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Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 

and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, 

was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow directed Stalinism, an attitude

that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War.

 

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality.

But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought,

and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.