Sunday, March 29, 2009

Animal Farm

Animal Farm, by George Orwell, 1946 (114 pages)

I actually first read this book in high school. I remember choosing it as one of my "outside reading" assignments, and although I thought it was a decent book, I didn't realize until years later that it was actually an allegory!

I first taught this book during my student teaching assignment while in college. That's probably where I first learned the history of the book, and when I learned that the entire book is really telling the story of the Russian Revolution. Over the years, I think I've taught this book 6 or 7 times, to probably 3-5 classes at a time. Needless to say, I've read it a LOT. So when I got this long-term sub job, it was actually rather nice to see that one of the units I would be teaching was the Animal Farm unit. Frankly, I probably could've taught the unit just fine without reading the book again, but I wanted it to be fresh, so I read it one more time.

I really enjoy teaching this book, largely because I enjoy teaching the history behind it. I told Shawn the other day that maybe I missed my true calling...maybe I should've been a history teacher. :) If you've never read the book before, I strongly recommend that you try it. Just take the time to learn the political history of Russia, starting with Csar Nicholas II, through the Russian Revolution, and ending up with Stalin. Otherwise, you may get through the entire book and think that it's simply a bizarre little story about a bunch of pigs and some other farm animals. :)

Total number of books read in 2009: 15
Total number of pages read in 2009: 6124

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