Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Animal Farm


Remember that bit about jumping on the bandwagon preeetty late? Well, here I go again. A few weeks ago, Jordan sent home a bunch of stuff from college that he was done with: books, clothes, etc., cleaning out his room and getting ready to come home. Among his textbooks, I saw Animal Farm by George Orwell and thought, "Hmmm...it's about time." I'd never read it, but I saw the first part of the movie, a Hallmark version that I remember greatly disturbed me. I thought maybe the book would be better, minus all of the thematic elements. Ha.
The book was way worse. Don't get me wrong, the writing was fantastic. George Orwell rocks. The story, or 'fairy story' as it is subtitled, was twisted I thought. Maybe it's the fact that animals can talk in this story. But I've read lots of stories and seen plenty of movies, Babe for instance, where animals talk. Why is this particular story disturbing?
Maybe it's because this is the 'true' look into an animals head. Or maybe it's because wickedness ended in triumph and virtue was utterly crushed. The point about fairy tales is that they are written without a moral but also without morality. It takes place beyond good and evil. This is not the kind of moral that tells you to look before you leap, for the animals never had a chance to choose. Yet, if they had, it wouldn't have made a difference anyway.
Animal farm's message (which by no means a moral) is that of all the great fairy tales: "Life is like that:take it or leave it."
Which, scarily, is true.

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