Published on Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 12:45pm
Animal Farm’s classic whirlwind story line reaches out to seize the reader, and endeavors to thrust our collective consciousness back in a time and place where vivid picturesque images of totalitarianism, communism, socialism and its variants were steadily on the horizon of 20th century political philosophy, spanning throughout much of the world’s political and cultural hegemony.
Orwell’s timeless allegorical depiction of occurrences leading up to the Russian revolution goes on to critique and challenge several key elements of political thought of that era, namely Stalinism and all of its components, and in doing so, raises universal enquiries associated with the implementation of similar systemized forms of governance, and how those systems impact the lives of the citizenry.
Orwell, himself a staunch Democratic Socialist, in stark opposition to Stalinism, expounds upon the all too well known naive myth of utopia, and expresses to the reader how easily misguided disillusioned individuals, and cult like personalities can adversely alter the state of a political system, regardless of its well-intended altruistic heritage, creating a false messianic spin, often times mesmerizing and leading its followers to doom, like moths to a open flame.
Orwell’s Animal Farm invariably challenges the reader to open their eyes to the necessity of checks and balances and free and open discourse, and how these elements of governance inevitably create and sustain liberty, and a more sustainable Democracy.
Animal Farm, throughout its simplistic storyline, also addresses, through contrasting characters, the more sophisticated and controversial ideologies of Psychological egoism vs. Altruism and its drawing effect on individuals and their motives for political power. Stalinism vs. Trotskyism, as depicted by the main characters Napoleon and Snowball, proves to be the most central to the theme.
Readers, who boldly venture to analyze and critique the book, and its Philosophical contents, will be challenged in ways they otherwise would never have known. Animal Farm offers itself as a relaxed read but, do not be fooled; there are innumerable ideas of both historical and political significance that will keep the reader thoroughly attentive edging their seats from beginning to end.