Updated: Jul 17, 2020
Before I start ranting, here's our ranking of top 5 Comrades:
The Roger Goodell of the Farm.
The talking head. The fall guy. The commish. Whatever you want to call it, the embodiment of a public speaker with no actual power. Squealer's job is to give speeches & try and to seem genuine to the masses, while actually taking orders from some shady entity. There are countless modern examples of this idea.
Squealer wades through murky waters, answering public questions so his boss doesn't have to, and cashes some nice checks in the process.
Squealer's work is done efficiently in a few press conferences per year.
In another timeline, he may have been a poet or gameshow host. In this one, just a political puppet.
Perfect name for the character too. 5th spot for lil bitch piggy for the idea he represents.
The donkey who saw it all coming. The Michael Burry of the story.
Uninterested in getting involved with the animal uprising, Ben knows how it's all destined to play out.
This dude is just along for the ride. The, "Oldest and worst tempered animal on the farm," Ben keeps to himself, does his required work, and when pressed on his dismissive attitude, simply replies,
"Donkey's live a long time"
BUT, he did stick up for the homie Boxer when times got tough at the end of the story. Ben screams into the void for a minute, showing frustration with his peers & genuine concern for his long time buddy.
Coveted 4th spot for the hard-ass.
The JFK of the farm.
Snowball was a visionary that cared for the well being of each farm animal.
But, while Snowball was focused on ideas that would improve quality of life for everyone, she is undermined by a scheming piece of shit pig, which we're not mentioning in this article because fuck that guy.
No one knows what happened to Snowball. I like to think she's still out there, plotting her comeback or managing her own independent farm.
The world needs more Snowballs. Bronze medal for the pig whose ideas exceeded output.
God dammit. Not Boxer. The work horse. The Tim Duncan of the Farm. This dude never quit, and kept grinding until the bitter end. Imagine if Tim Duncan never made the playoffs and then on his retirement date was murdered & his kidneys sold.
I'm sticking up for my boy, somebody has to. Plans to cultivate his mind after his body was used up never came to fruition. The saddest part of the story, this dude was pure-hearted & taken advantage of all his life. RIP to the legend.
Good job boxer, rest easy buddy, you earned the number 2 spot.
1. Ole Major
The pig that started it all.
Ole Major saw his time was over, swung hard, connected & peace'd out. This dude started a revolution overnight with his ability to think & communicate ideas.
The story begins with Ole Major, the smartest animal of all time, universally respected on the farm, on his death bed, summarizing his life's wisdom with all the other animals huddled around. By the time he dies, the animals are ready to revolt. He even writes a hit song! "Beasts of England" is both a jam & a unifying force that keeps the animal uprising alive. Legend.
It's hard to even pin down a human comparison. Tesla/George Washington/Jesus? Yoda in ten pages, MJ without getting a chance to make the comeback tour? I just checked, he's only in the story for 10 pages, but the impact he leaves & the meaning of his words are timeless & some of the best writing Orwell ever produced. In short, Ole major is the GOAT.
Again, Animal Farm is a masterpiece. This thing is referenced constantly, from Pink Floyd, to Rick and Morty, to The Beatles. An iconic example of making complex ideas simple, while leaving the door open to imagination. All of this happens in the background of an emotionally compelling plot with highly developed characters. In 100 pages.
Orwell has strong opinions on what makes good writing, and most of it boils down to saying a lot in few words. Communicating complex ideas in simple terms that anyone can consider.
Even if you were forced to skim Animal Farm in highschool or something, trust me it's worth revisiting.
Give it a shot, then come back here & talk with us about it. We'll have more book recommendations ready for you.