Animal Farm: A Fairy Story

The heartbreaking work that serves as a cautionary tale for group dynamics. It begins with the utopian vision that all animals are equal, and then the pigs amend that to say that some are more equal than others. The revolution begins with a speech in the barn by the grizzled boar, Old Major, who imparts wisdom on his near-dying bed. “Among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.” The major goes on to outline the rest of what ends up as the Seven Commandments written on the wall, whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy, whatever on four legs or has wings is a friend. No animal must lie in a house, sleep in a bed, wear clothes, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, touch money or engage in trade. No animal must ever kill any other animal. Finally, he gifts the listening animals with the full verses of Beasts of England (sung to the tune of La Cucaracha), which had returned to him in a dream. After the Major dies, his ideas are taken up by three smart pigs: Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer. The revolution came after Mr. Jones was too hungover to feed the animals, so they fed themselves at the end of the day. When confronted by the men, the hungry animals revolted, sending the humans packing.
Dawn breaks on the animal-run farm, utopia thought to be achieved. But the cows get milked and their milk disappears… animals find out later that the pigs had the milk mixed into their slop, a necessary thing for all the “brainwork” the pigs are doing. Naturally things devolve from here, with the pigs becoming the ruling class, giving orders, sleeping late, moving into the house, walking on hind legs, brewing up beer. Napoleon chases Snowball out with the help of the puppies he has raised to defend him. History is re-written. The windmill is attacked and rebuilt. Trade is engaged with neighboring farms. The pigs become men.
Follow up reading: Darkness at Noon by Koestler