BOOK SUMMARY on ANIMAL FARM
“Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely!”
This is the theme of the book named Animal Farm written by George Orwell in 1943. This book was published by a publishing house in London named Secker and Warburg. The book opens with a description of a secret meeting taking place between the animals of an animal farm which is owned by Mr. Jones. The meeting is being headed by a wild boar named Old Major. He is discussing a dream that saw the previous night. In that dream, he saw that the Animal Farm was free of atrocities committed by the Human beings. The farm was being governed by the free animals and Mr. Jones was no longer able to steal their hard work’s produce. Soon after this incident, the Old Major dies. Two pigs named Napoleon and Snowball take up the cause and start a revolution. They throw out Mr. Jones from the farm and seize control of the farm under the name of animals.
The revolution is a great success in the initial stages. Animals are very happy. All the work on the farm is distributed equally among all of them. The overall efficiency of the farm increases. At the end of the day the output of the farm is divided equally among animals.
But slowly trouble starts to seep in. Pigs seem to be seizing more and more control of the farm. They also start to shirk more and more work on the pretext that “governing the farm” is a hard and tiring job. On the same lines they start taking a higher share of the output. At some point of time in the book, Napoleon with his fellow pigs, seizes absolute control of the farm. He banishes the fellow revolutionary, Snowball. Life under the control of Napoleon starts to deteriorate. They are made to work more and more and given lesser share of the output. After point of time, they start to think whether their life was better under Mr. Jones or under Napoleon.
The book, Animal Farm, is a political allegory. It describes a history of a revolution that went horribly wrong. It take be treated as a fairy tale for a child or as an analysis of the causes of the failure of communism in Russia. It describes a lot of characters which resemble personalities that existed in the communist era. For instance, the Old Major who is discussing his dream with the fellow animals in the beginning of the book can be compared to Karl Marx or Lenin discussing their ideology of communism with the fellow Russians. Napoleon, the absolute dictator of the farm, was Joseph Stalin of Soviet union while Snoball was Trotsky. he description of Mr. Jones fits well with that of the Russian Czars who existed during the pre-communist era. There are a lot of incidents described as well from which analogies can be drawn to that period. For instance, the betrayal incident by the neighbor farm can be compared to that of betrayal by Germany in 1941.
George Orwell was a great political critique of his time. He hated communism, even though he has served in the loyalist forces in Spanish civil war. He hated leftists, even though he himself was a true socialist. He wrote this book in 1943, but being opposed to communism and Joseph Stalin, both of whom were very popular around that time, he could not find a publisher until after the second war. Despite being criticised by the political world, the book became very popular and remains as oe of the most accurate political satires of all times.
I would recommend this book strongly to those who have active interest in the modern history. They will find it very interesting and fascinating to draw analogies from the communist period.
MDI PGPM 2011-13
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Some Thoughts on LIFE
– Ronak Kosti
I asked myself : Is life meant to be simple or is it meant to be complex ? Mahatma Gandhi’s way of living defined the word “simplicity” during his time. He used only those resources that were necessary. His clothing was minimal. His belongings were comparable to that of sadhus and rishis of those times. He used to weave his own clothes. This showed how meticulous he was in using resources. People got inspired from him and started following his footsteps. They abandoned fancy clothes, expensive luxuries, designer antiques,…,etc. Use was made of only those things that were needed otherwise. He believed in “ Satya aur Ahimsa”. This simple belief made him a legend in the Indian history of attaining Independence. Truly his life is legendary.
Walking on the same line of thought, we also observe the life of our former president viz. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He is called the “Missile man of India”. His life is also great. He worked hard to give India it’s first nuke. He could see into the most complex working of a nuclear bomb all the while to looking into the future of India. I would call his life as a sophisticated life. A life full of vision, development, work,…and many more things which cannot be described in words. He is an ‘idol’ for many people.
Moving on on the same line, I come across a junction where I find myself brooding over which path to take. The simple one , the one taken by Mahatma Gandhi or the more complex one , the one being taken by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. These are two really good paths. The journey is never ending in either. Looking into today’s world I see that we are so much involved in show-biz that we have forgotten that life is just a pause in the endless play of Universe. There are lots of philosophical stuff written about life. All are trying to give a different perspective of life. I am intentionally mentioning ‘trying’ because I think that it takes one’s lifetime to master the art of living. One lifetime seems short to get a gist of life . Even after living life to the fullest, you are incapable of describing what it is. Is there anything like “absolute satisfaction”? Man is searching for it since long ago. I think that it is a search which tends to infinity in time domain. Whatever we learn in that search, we pass it on to the next generation for that search to continue.
Well I think that life is consciousness. A feeling that says we all are connected. I wonder why people try to find connections amongst themselves. Maybe because they feel good being connected to one another. Fundamentally we are trying to relate one another and try to find meaning in that. I think that life is an opportunity. An opportunity to look, hear, feel, utter life in it’s various forms. It is amazing how each one of us has a unique interpretation of life. How each of us think, feel, live, express and enjoy life. Amazingly these interpretations have one point in common, death. It is like a tree with death as it’s seed and the branches as many interpretations of life. Death is just another journey into an unknown horizon. A horizon which we all have to arrive at no matter what or who we are.
– Ronak Kosti.
An arab saying goes: “a cat has nine lives”.
We know that sayings/proverbs are generalization of repeated happenings and that their message is not “often” true. In the proverb mentioned, let us assume that the message is true. But then the question arises why “nine” lives? There would be many beliefs about the same. Logical explanation could be that same thing is done nine times for one possible reason: “EXPERIMENT”. The executer knows the purpose of that experiment. Now, who is this executer? He can’t be some human like us. He has to be some superhuman( just an advanced version of us ). He wants to observe the outcome of setting up same things in different situations. He is a one of the superhumans who has been set up to plot, derive and execute the life cycle of all the cats in this world. For this precise reason he has set nine lives of a cat. He can make improvements or degrade the cat’s existence on this earth according to what they want the civilization on this earth to go to a particular end.
Thinking in the same line for us humans.
There are also some super humans who have been assigned the task of controlling our lives. That there are many like us who have taken birth in different environments and theyhave grown up to be different persons. The superhumans have designed this earth for some purpose of their own. Right from the birth of a new child in those unique circumstances till the brutal death of a person in those unimaginable times, these superhumans have programmed everything on this earth. They have made us believe that their work is so complex as to beduplicated. Slowly and steadily they have evolved the life form on the earth. They have revealed those laws of physics precisely at the time they meant them to be. On the other side we have worked on those laws and invented marvels out of them. May be those ‘laws of physics’ are the axioms/postulates on which this life form is based on ( or “they” wanted to be based on ). The superhumans are the master players of this game and we are the pawns. Their ability is unimaginable. They have devised our minds and controlled our actions to their requirements. They know every feeling they want to instate inside us. To enhance our conceptual understanding of these superhumans let us look at our world. Men have build robots that have human resemblance. This began with “a thought”. First the concept of these robots was materialized, their characteristics defined, their nature explained and lastly their mechanism specified. On proper assembly of the above statements in the practical sense, robot was manufactured.
Taking this to the next level, we have now conceptualized and described the nature of the “cyborgs”. These cyborgs are more conceptually connected to the humans than robots. Looking into the future, there will be a period when we will be controlling these cyborgs ( or may be some other advanced machine made by us ). A day might come when we will be sending these machines to other worlds( may be planets, comets, stars…etc) to explore the terrain and set up suitable environment for us to migrate there and establish a community. Further into the future, there might come a day when we will be experimenting on these machines. We will send these machines on some planet to evolve and grow. We would do that for our own interest. We would be building a new planet out of star dust( forthe whole universe would have been populated by then). We would be controlling their movements and we will be introducing physical laws to them when we would mean to.
Resemblance, association, connection, relation, similarity, affiliation, link, bond …… if you find one of these words describe you the “interrelation” of “humanssuperhumans” to “cyborgs (machine)-humans” then you got me. Now, what I explained was a theory (based on imagination and fantasy). I do not have any logical basis for that. Yet, I strongly believe such ideas in contrast to the existence of god. The ideas I presented may be similar to those which describe the nature of “god”. Superhumans can be substituted for “god” for some people but not for me.
III EC, SVNIT, Surat.
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