1984 & Animal Farm

2 min readJan 20, 2018

As are greatest novelists in the history, George Orwell is a genius in observing human behaviors. 1984 and Animal Farm, two books I recently read, are satirically describing Stalin’s Soviet Union and its leaders whose goal is not happiness of the “comrades” but their own private benefit. The passages are full of his eloquence and sense of black humor, and even in disastrous situations presented in the book, I couldn’t stop making a tiny smile.

The stupider animals were unable to learn the Seven Commandments (note: 7 key principles for “Animalism”) by heart. After much thought Snowball declared that the Seven Commandments could in effect be reduced to a single maxim, namely: “Four legs good, two legs bad. (Animal Farm)

Messages came to Winston’s office through the smallest hole. Newspapers came to him through the middle hole. The largest hole was for waste paper; hot air carried that away. These large holes were called ‘memory holes’, for some reason. (1984)

Orwell hated not only Stalin’s Soviet Union but also the Western Countries, including his U.K., which made the alliance to win in the World War II. We can find his bitterness over leaders in the world. In Animal Farm, he describes human beings make friends with pigs dominating the animal farms regardless of the ‘unfairness’ inside the farm. According to his critical eyes, all leaders may seem to be interested in only one thing — gaining more power than before, as O’Brien in 1984 said:

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives.(1984)

We can observe leaders’ inclination to power everywhere in the world. I am not just talking about political leaders but all sorts of leaders, i.e., entrepreneurs, top management of big companies, etc. They sometimes seem to be forgetting the original purpose of doing their jobs, though for some people to get authority is the only purpose from the beginning. I personally hate it and wish that I remain the same forever.