The second paragraph from Chapter 3:
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What is there to say about Animal Farm that hasn't already been said? I read it first as a teenager, back when the Soviet Union still existed; it still packs just as powerful an impact now, with the awful fate of Boxer the horse a superb emotional climax of betrayal. As in Nineteen Eighty-Four
, the most shocking passages are the perversion of truth and history by Squealer (we've all met people like him), where the writer's ability to convey to the reader precisely the opposite of what the words on paper ostensibly mean is on top form.
What struck me most on this reading is Orwell's deep sympathy for the ideals of equality and community. His scorn is not directed at socialism as such, but at the Soviet leaders for perverting it to their own profit, to the point where in the final confrontation between pig and man, "it was impossible to say which was which". The awful thing is that he offers no solution; the animals have been duped and betrayed, and are now worse off than they were. (Did he write any books with happy
And I wonder what happened to the cat?