Book of The Month- May 2015

Zoe Lawrence, Reporter

As our school year comes to a grinding halt, many of us lose interest in our former academic pursuits, and may begin to lose some of the knowledge we have earned through hard school labor. I for one would be devastated to watch our youth’s minds deteriorate and lose valuable practice and exercise that would usually be found in school. As I move on with my graduating class of 2015, I offer to the Ka Leo Na ‘Opio readers one of my favorite reads for most of my youth. The 1946 novel Animal Farm, written by Eric Blair, under the now world famous pseudonym of George Orwell, details the satirical presence of communism, fascism, and dictatorship, as experienced in Russia and Spain, on a typical English livestock farm.

Manor Farm is inhabited by a careless farmer, named in the novella as a Mr. Jones, and his over-worked, mistreated animals. When an old and respected hog of his lays during the last days of his life in the barn, the animals all gather near as the hog, named Major as he conveys to them a mysterious dream he had the night before. Major expresses to them the hopelessness of life as a farm animal, such as the condition of their practical enslavement and neglect, and tell the animals of his dream of an Earth which has been rid of Man and his greed, which Major declares to be the root of “all evils in this life of ours”. The meeting is ended with the animals learning and singing Major’s song of what Earth should be like without the greed of unproductive Man to soil it., and with a deafening shotgun blast from Mr. Jones.

After Major’s death three days later, the clever pigs Snowball, Squealer and Napoleon stir up a rebellion which drives Jones and his lazy men from the farm. Food is rationed out, and all is well, as the animals follow the Seven Commandments, foremost among these is that “All animals are equal.” What occurs after these rules are set details in satirical consequence the events in the Spanish, Russian and Indian conflicts in which the government separates itself so much from its people that it is no longer run in their favor or best interest. Twists and turns riddle this enrapturing plot, effectively conveying its characters along to a climactic end, which deserves a place among the greatest of Orwell’s writings.

This book dissects and investigates the very root of all troubles in this world, the issue leading to all great world conflicts, and asks us if we really do see each other all as equals in our own rights ,and would power catch us off guard in its crafty ways and turn us against those we are meant to care for. This book in itself is the greatest reflection of human nature and greed that I have seen to date.