Jul 6, 2022

a story above all

My son Malcolm, now 12, and I finished reading Orwell’s Animal Farm last night. Malcolm understood that the work is a political allegory—you know, kind of—and that the context of the 1940s locates the themes in time, and that the commentary on power and human weakness is provocative, sobering, timeless. But it was the characters that were most affecting: loyal and tired old Boxer, simpering Squealer, and, on the sidelines, Benjamin, both observant and withholding. Malcolm’s first question, in the silence after I read the last paragraph: Is there a sequel?