Animal Farm by George Orwell is a social commentary equally applicable to the early 21st Century as it was when published in 1945. Orwell wrote it as a fairytale allegory of the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin’s rise to power there and his growing global influence. In many ways, it mirrors that of Vladimir Putin and what we are seeing now with the attempted brutal expansion of Russia. But Animal Farm is far more than that. The story follows the animals of Manor Farm and their rebellion against the oppression they face at the hands of humans. As they take control from their corrupt human masters, their idealistic dreams do not unfold as they envisaged.
Their leader, Napoleon Pig, becomes a dictator, using his power to suppress other animals such that rule by human or pig was no different. Orwell’s last words in the book are ‘The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.’ At only 120 pages, Animal Farm is a thought-provoking, humorous and easy read. Humphrey Hawksley urges you all to take a look and discuss it with him on Goldster Book Club, Friday June 4th Say what you feel, think want you want, have a no holes barred Goldster debate on this literary classic about power and greed that continues to draw parallels to society more than 75 years after its original publication.