Boekverslag : George Orwell - Animal Farm
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 1891 woorden.


Animal farm

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Novel / Novella / Short Stories / Play

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Explain the title

The title is the new name of the farm (were the story takes place) after the animals took over the farm.

Who tells the story?

The story is narrated by a third person, the "all-knowing narrator".

Where does the story take place?

Does the setting play a decisive role in the story? Explain. The story takes place at the 'Manor Farm', which name was later changed into 'Animal Farm'. This farm lays somewhere in England, but I don't know exactly where. I think the setting plays a little role in the story, because the animals of the farm sing the song 'Beasts of England' quite a number of times, and I don't think anyone in a other country would sing it.

When does the story take place?

(If you are not sure about the exact dates, guess by fifty years, e.g. 1600-1650, etc.) Does it really make any difference (to the story) in which time it takes place? Why do you think so? The story could have happened any time, but I think it took place when the author wrote the book so 1900-1950. It doesn't really matter in which time it takes place, because it could happen any time.

How much time passes between the beginning and the end of the story?

Indicate the amount of time. About seven or eight years, maybe more, if I wanted the exact amount of time, I had had to write it down when the book skipped a month, or a year, or more years. The book mentioned quite a lot of skipping of time, e.g. the last chapter begins with: "Years passed".

Which part of the book did you find most interesting or fun? Why?

One day, in the story, one of the two leaders of the farm (after the 'take-over') is forced to leave the farm by the other leader because he thought different about a lot of things. And while he did a lot of good things for the take-over of the farm, a fat pig named Squealer (who works for the remained leader) manages to convince the other animals that he was bad, and against the take-over. I liked the way he did this, because he handles it very carefully, and one thing at a time, e.g. by blaming the bad things that happen to the farm on Snowball (that's the name of the pig who had been chased away).

Which part of the book was very bad or very uninteresting, according to you?

Explain why. I liked the whole book, and though some parts were less interesting, none of the parts didn't I find uninteresting.

Suppose you had to choose

which character in the book would you like to be? Why this particular character? I think it would be Benjamin the donkey, not because he is a donkey, but because he makes cool and cynical remarks.

Mention one character from the book you dislike, or could eventually dislike? Why?

I can't name one particular character, but I can name a group of characters, the sheep. I dislike them because they are very irritating, and annoying. Every time some animal wants to say something that doesn't correspond with what Napoleon (the leader of the farm after Snowball had been chased away) says and thinks, the sheep begin to bleat "four legs good, two legs bad", and continue to do that for like half an hour.

Compare the main character(s) of the beginning of the story to those same characters at the end of the book. Have they / Has he or she changed? Have they / Has he or she learnt or achieved anything?

The person who has changed the most at the end of the book is Napoleon, in the begin of the book he has dreams of the rebellion and good meanings for the farm, but at the end he is only after one thing: power. The other animals have maybe changed a little bit in the way they think of Napoleon, but Squealer, as usual, talks that thought out of their heads.

Could you indicate what kind of story/ play this is? You can choose more than one option.

[ ] love story [ ] science fiction

[ ] adventure [ ] detective/thriller

[ ] (auto)biography [X]philosophical

[ ] historical subject [ ] comedy

[ ] lifestyle [ ] tragedy

[ ] fantasy/fairy tale [ ] ..........................

Is it possible to indicate a turning point in the story; a point from which things clearly start to change?

Try to describe it. The turning point in the story is when Snowball is changed away, because then Napoleon begins to act like a dictator.

Do you feel the author has tried to teach you or explain something to you by writing this book? If so, what? Or has he/she only tried to entertain you?

I think the book has a moral, that man is after power, in this book, he exchanges the humans with animals, but he makes it very clear without saying it.

Were you satisfied about the ending of the book? Explain your answer. If you were not satisfied with it, could you explain how you would have expected it to end (more or less)?

In one way I am satisfied about the ending, because it is very deep, e.g. the last sentence is "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which". In this sentence the author makes clear that the pigs (who led the farm) are very look-alike the humans, while that is the last thing they wanted to be in the beginning.

At the other hand, I'm not satisfied with the ending, because I hoped the animals (without the pigs) would take over the farm back from the pigs, and realise that the pigs are not in for a better future for the animals, but only for themselves.

Would you recommend this book to anyone? Why? If you were to give this book a mark, what would it be?

I would recommend it to people, especially to people who like and understand politics, because they see then how the pigs mislead the other animals. Mark: 9.


Mr Jones, the drunken, inefficient owner of Manor Farm, was one day expelled from his property by the rebellious farm-animals who, under the leadership of the pigs, took possession of it and rechristened it Animal Farm. The theoretical foundation of the revolution had been laid by an old boar named Major, after whose death the doctrine was made into a complete system of thought - called Animalism - by the most prominent pigs Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer. The animals happily set about the difficult task of running the farm by themselves, the intelligent pigs undertaking the management and the others doing the manual work. The pigs also instructed the animals in the Seven Commandments of Animalism. Unfortunately the pigs' character was not equal to their intelligence and they immediately began to take advantage of their position by reserving an increasing number of privileges to themselves.

By and large the farm-animals looked towards the future with enthusiasm, but there were exceptions. The foolish mare Mollie was only interested in ribbons for her mane and lumps of sugar; when she found that from now on she had to do without such things she became a renegade and went over to man, the common enemy. The tale-bearing raven Moses tried to shake the animals' faith and determination by spreading lies about a wonderful country called Sugarcandy Mountain, to which they would go after death. The old donkey Benjamin regarded the new system with cynicism and the wily cat only thought of herself. On the other hand the pigs had faithful disciples in the dull-witted, idealistic, hard-working cart-horses Clover and Boxer.

Thanks to the organising ability of the pigs the animals ran their farm successfully and though they had to work harder than before they felt happy. It was a great day when they repulsed an attack made on Animal Farm by the human masters of the neighbouring farms Foxwood and Pinchfield. But serious troubles came when a rivalry developed between the brilliant, eloquent Snowball and the persevering, silent Napoleon. When an election was held to decide which one of them was to be Leader, Snowball seemed to carry it. But Napoleon unexpectedly produced a bodyguard of murderous dogs who drove Snowball away, leaving Napoleon the unchallenged dictator.

Napoleon consolidated and strengthened his position with the help of his dogs who terrorised rebellious animals into submission, his bleating yes-men to the sheep, and his propagandist Squealer who used his smooth tongue to reconcile the animals to the ever harsher measures the Leader and his clique of pigs were taking. Instead of enjoying the luxuries the had been promised, the animals had to toil and sweat, while their lords and masters the pigs prospered and moved from the sty into the deserted farmhouse. The doctrine of Animalism and the original Seven Commandments were changed again and again to suit the interests of the ruling class. Whenever anything went wrong, such as the destruction of the mill which the animals had built at a great sacrifice, Napoleon threw the guilt on Snowball, who was reputed to be undermining Animal Farm in secret. Comrade Napoleon's ruthlessness culminated in the execution of many animals who had voluntarily confessed to various acts of sabotage and espionage. The animals lost all their former confidence and enthusiasm, except Boxer who worked himself almost to death trying to do more than even his huge strength could bear. When there was no more left of Boxer than a pitiful, useless wreck, Napoleon had him sold to a horse slaughterer. Meanwhile Napoleon had come to terms with the human masters of the farms in the neighbourhood who had given up hope that Animal Farm would either destroy itself or give way under the pressure they put upon it. After many years the farm had become much richer, but the life of the animals was much more frugal than it had ever been, for the pigs were the only ones who reaped the fruits of their common toil. However, the animals had one great hope and pride left: they were the only farm run by animals in the whole world. Therefore it was a great shock to them when one day the pigs appeared wearing human clothes and walking on their hind legs. It soon turned out that the pigs had acquired all the human vices which Animalism had warned against. Once the animals saw the pigs in the company of men, talking, drinking, swearing and quarrelling. And when they looked from pig to man and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, they found it impossible to say which was which.
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