The political fable, “Animal Farm,” written by visionary George Orwell, was published on this day in history, Aug. 17, 1945.
The plot of “Animal Farm” is based on the story of the Russian Revolution and its betrayal by Joseph Stalin and is deemed an allegory, according to Britannica.com
The novella tells the story of a group of barnyard animals that overthrow and chase off their exploitative human masters — and set up an egalitarian society of their own, the same source chronicles.
As “Animal Farm” opens, Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, is intoxicated and heading to bed.
“The animals gather in the barn as Old Major, a boar, tells them that he has thought about the brutal lives that the farm animals lead under human bondage and is convinced that a rebellion must come soon,” notes Encyclopedia.com.
Eventually the “power-loving leaders, the pigs, subvert the revolution and form a dictatorship whose bondage is even more oppressive and heartless than that of their former human masters,” Britannica.com outlined.
The book’s original book jacket describes the book in these words: “In this good-natured satire upon dictatorship, George Orwell makes use of the technique perfected by Swift in ‘The Tale of a Tub.’ It is the history of a revolution that went wrong — and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for each perversion of the original doctrine,” recounted The Orwell Society.
Orwell has said that “Animal Farm” was the first book in which he tried “to fuse political and artistic purpose into one whole.”
Orwell finished writing the draft, originally subtitled “A Fairy Story,” in the summer of 1944, according to the British Library’s official website.
After a number of publishers rejected the book, “Animal Farm” was finally published in August 1945, the same source indicated.
Orwell is noted as saying in his essay, “Why I Write,” that “Animal Farm” was the first book in which he tried “to fuse political and artistic purpose into one whole,” according to multiple sources.
Analysis of the plot line explores themes of authoritarianism and corruption.
“Orwell uses the setting of an animal uprising against their human masters on an English farm as an indirect representation of the 1917 Russian Revolution and the totalitarian Stalinist era to follow,” Carnegie Mellon University stated.
“The work explores and comments on the dangers of authoritarian control and the cult of personality inherent within it, and reminds us that even the noblest of causes can be subverted by power and greed.”
“Even the noblest of causes can be subverted by power and greed.”
It’s described as an “allegorical fairy tale on the dangers of authoritarianism and how “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” the same source cited.
Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair on June 25, 1903, in India.
He was the son of a British colonial civil servant and was educated in England, according to the BBC.
He took the name Orwell in the 1930s.
His writing credits include several nonfiction and fiction works.
Orwell is also known for the book “1984,” a story about political oppression in a dystopian society.
Orwell died of tuberculosis on Jan. 21, 1950.
“Animal Farm” has become a classic of modern literature.
The book is studied around the world, and it’s been adapted into several films and stage productions.
Its themes and characters and have become part of the world’s cultural lexicon, according to The Mentoring Club.
“The book’s final message, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, remains as relevant today as it was when Orwell wrote it,” the same source said.