Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Spoilers! Animal Farm Ch. 2
So, Old Major dies. Life for the animals becomes so intolerable under Farmer Jones that the revolution happens at the spur of the moment, and all the humans are run off the farm. The successor pigs, Napoleon, Squealer, and Snowball--who can read and write--make quick work of organizing a new order codified in the Seven Commandments.
I'm highly amused and entertained thus far. There's just a touch of handwavy absurdity--like a pig balancing on a ladder, painting a sign. The animals are just slightly anthropomorphized, as regards distinct personalities. This makes all those names easier to remember. Mollie is the pampered and foolish show horse, Snowball is intelligent and scheming--the kind of successor who would twist his predecessor's teachings all out of proportion. Boxer and Clover are cart-horses, loyal and obedient to a fault. But mostly the animals retain their animal natures.
The simple prose compliments this well. The farmhouse is treated as a museum. The barns and such aren't much remarked upon--where you eat and sleep every day isn't very remarkable to you. And the surrounding landscapes are described as something of a promise land--so much clover! A pool and spinney! Whatever a spinney is!
The chapter ends with some foreshadowing, as the fresh milk from the cows go missing while all the animals were out harvesting the hay. Heh. So it's begun.
I'm just letting all the historical parallels and social commentary simmer as I read. Feel free to discuss it all in the comments. There will not be a test, and your answers will not be graded.
Image Credit: "penguin.animal.farm.shepard.fairey", available under by-nc-as 2.0