Review by Shwetha H S
Written during the times when modern world was taking its first steps towards destroying itself, George Orwell’s satire Animal Farm perfectly depicts what went wrong since the beginning. The famed author took the threadbare society and showed them through his work that they actually need to cover themselves before pointing out others’ nudity. Though said to have used characters based on real life people, George Orwell has brought out human traits in each animal individually.
Pompous and manipulative pigs, loyal dogs, slogging horses and other innocent farm animals fight and win their freedom as well as the farm from humans. The initial equality wares off when the two pigs, Snowball and Napolean, fall out with each other and Napolean uses his pet dogs to chase out Snowball from the farm. What follows next is the sheer mirror image of how the foundation for our present society was initiated. Though written the then England in mind, this satire clearly applies to every land on which humans walk. It is not only about how humans treat other living beings, it is also about how one human treats another. As you read one page after another of this book, you will cringe in your place because you will realise that you have seen one or the other situation from the book in your life. You will want to strangle the pigs, admonish the dogs, comfort the horses Clover and Boxer, and think what to do with other farm animals. At one point you will even wish for Snowball to return so that the story can have a happy ending, but no, Snowball is not the saviour. This message of this satire is that you are your own saviour and nobody is helping you because everybody’s got their own battles to win. But if the cause is same, why not stand united and rather be an usurper than a timid underdog tolerating cruelty?
A quote towards the end of the book that should drive things home hopefully: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.”
Review by Satish A G
“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.”
In this book, we get to know the exact meaning of the above quote. The whole book, with all the characters revolving around “friendship” and the different ways of expressing it in their own style. Being friends just does not mean being there during times of happiness or supporting during hard times. It also means showing the right direction or pointing out the mistakes and help to set them right. Friendship is hence one of the biggest strengths to everyone when you have a “good friend” to be with you always.
The beauty of the narration here is the subtle nature of describing the individual’s behaviour and thoughts towards others. Though the whole theme revolves around two characters – Gideon and Kibishi, the Crimson Scarf Samurai – other characters are also justified, which makes it even more entertaining. The reader will want to know what happens next to each character, and not just the two main lead characters. Also, each one of them varies so much from others, which makes the readers to introspect deep down within themselves as to which character they would represent.
The other thing that is a highlight of the entire narration is the emotional bonding or the personal relationship that develops not only amongst the characters, but also among readers. We tend to become one with the story. Couple of instances like – when Jill asks Gideon to be Kibishi’s “best friend” to survive the darkness within himself; when Kibishi departs from castle Valero without saying goodbye to Gideon – involves the readers and grips them tightly.
The first part ends at an interesting junction and also with lot of questions (as mentioned in the Afterword) – Is Gideon really “the child of Destiny”? How does Kibishi save his best friend from the situation they are in? Why did Albion pretend so far? Is Clover rally dead? Will Kenoke succeed in his “Operation Saviour”? Lot of questions remain, which have to be answered in the next book.
But, the book, in the first part, covers a lot of ground and sets the context nicely. The foundation has been laid to build a wonderful mansion going forward. The readers will be waiting to know what happens next, including us.