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Animal Farm - At what age do most children/teenagers be able understand it?

At what age will most people be able to understand the basic idea behind Animal Farm? Did you have to read it at school? If so, what age were you?

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I never read it at school, and didn't get around to it until recently.

I reckon 13/14 might be the right time. That's when we learnt about democracy and dictatorships in history.
Reply 2
I don't think it has anything to do with age, but more with basic understanding of History and politics.
Reply 3
13.
We read it in Y9 and I certainly understood and appreciated it. However, one boy said, "Why didn't he just write a history book about Russia?"
So age is not the factor to be considered here. More a lack of ignorance.
Original post by Sadian
I don't think it has anything to do with age, but more with basic understanding of History and politics.


This.

Its specific relevant knowledge that makes the analogy work, not age. However my guess would be around 14-15, as that is when you generally learn about political systems and take a bit of notice of current affairs. However this is no guarantee, as I know 20 year olds who wouldn't have a clue.
Reply 6
I read it in Year 5, when I was nine. We had this awesome English teacher, Mr. May, and he taught us a bit about the idea behind the book and the Sovjet Union. I reread it when I was about 12, and understood it better.

*sigh* If only I was as bright now.
(edited 11 years ago)
I read it for the first time in year 8, and my English teacher explained what everything represented. However I didn't understand it fully until year 10, when we studied Russia in GCSE History, and understood it even better when we studied Russia again at AS in year 12.

I'm reading it for the second time right now and having studied Russian history from 1905-1941 in quite a lot of detail, I think I understand it really well - I'm picking up little details that have never been explicitly explained to me before. It's also made me fully realize just how good the book is.
My English teacher read it to my class when I was in Year 8 and I didn't have a bloody clue

Though I could have possibly understood better if I'd read it myself
Reply 9
:biggrin: not read it in ages but I would take it literally. enough with this symbolism rubbish- why make things harder for people to read by having a hidden meaning?

Yeah, I didn't like English lit or language at school xP
Reply 10
Original post by Uni Kid
At what age will most people be able to understand the basic idea behind Animal Farm? Did you have to read it at school? If so, what age were you?


Some Communists still don't get it.
Reply 11
I've always thought this was the great thing about animal farm; it's simplistic style means most people can get at least some understanding out of it. Then people who are around 15-16 might start to have a greater understanding of politics which allows them to read the book on a deeper level.
Reply 12
Doesn't matter what age.

When people understand the difference between an extreme authoritarian statist and socialism.
Reply 13
I read it when I was 10, but it went completely over my head. Reread it when I was 13, and understood it well, so I'd say around 12-14.
Reply 14
I did it when I was 13/14 and understood it. How it's all actually based on Russia and Communism and Stalin and Balin and Dwalin and Gloin and Oin and ... oh wait...
Reply 15
Most posters here probably still don't understand it yet like to pretend they do.
When I first read it I didn't know it was about Stalin but once you are taught in then you know.You only know the true analogy if you have been taught it.
I'd read it at about 10, thinking it was a cute story about unruly piggies :colondollar:. And then teachers mentioned it in English/ History lessons. And we were doing a coursework on Russia and Stalin and this book kept coming up when I was about 15, so I gave it another go.
Reply 18
We read it in class in year 8, and I kind of understood it. My history and government and politics understanding is pretty much non-existent... so I think I'd still be pretty useless with it!
Reply 19
I understood it at 10 or so.

Though the concept of understanding is pretty convoluted, top professors in Literature reread books that their predecessors have read for hundreds of years and come to new, original understandings of the text.

And understand what - the feminist interpretation? The postmodern?

I don't think things like Animal Farm should be 'taught' young because they massively oversimplify issues and people just use their basic understanding of a text as a go to response.

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