ANIMAL FARM: ABUSE, PRODUCTIVITY AND DONKEYS
📘 Book: Animal Farm, George Orwell
If hilariously uncomfortable was a book. I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be comedy but it’s almost like it couldn’t be helped. I don’t remember how exactly this book got on my reading list but I’m so grateful for it. If you’d like a light-but-heavy, depressing-but-funny, tragic-but-hopeful look into politics, history, systems and humanity and you don’t mind a continuous metaphor of animals - definitely would recommend this one.
It describes animals in a farm fighting for freedom from humans, and eventually progressing into what only can be described into a dictatorship, group-brainwashing, tragic end that brings them right back to (but much worse off) than where they started. The takeaways below will be completely random.
It’s a well-written, relevant, interesting classic. Go for it. Especially if you’re curious about group-thinking and dictatorships. (That sounded weird, sorry)
🪄 Actionable takeaways:
God gave donkeys a tail to bat flies, but they’d rather have no tail and no flies. It’s funny to consider how much we focus on improving our solutions to problems, when possibly some of those problems we can remove entirely, or we are creating ourselves.
When things are going badly in the world, or our country, or the systems we are involved in, our solution is often to think we must just work harder ourselves. Waking up an hour earlier to work is a poor solution to a systemic issue, yet the good worker puts systemic responsibility consistently on himself. How much do we do this in our own lives?
When you go from one bad situation into a worse one, you are at high risk of remaining in the second (especially abusive situations). Thoughts of ‘at least this is better’, ‘surely this is not as bad as before’ can convince you to stay when really, all one should do is leave and heal.
There are days when we’d rather have less figures and more food: companies or people we work for can show their numerical (or personal financial) gain as our own, but sometimes we’re rewarded with nothing tangible or deserved.
When you cannot make up your mind, it’s easy to just agree with whomever is talking at the moment. Maybe it’s better to just not agree when you’re in this position.
When something is described vividly, it’s easy for us to assume it is true, or to remember it happening when it never did. Using emotive language to convince us of something is a powerful way to do so.
We can lack the words to express our thoughts. When trying to decipher the feelings an animal must have, it’s easy to see that they wouldn’t be able to verbalise it. That often is us too. We don’t have a writer narrating what must be going on, but we can assume that it is also complex and beyond our words a lot of the time.
🧝♀️ Fave Quotes:
"Will there still be sugar after the rebellion?"
"I’ll wake up an hour earlier."
There were days when they’d rather have less figures and more food.
Such were her thoughts, although she lacked the words to express them.
God had given him a tail to bat flies, but he’d sooner have no tail and no flies.
📘 Book: Animal Farm, George Orwell
PS. If you'd like to see me talk through my (very unfiltered and rambly) thoughts, lessons and summaries of books, I host a raw-book-club video series on Nebula. The cheapest deal to get it is through Curiosity Stream, and you can get yearly access to both for under $15 a year with this link: https://curiositystream.com/elizabethfilips