Under the feckless husbandry of Mr Jones, the Manor Farm has fallen into disrepair. Pushed into hardship, the animals decide to stage a revolt, and, led by two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, they overthrow Mr Jones and drive him away from the farm. In the subsequent struggle for power, it is Napoleon who emerges as a victor: he renames the place “Animal Farm”, gets rid of this enemies and, by the way he behaves – expecting to be glorified above the others and turning the screw on his fellow beasts in order to keep them subjugated – begins to resemble more and more the former rules of the farm, the hated humans.
Written during the Second World War and published in 1945, this allegorical novel is a carefully constructed critique of the Russian Revolution and a sharp satire on the abuse of power. It remains unsurpassed both as a document of its time and as a testament to the versatility and creative genius of George Orwell.
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“Animal Farm retains its power . . . it has penetrated many societies and transformed many imaginations.” – Malcolm Bradbury