Our First Book Club | Discussing George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”

Published on
September 1, 2022
Updated on
November 15, 2022
min read
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Written by
Alastair Budge

On the last day of August we hosted our first ever “book club”, where we discussed George Orwell’s classic novel, Animal Farm. Here’s how it went, and why we will be doing another one very soon.

Our First Book Club | Discussing George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
Table of contents
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

Between November 1943 and February 1944, the British author George Orwell wrote a book that was originally called “Animal Farm: A Fairy Story”. 

Since its publication in 1945, it has sold tens of millions of copies and served as an eerie reminder to the world of the dangers of totalitarianism.

It’s also relatively short, and the language is clear and descriptive.

So, what better book to choose in 2022 for the first ever Leonardo English “book club”?

Everyone had been given plenty of time to read the book.

Some read it in the original English, others read it in their native language, and some did a combination of the two.

And everyone had received some “points for discussion”, or interesting questions beforehand.

So, everyone was prepared and ready to go. It was a wonderful experience, and offered the possibility for curious minds from a wide range of countries to come together and discuss this important book.

We divided the session into four sections, and in each section we split up into small groups (appropriately called "Napoloeon", "Snowball" and "Boxer"), and everyone had an opportunity to participate.

Here are the themes we discussed in our small groups.

  1. 📖 First impressions of the book
  2. 🐖 Characters & symbols
  3. 🔫 Historical context
  4. 👨‍💻 Orwell in the modern world

I joined all of the groups, and heard some fascinating perspectives. 

After each small group we rejoined the larger group and this gave the opportunity for people to share interesting points for discussion.

We had a lot of participants from Spain, so it was interesting to hear their perspective on Orwell’s participation in the Spanish Civil War.

Likewise, there were participants from countries that formed part of the former USSR, so it was equally fascinating to hear their perspective on the book.

The good news is that people seemed to enjoy it as much as me.

This definitely seems to be a popular format, so we will be doing our next book club very soon.

If you're a member of Leonardo English, keep a lookout for the next session.

And if you're not yet a member but this sounds like fun, I'd love for you to check out our membership options.

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