My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As reviewed by George Orwell from recently unearthed documents
Mr. Minor has written a biting piece of propaganda that attempts to teach our children that all animals are happy being oppressed and penned. This book is an invitation to delight in the secrets of the flesh and to deny our existence. It also has cute illustrations. But no bunnies! Father’s farm had bunnies with their soft wittle fur that I would bury my face in and go “whosa good bunny-boo?” Ahem. Sorry.
The first notion one gets from this illustrated pack of lies is the “duty of the working class.” The rooster crows as its job and the text invites you to “cock-a-doodle too.” The cats work clearing the barn of mice while no attention is made to the poor mice starving and dying in the streets. That the working class is given this attention confirms that the idea here is to break the reader down, to force the question “are you doing your part?”
The next question the text asks is “do you think you can’t get lower?” Not outright, of course. The question is illustrated by mentioning that pigs bath in mud because they can’t sweat and chickens take dust baths. Ha, look at that, those do look light red combs on a rooster. I want a rooster, maybe a baby chick. Gah! Look at me, turning to their ways. The entire treatment is disgusting.
The final theme is one of acceptance, of “welcome to the farm.” This shameful mocking of society’s weak is presented by a sheep who gets nervous when alone and loves its flock. “Conform!” this text shouts at you from behind wool-covered, aw, wittle lamb. Did you stray away, little fella? Just nuzzle up to mama and- Holy Mother of Mendel!!! I was almost taken in by that obvious Christ imagery. Blast this book, and blast its final message: that the animals are waiting to welcome you to the farm. They are not!
The depiction of this farm is a desperate attempt to teach people that it is okay to be animals, to be herded and penned. The notion of a unified farm culture is an illusion meant to keep the American people locked in stasis. I mean, what would happen if the animals in this farm rose up, threw off their human oppressors... hmmm, that gives me an idea.
Thanks, Mr. Orwell!
Each day in the month of April 2012 (starting the first Sunday, then excluding every other Sunday) we will blog using the alphabet as our guide. I will link each post to the letter and you can find them all on this page. If you want to keep up with the challenge for my fellow bloggers, check out the A to Z Challenge Page.