Some observations on Animal Farm by George Orwell

by WinstonSmith 30 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • mrsjones5

    And my jw mother thought it was a children's book.

    Great review and comparison of the book.

  • ziddina

    Marking - great thread!!!

    Also, I want to pick up that book that Blondie recommended... Thanks, Blondie!!

  • Razziel

    I can't wait to go to Sugarcandy Mountain when I die.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Isn't freedom to read and evaluate a wonderful thing?

    I, too, must read this. I had no idea ...

    Many thanks, Winston.

  • compound complex
  • GLTirebiter

    Four legs good, two legs bad!

    The pigs teach the animals relexive demonization of outsiders, just like The Truthvs. Worldly.

    I was so glad my kids were assigned to read Animal Farm for their English Lit classes! I hope they will soon realize what that story is about.

  • kurtbethel

    Very good comparison. It also maps well on to certain political movements, and especially the alleged war on terror.

  • Quendi

    Of course, one must remember that Animal Farm is an allegorical look at the history and development of the Soviet Union. George Orwell meant it to be such when he wrote the book in the 1940s. Farmer Jones was the Czar; Major was Lenin; while Snowball and Napoleon stood for Trotsky and Stalin respectively.

    What makes the book so apropos to our discussion is how the history of Jehovah's Witnesses parallels the history of the former Soviet Union. The story of Animal Farm is a commentary on human nature and has been repeated many times throughout history. What happened with the WTS, the Soviet Union, and other movements and states is nothing new. Animal Farm could just as well be seen as a history of the Mormon Church, whose development very closely follows what Orwell writes about.

    The book is a classic. I have read it before and it is a permanent part of my home library. I first read it as a high school student. It was assigned and required reading by my English teacher in those days. Back then we talked about the book's depiction of the workings of a totalitarian state. With the collapse of the Soviet Union I suppose the book isn't read much anymore, but I think it should still be required reading for students.

    This discussion is not the first time Animal Farm has been a topic on this board. Along with several others I have done so in the past, though not with the excellent analysis our friend Winston Smith has given to us. I want to thank him for it and I will close with this quote from Thomas Jefferson which also applies to the WTS:

    “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”


  • kepler

    Had been thinking about Animal Farm and 1984 for some time too. Finally placed a post on a topic related to revising text:

    It's not just that Orwell's commentaries on totalitarianism serves as a well-fitting shoe, but the states he described did as well - and its citizens often remarked on it. Studying Russian/Soviet history, the parallels are remarkable: the mass rallies, the official paper Pravda, the enemies of the people, special terminologies, heroes of labor, stakhanovites, informers. Overseas delegations always had to stay together. Interpreters even translated Russian into Russian or English to English.

    Then, there is this portrait of one Joseph that resembles another. It goes on book after book, but here is an excerpt from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "First Circle". In the English version, it's chapter 20, "Give Us Back Capital Punishment, Iosif Vissarionovich".

    "But he could not trust even this understandable Abakumov [minister of state security]. Mistrust was Iosif Djugashvili's determining trait. Mistrust was his world view.

    "He had not trusted his mother. And he had not trusted God before whom he had bowed his head to the floor for eleven years in his youth. Later he did not trust his own fellow Party members, especially those who spoke well. He did not trust his fellow exiles. He did not trust peasants to sow grain and reap harvests unless they were coerced and their work was regularly checked on. He did not trust workers to work unless production norms were set for them. He did not trust members of the intelligentsia not to commit sabotage. He did not trust soldiers and generals without the threat of penalty regiments in their rear. He did not trust his intimates. He did not trust his wives and mistresses. He did not trust his children. And he always turned out to be right.

    "He had trusted one person, one only, in a life filled with mistrust, a person as decisive in friendship as in enmity. Alone among Stalin's enemies, while the whole world watched, he had turned around and offered Stalin his friendship.

    "And Stalin trusted him.

    "That man was Adolf Hitler...

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Great list and saved for later!

    Even my 15 year old saw some of these when she read it, wait till i show her this list!!!

    Thanks heaps


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