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Animal Farm – George Orwell Review

How do you go about criticising a classic? I always have reservations about this, people love it for a reason, it sticks around for a reason. Well, luckily with Orwells classic I can see why. This story is so well known, and yet it is still a new experience to read, there aren’t a lot of books that can say that for themselves.       It is a book that I look forward to reading to my children because it contains all of the problems they will face with authority and gives a brilliant perspective on original thought. Animal Farm is easy to read but still has extreme depth to it. The characters are full and vibrant, the situation familiar but original and the whole tale comes together. The topics of authority and free thought are common in literature and the media but this book presented them to me in a new way that made me really re-evaluate what I was presuming about the government and the world we live in. George Orwell really was on to something, and I find it slightly depressing that things can be spread out so well in these books and the problems criticised and yet no-one of power seems to have taken note.            The plot is easy to follow and logical, with with a fabulous twist of fate at the end that I was hoping to avoid, even though I knew the story before I read it. This is a great book to read as a writer starting out, it contains a lot of lessons about minimalism and simplicity whilst drawing the reader into your world. Reading this as a first year student at Uni was a great idea because it gave me a refreshingly new perspective on everything.  After reading this book I had a moment of calm, not because anything had changed or I had found some sort of peace but because someone was spelling out what I already thought.

                  A drunken man on a train saw me reading this and then went on to discuss with me the effect that this books ideology had on his real life, his none-book-related life. This is where Animal Farm finds it’s market. It revolves around questions, and provokes interaction. The characters are brilliant, you sympathise with them, you want them to do well. They are also well-rounded, you can see their flaws and they are realistic. Yes, their animals, but aren’t we all? It is an emotional roller-coaster, and just because the book ends doesn’t mean the story has to. It has been a while since I read the book, but the memory of how it made me perceive the world remains, and I think that is a mark of a great literary experience. Plus, you can read it to your children and they will love it, rarely does a book have that charm, for both adults and children. Orwell is a pure literary and political genius! That is all there is to know.

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