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View Diary: Books that Changed my Life: Animal Farm (43 comments)

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  •  My daughter got it this year (10+ / 0-)

    as a Sophomore. I know her teacher (I've observed him; I'm back in college to become an English teacher myself) and I've seen him teach Animal Farm. So, yes, he does make it an explicit criticism of Communism. But he does Animal Farm in between To Kill A Mockingbird and Farrenheit 451, and, as my daughter puts it, "That's Mr. C's 'The Authorities Are Out To Get You!' unit." :)

    "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

    by ChurchofBruce on Fri May 18, 2012 at 11:32:16 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Well, if he teaches it as an explicit criticism of (4+ / 0-)

      Communism rather than an explicit criticism of exploitation, then he's rather missing the point.  As I mentioned below, the pigs don't end up worse than the humans, they end up indistinguishable from the humans.  It's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Capitalism.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Fri May 18, 2012 at 05:43:42 PM PDT

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      •  You're absolutely correct. That was the thesis of (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sneakers563, Lily O Lady, LSophia, Matt Z

        this diary.

        •  I don't think "Animal Farm" is an (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn Russell, LSophia, Matt Z

          endorsement of capitalism, but I worry that some might. Since the "joyous harvest time" of Beasts of England, never happened the animal commune was a failure. But it failed because it devolved into the worst of the exploitive capitalist system it sought to replace. Just as people will not see themselves in Boxer's "I will work harder," so they may fail to see the exploitive nature of the farm under the farmer.

          The animals overthrew the "natural order" of man over animal, and many conservatives would see that as wrong. Thus the message that both the humans and the pigs as corrupt would be lost on them, sad to say.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Fri May 18, 2012 at 08:47:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah I have heard that argument before too from (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LSophia, Matt Z, Lily O Lady

            many to whom I recommended the book.

            That really just tells me that they read the book with a preconceived notion from, which they could not free themselves.

            In other words they already had a desired conclusion ready i.e., the book is about the evils of communism and the superiority of capitalism, or man-made democracy, that these people really missed some of the crucial moments of the book.

            One example is the death of Boxer. Both the pigs and the humans, collaborated together to send Boxer's dead body to "Alfred Simmons, Horse slaughterer and Glue boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal.

            So Orwell basically believed both systems were cruel and malicious in exploiting the population.

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