Thursday, July 30, 2015

Spoilers! Animal Farm Ch. 4

Chapter 4

News of the Animal Farm spreads throughout the animal world in England and among the human farmers, who go from scoffing to nervousness after other animals refuse to work and/or turn on their masters. Farmer Jones (dunno why I call him that, as in the book it's just Mr. Jones--but consistency, comrades!) rounds up some men to take back the farm. They are attacked and run off. Boxer despairs at having struck and killed a young man, but the young man is only stunned, recovers, and runs away. The animals commemorate the victory with a battle title and hand out a few medals.

The anecdotes about Mollie always make me chuckle. She excuses herself from work and hides when the fighting gets serious. And then there is the cat, who was an ardent supporter of the committee of wild animal reeducation (or something) and tries to convince birds and rats all animals are comrades and they could sit on her paw. Needless to say that committee was a failure.

This is the first chapter where I didn't quite enjoy the telling nature of the prose. The POV seemed distant from the animals. Like a historian who knows how it all turns out:

"The men gave a shout of triumph. They saw, as they imagined, their enemies in flight, and they rushed after them in disorder. This was just what Snowball had intended."

As you know, Reader. Other than rare exceptions, I don't like when classics address Dear Reader. I'm looking at you Jane Eyre Besides, it seemed pretty clear it was a trap once the men were surrounded and overwhelmed in the yard. I like action scenes as fluid and commentary-light as possible.

Snowball orchestrated and led the defense, so that officially makes him a type of tactician. How long before he turns his skills on his fellow farm-dwellers?

"The only good human being is a dead one."
Far too cold about taking a life. Then again, the humans were no less so towards animals. And around it goes.

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