Archive for August 2015
Remember I share the list of books recommended for teens which some of them have been included on recent GCSE course? One of them is “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.
I managed to grab it last weekend and finish it on Sunday. After reading it, mm… just like I admire they put “To Kill a Mockingbird” in the list, I agree that this is another good one to be in. Sigh… comparing with what the teenagers here read, mm..
Oh ya, it is an amusing read also for Malaysian adults at this time round.
Below is the summary of the book:
“It talked about how animals in Mr Jones’ farm plotted a rebellion against Jones. Two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon are the important figures and planners for the revolution which chases Jones and his men off the farm. The farm is renamed “Animal Farm” and the Seven Commandments of Animalism are painted on the barn wall.
Initially, the rebellion is a success: The animals complete the harvest and meet every Sunday to debate farm policy. The pigs, because of their intelligence, become the supervisors of the farm. Napoleon, however, proves to be a power-hungry leader who steals the cows’ milk and a number of apples to feed himself and the other pigs. He also enlists the services of Squealer, a pig with the ability to persuade the other animals that the pigs are always moral and correct in their decisions.”
** Note 1: to Malaysian adult readers: Isn’t the above highlighted in orange sound familiar? **
“Snowball, on the other hands, immersed in drawing plans for a windmill, which will provide electricity and thereby give the animals more leisure time, but Napoleon vehemently opposes such a plan on the grounds that building the windmill will allow them less time for producing food. On the Sunday that the pigs offer the windmill to the animals for a vote, Napoleon summons a pack of ferocious dogs, who chase Snowball off the farm forever. Napoleon announces that there will be no further debates; he also tells them that the windmill will be built after all and lies that it was his own idea, stolen by Snowball. For the rest of the novel, Napoleon uses Snowball as a scapegoat on whom he blames all of the animals’ hardships.
Years pass and Animal Farm expands its boundaries after Napoleon purchases two fields from another neighboring farmer. Life for all the animals (except the pigs) is harsh. “
“Eventually, the pigs begin walking on their hind legs and take on many other qualities of their former human oppressors. The Seven Commandments are reduced to a single law: “All Animals Are Equal / But Some Are More Equal Than Others.“
** Note 2: Quiz for Malaysian adult readers: Can you find someone or something in real life which you can relate to for the following characters in the book
Napolean: (tips: a leader, e.g. the cockerel in chicken coop)
Squealer: (tips: they are good at spinning things: right becomes wrong, wrong becomes right. I bet you can get a few names. Latest one I like is he who said only crazy people who cannot appreciate the beauty of weak ringgit)
The nine ferocious growling dogs: (tips: some kind of ‘watch dog’ organizations, for example, those making sure no sharing of information in social media which might affect the peace and cause national instability, disrupt public order etc)
The sheep singing ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ : (tips: some NGO may be ?)
Boxer the incredible strong horse with maxim “Napolean is always right” : (tips: I believe we have a whole lot of these who are ignorant of what is happening around them, and still saying “xxxxx is always right”)
Lastly, “Long live Animal Farm!”
From the TES site https://www.tes.co.uk/news/school-news/breaking-news/100-fiction-books-all-children-should-read-leaving-secondary-school-%E2%80%93, here are the top 10 books to read before leaving secondary school. Most of the novels in the top 10 have been included on recent GCSE courses.
1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. Animal Farm by George Orwell
4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
5. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
6. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
7. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
8. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
9. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The only books published in the last 50 years on the list, are Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.
Let’s see,.. hmm.. I just finished no 3 “Animal Farm”; done with “Harry Potter” and “To Kill the Mockingbird”. Seven more to go.