Animal Farm by George Orwell
New York : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1946. Hardcover. 118 pages ; 19 cm. Missing dust jacket. Previous ownership marking on front endpaper. No other markings within this book. Binding is firm.
The animals on Mr. Jones's farm stage a successful revolution and take the place over. Their hopes, their plans, and their achievements form the subject of Animal Farm. In the first flush of enthusiasm, there is set up a great commandment, All animals are equal, but unfortunately, leadership devolves almost automatically on the pigs, who are on a higher intellectual level than the rest. The revolution begins to go wrong—yet at every step excellent excuses are always forthcoming for each perversion of the original doctrine.
Mr. Orwell has a wonderful sym-pathy for most of his animal characters, and they are all very much alive. It is not only the fight between the two pigs, Snowball and
Napoleon, as to who shall run things —what equally stirs the reader and brings tears is what happens to the devoted work-horse, Boxer, and even to that less admirable but very deftly pictured character, the mare Mollie, who loved ribbons. About this little book there is the same kind of reality one concedes to Alice in Wonderland. It lives in the heart as a direct story, as a story for its own sake, and yet, although the author never intrudes or points a moral, it also takes on meanings from what we have all noticed in the affairs of the world. To read it is an experience out of the ordinary, for it goes at a bounce into that region where the heart and the head join together in enjoyment.
GEORGE ORWELL is an English critic, essayist, and novelist who writes regularly for The London Observer and The New Statesman and Nation. He is a frequent contributor to Cyril Connolly's monthly magazine Horizon, and his London letters have appeared in this country in Partisan Review.
Born in Bengal of an Anglo-Indian family, Orwell was a rebellious scholar at Eton, served five years in Burma as a member of the Indian Imperial Police, fought on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War and was severely wounded.
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