NOTE: I shall put after each character a quick note stating who they represent as far as its allegory to the Russian Revolution goes.
Orwell may have written his little satirical novella during World War Two, but its allegorical references and innocent significance remain relevant to this day, perhaps especially when you consider the revolutions, uprisings, protests and general unrest which unravelled throughout 2011. For if these rebellions are going to truly succeed, they must not only get rid of the original authority but replace with it a more justifiable counterpart or perhaps something completely different, like, in the case of anarchism, nothing at all.
In short, as I don’t wish to go too far into the plot, it is a story about a farm whose animals, after receiving inspiration from the late Old Major (Marx), decide to revolt against the authority which is the farmer Jones (Tsar Nicholas II). Lead primarily by the pigs and, more specifically, Snowball (Trotsky) and Napoleon (Stalin), it goes on to document (if that is the correct word) the events which follow, mainly concerning the misuse and mutation of the original ideaology set forth at the beginning, and how greed can so easily consume the good intentions of a revolution and lead it to an autocracy perhaps worse than the previous state.
But Orwell does not do this in an ordinary manner. Anyone who has read the book will have noted the very truthful and all-knowing third-person narrator, who seems to have no bias whatsoever, giving it a somewhat fable like feel. Some questioned this, but its importance as a mechanism for the book is invaluable. Unlike a political rant for carefulness during a revolt, this narrator seems much more believable, and, unlike a biased account, you feel like you’re getting the entire story. Indeed, in some aspects it is true that you could walk out of it believing something far from the author’s intentions, such as, for instance, pigs are naturally supeiror to other animals. It gives you no clues as to which side is right or wrong, and in that gives some independence for your interpretation of the novel, even if it need only be to use a bit of common sense. It is this innocence, this belivability, the like of which rarely seen bar in fairy stories (indeed, it was originally called Animal Farm: A Fairy Story), that makes the message of Animal Farm become amplified, and its lasting result resounding throughout one’s mind. All in all, a thoroughly good and, some would say, necessary read.