Book Review: Animal Farm

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I want to talk about two characters who are not very important—Benjamin and Mollie. It seemed that they didn’t do anything to change the farm’s life. They had shortcomings, but they didn’t as heinous as the pigs, they didn’t as loyal and hardworking as boxer, but they had their own advantages, they were more like the common people in our life, or we can even find ourselves on them. In my opinion, they had one thing in common—they were both pretty clear headed.

Benjamin, the oldest and the worst tempered on the farm, he seldom talked and never laughed, he was boring and weird. However, the friendship between Boxer and him really touches me, he also had a mild side.

I think Benjamin knew clearly what the pigs did, the pigs couldn’t cheat him successfully from first to last, because he was smart enough and could read well, he was able to realize that pigs had turned other animals into their slaves, but what did he did? Nothing. He never thought to tell the other animals the truth and lead them to revolt. But because he knew the truth, he didn’t work hard and he had no hope for the future, no passion for the life and Animal Farm, he just suffered from the hard life and sometimes complained about it. He knew it clearly that he was always the slave no matter in the past, at the moment or in the future.

Why didn’t he revolt? Maybe he thought others were too stupid to understand the truth, or he worried no one would believe him and the pigs would execute him. I think that’s because his negative attitude to the life. Most of the time, he was a bystander who understood everything but never tried to change anything. He won’t live very happy, but also not very hard. He won’t end up like the other animals who had been cheated, they worked for the pigs, got little but believed they were working for themselves, but there was nothing for him to strive. He only accepted all the things around him, no matter it’s nice, bad, exciting, boring, delightful, heartbreaking……there weren’t any difference for him, every day in his eyes was the same. He was sober, but only sober.

Mollie, she was vain and lazy, she liked, even enjoined to be the humans’slave, because she could get sugar and ribbon, so she regarded being slave as her life and left for it. She knew the life she desired and pursued it, what’s wrong with that? She lived in the life she wanted, happy and content.

Nevertheless, although they were clear headed, they lived just for themselves. They never thought to help other animals get rid of the pig’s control and cheat, let them truly work for themselves and lived in a happy life. They made their lives weren’t too bad, but they didn’t concerned others. It’s the instinct—selfishness, but it wasn’t their fault. It’s nature for everyone to care about themselves first, especially when their lives are hard, either. So I think Benjamin and Mollie are the most common and real guys in the book, like most common people. They aren’t bad persons, but they don’t as noble as saints, they have the weakness of human nature, but there’re also kindness in their hearts. For us, we don’t need to disgust ourselves for the shortcomings and weakness, that’s normal, at the same time, when we are happy, why not care a little more about others and spread the happiness?

郭笑言同学是Upbook公益读书会的第一期学员,用了10天的时间完成了《动物农场》英文原书的阅读,期间每天要把阅读中的生词整理出来,然后回答每一章的问题。终极作业是写一篇书评。

郭笑言同学的书评分析了两个动物形象,一个是驴子Benjamin和绵羊Mollie。这两个形象的选择挺有意思,一个是智者的化身,一个是资产阶级的代表。笑言同学表达了自己对这两个形象的看法。

作为一名准国际部高一新生,笑言表现出了很好的语言能力,能够表达出鲜明的观点,视角独特,是一篇优秀的作品。语言表达基本没有大的文法错误,我没有做任何修改,偶有小错误也是完全可以理解的。

文后附了往期读书会中关于《动物农场》的往期读书会和presentation,对比来读一下,还是很有意思的。

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