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Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

Product no.: 978-0452277502
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality.

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Publisher's Synopsis
Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned - a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.

Animal Farm is a superb story, set at Manor Farm. One night, all the animals gather together to listen to what the well-respected Middle White Board, Old Major, has to say. He tells the animals about his dreams of Animalism and how he wants a farm without Mr. Jones, the mean and careless farmer. Old Major passes away three days later, fuelling the other Animal's desire to put Old Major's dream into reality. After careful planning and preparation, they literally kick out Mr. Jones and his wife, and begin to run the farm.

The pigs, especially Snowball and Napoleon, assume leadership, and begin thinking about how to improve the farm (renamed by the animals as Animal Farm). They come up with various ideas, from special committees to a windmill that will mean no work for the animals. But everything changes when Napoleon gets rid of Snowball. Everything turns horribly wrong, with the animals doing more work than ever. They see how everything they ever worked for, mainly freedom, has been turned on its side.

Lies, corruption and selfishness take over in the farm, leading to the end, when Napoleon and the rest of the pigs invite local farmers to visit the farm and all is work. The other Animals, the hard-working horses, the donkeys and all the rest of them can no longer see the difference between the pigs and the humans. Everything is back to where it started.

"This 50th-anniversary commemorative edition of Orwell's masterpiece is lavishly illustrated by Ralph Steadman. In addition, it contains Orwell's proposed introduction to the English-language version as well as his preface to the Ukrainian text. Though all editions of Animal Farm are equal, this one is more equal than others."       ~Library Journal

"A Fairy Story is Orwell's subtitle for the book, and it is made to order for a certain kind of illustration in which pigs can be shown as ridiculous, taking on more and more human attributes; and as evil, since they can, with a few wicked touches, serve as caricatures of various easily represented figures in Soviet history, which Orwell in part meant as the target of his allegory.

The proportion that Orwell quite clearly had in mind - Soviet dictators are to human beings as human beings are to animals - makes Animal Farm a pessimistic book only if dictatorship is the inevitable result of political revolution, and if, again, revolutions are inevitably, as the word implies, circular. Orwell's message was not to beware of revolution but to watch out for the pigs, who may try to take it over. Even then, had the animals' revolution fallen into the hands of Snowball rather than Napoleon - the Trotsky rather than the Stalin character in the book - life might have been as rosy as its promise in the speech of old Major, which ignited the misanthropy and the discontent of the proletarian beasts who made the revolution and endured its bitter consequences."        ~The New York Times

"The Seven Commandments:
Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal."

George Orwell, pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair (born 1903, Motīhāri, Bengal, India—died Jan. 21, 1950, London), English novelist, essayist, and critic famous for his novels Animal Farm (1945) and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949), the latter a profound anti-Utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule.

Author Orwell, George
Illustrator Steadman, Ralph
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 128 pp.
Publisher Plume 1996
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