Study time! Any one ready to join me?
Book Study Time - Animal Farm
I'm fading fast, dratted virus. Feel free to add your comments overnight, I'll collect them in the morning. Emo, I expect a hundred word report. You too, stilla.
Hi Jgnat, hope you're feeling better today. I wasn't sure whether we are starting at chapter 1 again so I've done 1 and 2!
As to whether Mr Jones was a sympathetic character, I think he was more sympathetic than he was made out to be by Major. What looked like abuse from the animals' point of view may not be so from the practical, human view. For example, he did feed the animals and look out for their welfare (shown by him getting up in the early hours to ensure no foxes were attacking the animals)
I think Major did misrepresent humans - by using emotive language and words like slavery, starving and telling the animals what miserable lives they were living - in spite of the fact that none of them appeared to be miserable! They only believed they were miserable when the idea that they could 'have more' was planted in their minds.(live forever on paradise earth, don't get destroyed at Armageddon...)
In a way, too, Major was probably the least likely to experience hardship, even in lean times - he was the prize boar and would have had extra special care lavished upon him (eg having his own stall). He was described as being fat - compare with the declaration that they are barely fed enough to live on!! (Lies, lies lies!!!)
I loved the way his speech started off gently and then gradually grew more alarmist and hate filled, building up from 'the miserable existence of the animals then starting to blame man and finally, man is suddenly the ultimate enemy who does absolutely nothing good to help animals! (Not sure how closely this relates to WT history, but they do appear to have become more 'hostile' to Christendom over the decades)
Finally there was the dream that Major couldn't remember which you also mentioned - strange how he 'remembered' the words to that very long song with a very simple tune!
In Chapter 2, there is already a clear division being made between the 'stupid' and the 'intelligent' animals. When I looked more closely at it, it seems that the 'intelligent' animals are driven by greed and wanting more than they have, while the 'stupid' ones are asking all the reasonable questions!
Again there is a possibly biased view of Jones too.The description of the farm in March would have been a fair one in the time that Orwell wrote - nobody cuts hedges or mows fields through the winter months and the weeds would have been starting to grow, and in these later winter months, money would have been tight so no cash to repair buildings except for essential ones (and Jones had lost the lawsuit too), plus the weather might not be good either! The winter feed for the animals would be running out - hence the underfed animals - how underfed these ones were we don't really know. Yet, all these things get blamed on Jones' drinking 'problem' (cf. ills of the world caused by immoral behaviour, not following Jehovah's laws??)
There is only the one time mentioned when the animals weren't fed - in June - when by then, if they were that desperate to eat, they could have gone out into the fields and eaten the growing produce - but they expected Jones to feed them from the storehouse! (WT publications being selective with information?!) So they rebel and think everythings going to be ok but then get a rude awakening the next morning (lovebombing?). I also see here already the driving of the leadership to 'do more' when they suggest that they can get the hay in quicker without humans.
And just what happened to all that milk?! They already broke the commandment of 'All animals are equal' The commandments are reasonable at first - but will later be subject to 'new light'!!
Another question struck me about that raven and sugarcandy mountain - does anyone think that the 'intelligent' animals trying to stop him spreading 'tales' about it might have correlation to the GB denying the existence of a Heavenly hope for the great crowd? (Plus general discouragement from finding out what's happening outside the org?)
Well I hope this was the sort of thing you meant by a book study it's definitely over 100 words!!