Shabby Sunday: Animal Farm by George Orwell – 1946

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Animal Farm (A Signet Classic)

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Blurb: George Orwell’s timeless fable—a parable for would-be liberators everywhere, glimpsed through the lens of our own history.

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors. – Amazon

My Thoughts:

I read Animal Farm when I was in college and it was one of those reads where you think it’s going to be boring, but it turns out to be a favorite. It’s an allegorical tale representing the Russian Revolution where the characters in the book represent people during this time.

I won’t go into the plot too much, but in a nutshell, this story is about a group of farm animals who rise up against the evil farmer who cares for them. They basically take over the farm by cause of Old Major (Marx/Lenen), the pig all about change. He get’s all the animals together into an uprising against Mr. Jones, the farmer (Tsar Nicholas II). The animal characters then run the farm themselves and develop their own hierarchy being lead by Snowball (Trotsky) and Napoleon (Stalin). In a way, the story reminds me of an Aesop’s Fable because the animal characters in the book have human characteristics and there are morals and messages that are quite obvious. Young readers can read it and they won’t pick up on the meaning–they’ll just think it’s a story about a group of  rebellious farm animals against humans, but I believe the message that Orwell wanted to express is that power corrupts. Also that people need to think for themselves, educate yourself and make your own decisions. Don’t let others think for you.

Someone recently asked me who my favorite character was in the book which is a really difficult question to ask, in my opinion. I liked a handful of the characters including Boxer, Snowball, Benjamin, and Clover, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be Snowball. Snowball’s ideas were in the best interests of the animals and he was always fair. He wanted to educate the other animals and make life easier for them. He was intelligent, brave, and stood up for his beliefs which is why he’s my favorite character in the book.

I’m not sure exactly how old my edition is of Animal Farm because no publication date is given, however, Goodreads seems to have this Signet Classic published in 1956. This thin paperback is in great shape for it’s age with clean, crisp pages.

My rating on this one is 5*****

Here’s the song “Beasts of England” passed on to the animals by Old Major: 


Beasts of England

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the Golden future time.
 
Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.
 
Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.
 
Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.
 
Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.
 
For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom’s sake.
 
Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well, and spread my tidings
Of the Golden future time.
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