google animal farm literary criticism

does literary criticism exist anymore?

sorry y'all you're getting the point but you're missing the sword and i'm just a little cranky that i can't find a little more depth here

maybe all the know-it-alls have gone to bed

go ahead just google it if you want to know why it's creepy

message 10: by Coalbanks (last edited Mar 10, 2008 05:51PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coalbanks Perhaps it is you who , while acknowedging the allegory of Animal Farm, focus somewhat narrowly, perhaps, on the Soviet totalitarianism of Orwell's day? The beauty of Orwell's books Animal Farm & 1984 is that they can be read as a thinly veiled condemnation of the Communist regimes (which Orwell knew quite well as a one-time communist)in the USSR, parts of China, parts of Spain or the fascist systems which were in place around the globe in Orwell's day (Spain, Portugal Brazil, various parts of South & Central America, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Japan, parts of China to name a few), the colonialist systems of the USA & several European nations in Africa, Asia & South America or as an allegory of any totalitarian system, governmental, corporate, familial. Animal Farm definately points out the failure of the Bolshevik revolution in the USSR & the world-wide danger it presented but also shows that "IT" can happen here no matter if the system in place is communist, fascist or some other non-democratic form of governance or most insidiously within a system that has all the outward aspects of a democratic organization.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

i definitely agree coalbanks
just getting old and railing against lack of depth
it scares me

message 12: by Coalbanks (last edited Mar 12, 2008 06:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coalbanks I understand. Similar point in my life. The almost total lack of interest in looking beneath the surface or accepting that other views are possible is all to evident in most reviews, newspaper coverage of serious events, ie something other than Paris H & Brittany, et al, an the 20 second soundbites that constitute TV coverage of world events.... time to retire to the library.
PS Any suggestions who might be today's Orwell?

Dana Melinda This is the kind of book that you can apply to every aspect of life. It's so thought-provoking.
It really gets you to think about systems of government. I suppose a perfect form of government would not have has our modern form of government been perfected? Personally, I think it's needs a lot of work.

message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 12, 2008 12:13AM) (new)

good question coalbanks

today's orwell

let me think about it

who do you think is today's orwell?

Coalbanks I'm not up-to-date with today's writers but I will suggest Edward Abbey "Monkeywrench Gang" environmentalist now gone back to his native soil, John Nichols "Milagro Beanfield" & "Magic Journey" warnings of the evils of land developers, over consumption of scarce water resources & the corruption of local government for the benefit of developers & to hell with the local citizens.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

abbey's a good choice, i read down the river, desert solitude in the last few years and monkeywrench gang years ago

i also am not all that current that's why i asked for your suggestion

I've heard of Milagro but haven't read it

i'll have to pick up a copy

message 17: by Coalbanks (last edited Sep 09, 2008 03:56PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coalbanks Perhaps today's Orwell is slogging around Iraq or Afghanistan? Looking through the wire at Gitmo Bay? Putin's new Gulag? In a military medical rehab unit, sitting on the back-bench of the H of C or the House of Reps? Or "renditioned" to who - knows - where? Time will tell.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

so true
or up in the barrenlands watching the diamond industry?
an industrial observer
i'm more and more convinced that the political is irrelevant
or just an arm of corporate power
we vote but get the same things over and over

message 19: by Coalbanks (last edited Sep 09, 2008 03:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coalbanks "What's good for GM is good for the USA!" Not just a CEO's bluster but the slogan by which we are governed. (And I'm a CANADIAN, eh! OUCH!)

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

i just took a look at some of your books
have you seen the armchair sailors group
you may be interested-age of sail

message 21: by Coalbanks (last edited Mar 16, 2008 01:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Coalbanks Armchair sailing, eh? Hmmm? Sounds like more fun than the synchronized lawn chair event. I'll look it up, thanks for the tip. Please send any such tips my way. Eric Newby "The Last Grain Race" is a favourite sailing tale.

Amanda I think some modern fantasists (?) fantastists (?) - crap - authors of fantastic fiction are touching on some of the big scary issues of the day. The book Oryx and Crake comes to mind, as do the books of Sheri S. Tepper.
I don't claim to be an expert on serious fiction though, so maybe there are better modern-day examples.
The scene at the end of Animal Farm, where it becomes impossible to tell the pigs from the people or vice versa has always struck me as terrible. The pigs have sold the other animals out - and created a corrupt hierarchical system where everyone bleats slogans like the aforementioned "some animals are more equal than others." Dark and depressing stuff.

message 23: by Algernon (new)

Algernon I am not sure there IS an Orwell today. I am certain no Orwell has shown up in America, where at the moment tyranny is leadership and liberty is submission. America has retreated into a nervous, sarcastic stance, with insightful satirists like Stephen Colbert poking fun at political realities without quite rising to Orwell's level of truth-telling.

Coalbanks where at the moment tyranny is leadership and liberty is submission.

May well be said of Canada if we get a strong majority gov't under Steve Harper, the current President, er, I mean the current Prime Minister-who-acts-like-a-president & who does not allow his Cabinet to speak to the press.

Orwell may be on the tube in the guise of a Colbert as you suggest.
Check out The Rick Mercer Report on CBC for a Canadian satirist/political gadfly. If you check out Rick & the Royal Canadian Air Farce & This Hour Has 22 Minutes you will find that Canadian politicians (party leaders, provincial Premiers, the PM) participate in the shows as themselves in some slap-stick/self-effacing comedy (PM Steve Harper included, he has a sense of politics at least perhaps a sense of humour also). I don't know of any other country where politicians of this level will do so. It makes me glad to be a Canadian - where the mighty are not too high above us or too worried about their safety to mingle with the commoners.

message 25: by Kira (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kira i was actually wanting to kill those pigs, that's how angry i was reading the last couple of chapters.
maybe just sneaking up to the other animals and fill them in on what's actually happening as they seem all so oblivious!

anyway, i don't think the pigs were evil from the start, i just think greed (a.k.a. human characteristics) took over them gradually until they eventually turned into a human themselves (metaphorically).

message 26: by Luna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Luna Martin If you like (is like the word for this book) this book you might be interested in Atlas Shrugged. It's a bit tedious at parts with the characters analyzing (over-analyzing sometimes)their situation compared to their philosophy but it is so relevant for today. I would say it's prophetic. Our values should be congruent with our actions, and that's exactly what some "people" like the pigs chose to exploit.

message 27: by Paula (last edited Apr 22, 2011 08:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paula I read Animal Farm in the 70's and unfortunately forgot many of the specifics of the story. When I read 'Animal Farm', the story did get a rise out of me. I didn't particularly consider it great art, but there were many layers of depth throughout the book. The story wasn't too deep for me to understand what was happening. Don't know if I'll read 'Animal Farm' again.

message 28: by uh8myzen (last edited Apr 23, 2011 04:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

uh8myzen Its a shame that the lessons of the book are lost. Some people think that its meaning was specifically related to the abuses of Stalinist Russia, but it is really a warning that should ring through history to future generations.

The real message should be that we all capable of being corrupted by power, no matter how pure our intentions may be at the start. It is a similar message to that of Lord of the Flies.

message 29: by Kira (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kira yes i agree, that the message is that we all can be tempted by power and greed will take over

message 30: by Robin (last edited Apr 24, 2011 01:57PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Robin To quote Lord Acton, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Fatihah uh8myzen wrote: "Its a shame that the lessons of the book are lost. Some people think that its meaning was specifically related to the abuses of Stalinist Russia, but it is really a warning that should ring throug..."

At the time when the Arabs are revolting against the absolute powers that be, I concur with your view completely

message 32: by Luna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Luna Martin I think we are looking at the same kind of thing today with our government expanding and also with Sharia law coming into our country. We're like frogs in a pot that don't notice the water is getting hotter. I know we're all busy and politics isn't for everyone, but the Founding Fathers thought everyone who could be involved owed it to their country to be involved for a little while to prevent this very thing (with the pigs) from happening and then limiting government, especially the federal government.

Fatihah Denise wrote: "I think we are looking at the same kind of thing today with our government expanding and also with Sharia law coming into our country. We're like frogs in a pot that don't notice the water is getti..."

I'm intrigued by your statement: Sharia law coming into our country. do explain

Cassondra I used to believe that "absolute power corrupts absolutely," but I have grown weary of the constant degradation of the character of humanity in literature. Many of the literary books can be summarized thus: "Humanity sucks. Human nature is evil. This is why the world sucks. Then you die. The end."

I am rather tired of the fatalism, nihilism, and depressive outlooks on this world. Yes, the world has problems, but it does NOT have to remain this way.

While I liked the allegory of "Animal Farm," I refuse to believe that it is impossible to trust yourself if given power. Indeed, this is, in the end, the main point of literature. Even above "humanity sucks." Literature suggests, untruthfully, that we are our own worst enemies and that we cannot trust ourselves in certain situations--that we would be surprised what atrocities we are capable of. While I don't want to give anyone a false impression of humanity--like we're all perfect--but if we are saved and fully submitted to Christ, we CAN trust ourselves. We we are His and truly act like Him, we are not evil, and no situation will change this. No situation will make us act contrary to our nature. If our nature is Christ, we can trust ourselves. And we do not need to think that we might do horrid things in certain situations.

While we do not need to be so proud we will fall, we do need to realize that, if we follow Holy Spirit's leadings, we can be GOOD, not evil.

Thus, I do not believe that the fatalistic "moral to the story" with which some suggest Orwell meant to leave the reader is true. For this reason, I have problems with this novel. On the other hand, I do like the story for amusement's sake, and because it disparages the totalitarian, forced communism with which I do not agree. Forced communism is not generosity, and the way it was implemented in the Soviet Union and other places was not right.

Fatihah Cassondra wrote: "I used to believe that "absolute power corrupts absolutely," but I have grown weary of the constant degradation of the character of humanity in literature. Many of the literary books can be summari..."

The very idea of accepting Christ is acceptance of evil in human nature. Christ would not have been Christ had he not subjected himself to the Evil that was the Senhedrin.

I'm glad that you are all sunshiny and optimistic about humankind but the truth is as long back as there was a human, there was murder (Cain and Abel), betrayal (Lillith) and disobedience (Adam and Eve).

Cassondra Yes, but those people: Cain and Able and Adam and Eve (minus Lillith, who is a myth and not in the Bible) were people WITHOUT the Christ-nature and power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course human nature was evil, but that does not mean we must be fatalistic and assume it will always be so. If we accept Christ and Holy Spirit, our natures will change and we will no longer be evil. While it will not happen all at once (the change), it will happen. And thus there is no reason for fatalism.


Fatihah Cassondra wrote: "Yes, but those people: Cain and Able and Adam and Eve (minus Lillith, who is a myth and not in the Bible) were people WITHOUT the Christ-nature and power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course human natur..."

I think if you are stressing fatalism and morbid inevitability are not necessary either in life or in literature, it would make life and literature painfully dull.
The beauty of accepting fatalism in life is with it you build stoicism; you can be a heartless corpse or you can as passionate about your course as is The Yes Men. I think the two do accept that there is little in life to change the evildoers of the world. But that does not mean that the evils are going around without reprimand from the public.
I like that you maintain your faith (honestly and sincerely respect that) but my own stance is that if there were greener pastures on the other side, where exactly? People bitch about their governements everywhere.

Cassondra Oh, yes, I don't think there is one place where everyone is perfect. This world is fallen, and until people stand up to redeem it, it will remain so. However, there are pockets of people everywhere that have been changed in nature/essence. While no worldly government can be perfect, the government of the Kingdom is, because it was not enacted by this world.

Nor do I believe greener pastures are on the other side. Well, yes I do, but more than that. I mean, who wants to wait for the other side? Even if you live in a land where the government is not perfect (and, as you said, someone everywhere dislikes their government...I'm not always too fond of the American government, either), one can still live free with higher allegiance to Kingdom government. Even if they are the only one, they become that pocket of goodness. If they are blessed, as I am, they will find a group of people called an ecclesia (body of Christ-natured people empowered to do business on behalf of Yahweh) to be joined to and there will be a whole group of people free from the "old man of sin" (old human nature).

I respect your forthrightness and willingness to debate politely! This is a fun conversation.

And, for the record, I don't find life painfully dull, but rather joyful and exciting now! Although I can see why literature with no problems for the main characters has no plot, my point is not that life must be perfect for the protagonists in a work of literature, but rather that the end of the work should not be one that blames the problems of the protagonists on humanity and then says that it will never change and that the reader (and everyone else) should be afraid of themselves because they cannot trust themselves not to succumb to that nature because they're their own worst enemy. THAT, not plots, is the problem I have with such literature.

Also, in regard to "little in life to change the evildoers," I do not contend that anything can change evildoers but Yahweh (God, the Creator of the Universe). And He certainly can and has. I am living proof. I've seen it. I've BEEN it. And I am very grateful for this Truth.

Fatihah Cassondra wrote: "Oh, yes, I don't think there is one place where everyone is perfect. This world is fallen, and until people stand up to redeem it, it will remain so. However, there are pockets of people everywhere..."

I enjoy this conversation too. I will add you as friend and hopefully you will approve.
I have so many things to say but now I have not the time to go into details.
I only can note that I immediately thought of The Metamorphosis while reading your take on problems of the protagonist in literature. Will continue this discussion

Robin Don't hold any comments back, Cassandra.

message 41: by Cassondra (last edited Apr 30, 2011 02:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cassondra As I cannot read tone in one sentence of written word, I don't know what you mean, Robin. Are you being sincere or sarcastic? Also, my name is Cassondra. With an o. Not Cassandra with an a. :) Anyway, I don't feel constrained at the moment, thus I don't hold any comments back. :D

Emily--I approved your friend request. :) I look forward to continuing our discussion.

Robin Sorry missed the o in Sondra. No your comments are welcome.

Cassondra :D :D

Robin Cassondra wrote: ":D :D"

Sorry missed the o in Cassondra, sorry for the misspell!

Fatihah Robin wrote: "Don't hold any comments back, Cassandra."

Haha :P Funny to think that there are others following our little discussion, Cassondra! And thanks for accepting my friend request; it is a thrill to find like-minded friends here, as compared to friends on Facebook, some of whom does not know how to enjoy a book.

Back to my earlier comment: I trust that you are a Catholic and an American. Me personally I am a Muslim living in Malaysia. I pray that the fact alone would not define our discussion onwards but merely to outline where my stance comes from and perhaps to help me to understand where yours merges from. As such if I am wrong in assuming so, please correct me.

I am strong believer of the Faith and as a Muslim I accept the Words of YHWH as said to Moses and inscribed in Torah AND the words of Christ in the Bible. As a Muslim, it is MANDATORY to believe that not only the Kingdom exists but also the True Words of our past Prophets. I am above all a human and wept for the Passion of Christ. I believe untainted by your personal beliefs, you must first believe and think like a human; to respect a man who says the True Words, much more than that, to find courage to fight for them, is what any man should be able to do. (Suddenly reminded of al-Hallaj when mentions of Passion of Christ crossed my head, if you have the time, do check his story out on the net. You will understand what I mean)

But all this being said, and for a moment of this discussion, putting aside our differences and stressing on our similarities, I do still hold that the Kingdom is impossible here on earth. Take Iran for example. Ayotallah is not merely a political leader (I stress on the word leader as oppose to the word governor because I believe even given the small discretionary power to lead man tend to abuse the power and turn himself into Napoleon as is the case in Animal Farm) but most importantly he is a religious leader. One who is familiar with the True Words of the Faith (and I don't just mean Islam but all Abrahamic religions). But there is no lack of complaints and valid grievances coming from Iranians.

Why is this so? (Please if you have a better example of religious leader being also political leaders, and succeed at it, do correct me). I simply believe that it is human nature that power corrupts man. Lets not speak of absolute power. I stress on the word "power" alone here. In Animal Farm, it simply outlines this.

As any literature should. One is taken to a place that one is much alien with and yet he can feel related to it. I have never been to UK but I could see clearly Manor Farm as if I was there. A beautiful literature should only be able to transcend the places and the experience of its reader and make them see the idiosyncrasies of the world from the writer's point of view. This is where, playing its role as a valid channel to pass ideas, literature should highlight the world as it is to the readers, and the truth is the world is a messed up place. There is a CHANCE of it being better. But all in all it IS messed up.

I know you believe that the Kingdom exists here on earth. With nothing but high regard for your view, point out to me one place in this modern day.

thanks for sharing, Cassondra

message 46: by Steve (last edited May 01, 2011 09:42AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Steve The animated adaptation of the book is an interesting curiosity. It starts out pretty innocent and Disneyesque, then appropriately gets dark..way dark. And then, incredibly, it changes the ending. Worth a look on DVD in some Dollar Store public domain issues, or the recent reissue with features and commentary exploring the political aspects of the tale.

Robin Never saw the movie. didn't know there was one. Maybe have to revisit the book also, while I am at it. If it can spark controversy, and religious and political beliefs, hey this must have been a darn good book.

Cassondra Robin--no problem. Happens all the time, but I like to point it out. :D

Emily--I am American, yes, but not Catholic (which is a denomination of Christianity). I am not what one would call "religious." I can't really explain what I am as well as I could if you knew me. For what I am is not what I believe, but what I am. I am one filled with Holy Spirit, the essence of Yahweh. His Son, Yahshua, dying on the cross enabled this fulfillment.

This is the difference between what I'm saying and the example you give. A person filled with the essence of the Creator so that our own natures are no more, and is rather, an extension of His nature has power. The power to overcome the evils of the world. Do you truly believe that people who do evil, whether in power or not, have the nature of the Creator? Do you truly believe that the leader of any worldly government has this essence? Just because a person in power is religious, does not mean he is changed in nature. Otherwise Yahshua would not have been crucified, for were the Sanhedrin not religious? You keep asking about where a Kingdom expression in the Earth might be as if there is a government that might possess it. I do not contend that any world government expresses the Kingdom at this point, but rather that we, as individuals, can bring the Kingdom to ourselves, in our own hearts. And once we do this, our essence having changed, we need not fear ourselves to be our own worst enemy. We can know that, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, we will be good. Even if we are given charge of a nation. And one day, even the nations will be Kingdom.

As to the purpose of literature, you contend that it is to highlight the world as it is? I suppose some literature could do this, but why highlight the world as it is if it is horrible? Why not highlight the world as it COULD be, in hopes that it one day might become this? For if everyone were to receive the essence of the Creator in his or herself, then the Kingdom would truly come to ALL of the Earth.

Some people (not necessarily you...I don't know) believe that to stop evil, one must learn about the intricacies of it. We must know the details of evil and the horrible things that happen so we can stop we can know what to fight. I do not believe this. Rather, to stop evil, we must be intimately knowledgeable of Good. We must know the Creator who IS goodness. And when He fills our beings and our lives, there will be no room for evil any longer. Wherever we live or whatever our job is.

Oh! If there were only literature to highlight THIS Truth!

You asked me to point out a place where the Kingdom exists on Earth today. I cannot give you the name of the place, in the interest of online anonymity, but it exists here. Where I live. Where I have my ecclesia (church), in ME. HalleluYah!

Robin Cassondra, I think you speak so eloquently, and truth be told, I think you are correct on so many levels. We should not look upon this world as messed up, but in what ways can we fix our little areas to make it a better place. I think the other woman wanted to have a heated debate with you. You impress me!

Cassondra :D Thanks for your wonderful comments!

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