Animal Farm by George Orwell is considered a classic in literature. An allegory and satire that is based on the events of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the novel combines literary devices, power-hungry characters, and a wild plot to depict a society that has gone amuck.
When Old Major shares a dream he has for his fellow animals, that animals will all live as equals, free from the oversight of the farmer, Mr. Jones, the farm animals rally around him in support of his idea. Soon, three pigs spread the word of Animalism, and begin to make changes on the farm to enact Old Major’s ideas.
As the animals begin to prosper and enjoy their new way of life, power struggles between the pigs arise, with Napoleon ultimately claiming power over the other leaders. Soon, the animals begin to suffer under Napoleon’s dictatorship.
In the coming years, the animals grow more and more like humans and the idea that all animals are equal is distorted to fit their view that some animals are more important than others. A fascinating interpretation of society and how certain groups are oppressed, Orwell’s book serves as an allegory and a satire for readers.
If you’ve just finished reading Animal Farm and are on the search for similar books, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of books, some that are classics, which serve up some compelling allegories and satire and intense plots with intricate characters.
Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
This novel is a perfect read-alike for fans of Animal Farm who are searching for a satirical novel featuring animals as major political players. As Old Horse, the leader of Jidada, suffers a political failure, the horse Tuvy gains control.
While the animals of the Jidada suffer under Tuvy’s regime, they must make a decision to revolt or to continue to suffer. Based on events in Zimbabwe’s political history, the parallels between this novel and Animal Farm are many.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Set during World War II when children were being evacuated from Britain, a group of schoolboys is stranded on an island when their plane crashes. As they attempt to govern themselves, alliances are made, trust is broken, and power-hungry children clash.
This novel is a fascinating allegory representing the consequences of individuals becoming drunk with power. Readers who enjoyed Animal Farm will find connections between the two.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Kafka’s concise and metaphorical novel provides an allegory for people who feel isolated from the rest of society. When George Samsa wakes up one morning to go to work as a businessman, he is shocked to find himself transformed into a beetle.
As he tries to navigate life in his new form, he feels alienated from his family and his community. Fans of Animal Farm will be drawn to this quirky, enlightening tale.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess’s classic novel A Clockwork Orange is the story of a young man who goes on a violent tirade with his street gang. At once both a jarring and enlightening work, the novel serves as an examination of the role of choice in good and evil.
Find a copy of A Clockwork Orange here.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
A science fiction novel set in a futuristic society, readers of Animal Farm will enjoy this book for the message and deep themes throughout. The novel follows three friends as they grow up at a boarding school.
When they learn that two of them are clones and are being raised as organ donors, their world is shattered. Readers have interpreted the book to be an allegory about societal oppression, making this a great read for fans of Animal Farm.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
A deeply thoughtful novel that offers commentary about society, Fahrenheit 451 is a classic that explores the role of censorship in society.
As in Animal Farm, the efforts to control society backfire, and the main character, Montag undergoes a transformation. As the story begins, he is a fireman who partakes in censoring ideologies by burning books. Upon meeting a young lady with a curious personality, he begins to take an interest in the books that he has been censoring.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo
A beautiful story about a young shepherd named Santiago who embarks on a journey, readers will be drawn to Coehlo’s rich writing. Santiago’s journey is an allegory for self-discovery, as he encounters various creatures and people who offer enlightenment.
While reading this book, you’ll be immersed in the beautiful world Santiago journeys through, and Coehlo’s words will fascinate you as they beckon you to consider new truths.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Readers are captivated by Martel’s story of a young man who is shipwrecked in a raft. As days pass and tally up to a total of 227, Pi and the other survivor, a tiger named Richard Parker learn to live in harmony.
A story about belief and faith, this beautiful novel is great for fans of Animal Farm because it will prompt them to ask questions and draw out allegories.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Set in a futuristic dystopian society in which citizens are genetically altered and conditioned, the story focuses on Bernard and Lenina. When they venture outside of their hometown of London, they meet a young man and his mother, whom they bring back to their city with varying degrees of acceptance.
A novel that is compelling and insightful, readers of Animal Farm will enjoy being transported to this alternate world where the government dictates how the citizens think and act.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
In Conrad’s classic novel, he creates an allegory of the evils and brutality of European colonialism, which will draw readers of Animal Farm into its pages.
As sailor Marlow ventures to meet a man named Kurtz, who is reputed to be magnificent in getting ivory from Africa, the sailor begins to suspect that Kurtz has in fact gone mad.
Buy a copy of Heart of Darkness here.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Captain Ahab is on a fierce hunt for a white whale named Moby Dick, told through the eyes of a sailor named Ishmael. Ahab seeks to exact revenge on the whale, who injured him.
A thoughtful, dense tome of a book that’s been a classic for over a century, Melville presents an allegory for readers to unpack as they are drawn into the whaling world of Ishmael and Ahab.
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
This beautiful story of an old fisherman who defies the odds and hooks a giant marlin to end his dry streak is a powerful story. When Santiago takes to the sea and catches a marlin, the two struggle for three days with the fisherman eventually overpowering the fish.
When sharks consume the fish, Santiago returns home with only its skeleton, disheartened and exhausted. Yet he gains appreciation and praise from his village, who recognize his hard work. Readers of Animal Farm will appreciate the message of this novel.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, is set in Massachusetts in a Puritan community. The letter A is affixed to Hester Prynne’s clothing, a symbol to her community that she has had an affair.
As she lives her life with her daughter, she is aided by a young minister named Arthur Dimmesdale and has a strained relationship with her estranged husband. Readers will be drawn to Hawthorne’s commentary on society, which reflects similarities to Orwell’s writing.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Focusing on a young man who is obsessed with his appearances, Oscar Wilde’s novel paints a deep allegory about the price one will pay to maintain their youth.
Dorian Gray strikes a deal to trade his soul if a portrait could suffer aging rather than himself. As the situation spirals out of control, readers will enjoy unpacking the social commentary Wilde has layered into his novel.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
For another deeply thoughtful book, readers of Animal Farm will enjoy indulging in The Stranger by Albert Camus. Focusing on the murder trial of Meursault, readers learn how he has just killed a man and has been sentenced to prison.
While the trial focuses on his lack of emotion after his mother passes, readers will gain access to his mind as he spirals out of control.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A classic full of passion, betrayal, and murder, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glittering novel is a great book for readers of Animal Farm in that they will be drawn into the author’s world.
The novel follows Nick Carraway, who lives next door to Jay Gatsby. Nick is taken along for a ride as Jay attempts to win back the love of his life Daisy Buchanan. A deep and beautifully written novel, readers on the search for another classic will be happy they picked this one up.
Find your copy of The Great Gatsby here.
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
This slim novel really packs a punch, and readers will enjoy unpacking the literary devices that are embedded in Steinbeck’s work. The story focuses on a diver named Kino and his family. When Kino finds a large pearl during one of his dives, his life begins to spiral out of control due to greed.
With a message for all, The Pearl presents a fascinating exploration into human desires that readers of Animal Farm will be drawn to.
The Trial by Franz Kafka
A stunning look at the dangers of totalitarian government, The Trial is the story of a man who is accused of a crime that he is unaware of. As banker Josef K. feels the oppression of a totalitarian government, he feels powerless and doomed.
For readers who enjoyed the critique of government in Animal Farm, there’s a lot to unpack here.
1984 by George Orwell
If you enjoyed Animal Farm, chances are you’ll love Orwell’s other novels, including 1984. The setting is Oceania and the government is run by Big Brother and the Thought Police, who are able to manipulate facts to control the narrative.
Enter: Winston Smith, who has maintained the ability to think for himself, leading him to join a resistance group called the Brotherhood. A deeply compelling novel examining a political dystopian society, this is a book you’ll be drawn into.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This haunting and intense novel has been adapted to a popular television series and depicts a Puritan society in the future in which women have lost their freedom. Offred is a Handmaid, whose only job is to bear children.
Readers will be fascinated by the role the government plays in this novel, as Offred has flashbacks to life before the rise of the government of Gilead.
What is Animal Farm based on?
Animal Farm is based on the Russian Revolution and the leaders Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and Leon Trotsky.
What other books did George Orwell write?
Orwell wrote in several types of genres, but penned a total of six fictional books, including 1984, Animal Farm, Burmese Days, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Coming up for Air, and A Clergyman’s Daughter.
Has Animal Farm been adapted to a movie or television show?
Yes, there was a television show adaptation in 1999 and a movie adaptation in 1954.
What type of writing is Animal Farm considered to be?
Animal Farm is considered to be both an allegory and a satire.
Has Animal Farm been banned?
Yes, Animal Farm has been banned in many places due to its themes and readers’ misunderstandings of it as a critique against Stalin’s communism.
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