“Animal Farm” is a satirical and allegorical beast fable written by George Orwell, and first published in 1945 in England.
Unlike other beast fables, Orwell added human characters to show that oppression in animals and humans is one and the same.
The book focusses on farm animals who one day realize the extreme oppression and living conditions they are experiencing under the power exercised by their human farmer.
The animals envision a society where they can live as equals with free will, and they plan a rebellion.
A memorable quote from the book says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Orwell argues that in 1945 England — when the book was set — moral discrepancies in society were apparent and obvious enough that it seemed like the eternal norm at the time.
The book sheds light on all forms of totalitarianism, and the socio-political repercussions which follow.
The social criticism referred to in “Animal Farm” also extended to the Soviet Union under Communist rule and the Russian Revolution of 1917.
The dystopian theme continues in other Orwell books, such as “1984,” which highlights the future of humanity bereft of justice and equality.
“Animal Farm” sold 250,000 copies when it was first published in 1945. As of today, the book has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide.
George Orwell was the pen name adopted by Eric Arthur Blair who was best known for his political satire. An essayist, novelist, and critic, he was born in India, studied at Eton College, and was buried in England.
He was the pupil of Aldous Huxley, the English writer who set the scene for the dystopian genre.