Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy. Ultimately, however, the rebellion is betrayed, and the farm ends up in a state as bad as it was before, under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon. According to Orwell, the fable 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. The Soviet Union had become a brutal dictatorship built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin ("un conte satirique contre Staline"), and in his essay "Why I Write" (1946), wrote that Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, "to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole". Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels, and number 46 on the BBC's The Big Read poll. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996 and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.
George Orwell, whose real name is Eric Arthur Blair, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and commitment to democratic socialism. Orwell was born on the 25th June, 1903 in Motihari, Bihar, in British India where he spent his first days. His mother brought him and his older sister, Marjorie, to England about a year after his birth and settled in Henley-on-Thames. Because his father stayed behind in India and rarely visited, George Orwell and his father never formed a strong bond. Orwell was later sent to a boarding school, which he hated and where he got his first taste of England's class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He won scholarships to Wellington College and Eton College to continue his studies. Because his family couldn't pay for his university education,Orwell joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, then a British colony. He resigned in 1927 and decided to become a writer. Orwell is well-known for his literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He has gained world wide acknowledgement for his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945). His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Orwell's work has had a great impact on popular and political culture. The term Orwellian is an example of this influence. This term describes totalitarian or authoritarian social practices. It has entered the English language together with many other of his neologisms, including cold war, Big Brother, thought police, Room 101, doublethink, and thoughtcrime. Orwell was diagnosed as having tuberculosis in December 1947. Since then his health continued to decline and he died on the 21st of January, 1950