Have You Read Animal Farm?

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Spoiler Alert! If you have not read Animal Farm by George Orwell do not read this blog because I am about to start it with the last few lines of the book.

“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the face of the pigs, 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.”

So my daughter had an assignment to read this in her 9th grade language arts class. I figured, since I bought the book, I might as well pick it up and read it myself.

The book is about animals on a farm who overtake the farmer because they believe they will run the farm better. They vow to become nothing like the farmer or other humans who lose sight of equality and respect because they become caught up in the power and greed that being in control often brings. They are going to be smarter and are going to do better.

When I finished the book I admit I was pretty depressed. The parallel to life as I see it is sad and discouraging. But today, something happened that changed my attitude. I was turning into my neighborhood and I passed a truck pulling a trailer of cows. I noticed the cows in a new way and I will confess that I broke out in laughter. I started to categorize the people I know into the categories of animals from the book. The pigs, well they stand out for themselves, and the dogs that protect them are actually pathetic really. Being a dog owner myself has taught me that dogs love and obey. No matter what you do to them, they will remain faithful and wag their tails faithfully the moment you walk in the room. And the horse, ah the horse. I married one of those. I made a great choice.

The more I compare the characters in my life to the characters in the book, the more I see the light. I think I have a whole new understanding of people and will deal with them in a whole new way.

Was this the best book I have ever read? Probably not, but it did cause me to think long after I read the words on the last page. My question is this, can a kid 15 years old see beneath the shallow story and comprehend the depth of the truth that lies beneath? But then again, does it really matter anyway? Have you read the book? What did you think?