Animal Farm by George Orwell, an old classic happens to be the first entry in this blog. Though first published 1945, the concepts, the philosophy and the very nature of humans depicted through animals, seems so relevant even now in the 21st century.
Having worked in the corporate world for so long, I could connect so well to every character portrayed in the book, every event and every action which Sir George Orwell has described in his book. The principle though may be applicable to other than corporate life, I had only the corporate perspective in my mind.
In organisations (and society too), there are visionaries (Old Major) who can anticipate whats going to happen in future. While they very well know that they wont live long enough to see that future still they consider it as their responsibility to spread awareness. When I look at people who have dedicated themselves for social and environmental causes, I am now reminded of Old Major.
Then there are people who take the message of the visionaries seriously and start working towards it. In the process, they do have to face a lot of resistance and mockery, but they still believe in themselves and continue to tread their path. They are leaders of tomorrow. Again leaders are of two types – democratic and authoritative. And remaining are ordinary crowd – sincere followers, naive followers, name-sake followers, not-bothered lot, lazy workers, hard workers, self-obsessed, shrewd, enemies, conspiracy planners and well-wishers.
The story line shows us the rise and fall of democratic leader, the tricks played by the authoritative leader, the importance of communication and negotiation and being for the people and by the people. One message which clearly comes out is that one has to apply mind and judgement before simply believing whatever is being said and presented in front of you. After all humans do have this skill, not animals. More importantly when your heart says something seems wrong, there is some conflict, then listen to what your heart says. As they say, not all what the eye sees is the truth.
My heart went out for those simple and innocent animals who had to face hardship due to the in-humane behavior of animals (Well.. once deep in the book, I forgot all the characters are animals and not humans). Till the end, I was hoping that some glimpse of the democratic leader would be shown again and how the good rises to fight the bad (I am still used to happy ending stories). However the book wasn’t a fiction or a fantasy, rather a real-life representation of how people (or animals) tend to change once they get money, power. (of course, its wrong to generalise this.. still )
The book in itself is compact and precise and I guess so should be my perspective and thoughts about the book. Hope this piece of writing does not meet the same fate as happened with the 7 commandments laid down by the wise animals. Though humans generally live longer than donkeys, however the ability to remember and keep track of things seems to have degraded now (Thanks to the smart devices). Anyways, given that the digital content is preserved for long and as-is, this write-up is here to stay. Comments and views, are welcome as always.
2 thoughts on “Lessons for Humans!!”
Animal Farm is an old favourite of mine! Every time I read it is like a new experience!!! Good review Shilpa, I also liked the comparison of donkey’s memory with humans 🙂
Thanks. My earliest memory of seeing this book is at your home. The title always fascinated me and I used to wonder what this book would be about.