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Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Hello fellow bookworms!

I hope you enjoyed a nice, long and relaxing summer filled with an abundance of books.  I apologise for not posting in a while, I can’t say it was because I hadn’t read any books of interest ( trust me, I have!) but I was so engrossed in the Anne of Green Gables series I told myself, I’d post again at back to school time!

So, when it comes to book reviews I thought it very fitting to review one of the novels on the Junior cycle curriculum.

The following review is of Animal Farm by George Orwell, which is on the list of the “optional” novels in 2nd and 3rd year.  Hence not all of your teachers may have chosen this book as it is optional.

I hope you enjoy it. “Down with Dictators!“

Review of Animal Farm

The novel which I am reviewing is Animal Farm , written by George Orwell and published by Penguin Books.  It is a satire, which mocks the events of the Russian revolution.

At the beginning of the story, we are introduced to a very influential pig by the name of Old Major, whose inspirational speech to the other animals draws you into the book and gives readers a sense of what is to come.  We are immediately forced to dislike the owner of the Manor farm, Mr. Jones, from the moment we meet him.  Constantly drunk and neglectful of his animals’ welfare, we look to old Major for some wise advice.  Old Major sows the seed for rebellion and, in doing so, remembers how dangerous power can be which is seen clearly as the story progresses.  “All animals are equal” says old Major during his speech to the others in the biggest barn of the Manor Farm, Willingdon, England, where the story is set.

I enjoyed the fun of engaging with animals as though they were people, but I also appreciated the metaphorical meaning behind the story.  I thought it very fitting to have the pigs represent the characters of Stalin and his followers, especially towards the end of the story, when Major’s predictions ring true amongst the pigs.

Although I enjoyed this story immensely, a review would not be a review without picking out a few faults.  Old Major was by far my favourite character, so I was deeply shocked at the tragedy which he had to endure so early on in the novel.  But apart from this I would definitely recommend this book as a “good read “.

The most suitable audience for this text would be anyone over the age of nine, although anybody with an interest in history would enjoy the underlying meaning to the text.  Overall, I would rate this novel 4/5.

(c) Sarah Fitzgerald

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