Over-Committed But Well-Rounded Reading Group: Animal Farm by George Orwell

animal farm

Discussion Questions by Gabe Durham

1. Animal Farm is a short novel (or novella to our Italian readers). Does it make you feel good to read a whole book in such a short amount of time? Why do you think so many books are so long? Do you think guys like Tolstoy should be blushing about the fact that it took him, like, a forest-load of paper to say what they wanted to say?

2. Go around the room and discuss how busy each of you is. Embellish a little. Remember: this is a contest. Does anyone in the reading group have time to just read books for fun? If they do, doesn’t that indicate that he or she is not one of the busier people in the reading group?

3. Discuss the latest episode of “CSI: New York”.

4. Discuss the latest episode of “CSI: Miami”.

5. Discuss the latest episode of “CSI: Las Vegas” (the original, also known simply as “CSI”).

6. Discuss the latest episode of “Lost”.

7. Discuss the latest episode of “24”.

8. Look at your watches and realize there is only fifteen minutes left. How freaked out must Mr. Jones have been when all those animals kicked him off his own farm? (Optional: Discuss ‘Mr. Jones’ by the Counting Crows. Does their more recent stuff measure up to their old stuff?)

9. Napoleon sends Boxer off to be killed after all his hard work. Is Napoleon’s meanness a result of his alcoholism? Is it ever appropriate to give alcohol to animals? Example: giving beer to the dog at a party and watching him stumble around. Hilarious or mean or both?

10. What if animals actually could talk! Discuss.

11. Compare/contrast Animal Farm to Charlotte’s Web and the movie “Babe”.

12. People tend to read a lot into this book. They say that it isn’t just a fun “Revenge of the Nerds” kind of thing where the animals take over the farm for a change but that it it’s “allegorical” and that it “represents” historical people and events. Are these people right? Discuss blowhards you know who always read too much into things and who can’t just enjoy a fun story for what it is.

13. Look at the time. Remind each other that you are already late for your next appointments and briefly discuss whether you will be able to meet same time next week. Do not decide then and there but elect someone to try and remember to send an email.

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