Welcome to Part Five of our current Tale for Our Time: George Orwell’s ever timelier tale of equality and its hierarchies. Many listeners were tickled by this passage from last night:
Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig.
Orwell is particularly strong on the masses’ susceptibility to appeals to “science” – even though that’s as politicized as everything else. He’s also good at the constant adjustment of the past to serve the needs of the present – something Squealer has to be particularly adept at in tonight’s episode, as the rivalry between Napoleon and Snowball comes to a head:
At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws. In a moment he was out of the door and they were after him. Too amazed and frightened to speak, all the animals crowded through the door to watch the chase. Snowball was racing across the long pasture that led to the road. He was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than ever, then the dogs were gaining on him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball’s tail, but Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge…
If you’d like to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, we’d love to have you: please see here. And, if you’ve a chum who enjoys classic fiction, we’ve introduced a special Steyn Gift Membership: you’ll find more details here. Oh, and we also do video poetry, because that’s where the big bucks are: I’ll be here on Sunday with our very latest poem.
Please join me tomorrow evening for Part Six of Animal Farm.