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Animal Farm
Narrated by Ralph Cosham
Written by George Orwell (1945)
ESL English Listening :: Adult Literacy

Animal Farm is George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong. It is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both as an engaging story and as an allegory.

"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength..."

At last, the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm get rid of their drunken human master and take over management of the land. Now, everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, there is plenty of food for everyone. "All animals are equal." Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders because of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. This piggish brotherhood betrays the revolution, cynically excusing their violence and greed. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." The common animals find that they are no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm.

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