Karl Dallas writes some interesting things about George Orwell (M Star January 31), especially his personal experiences of him.
He writes that he never liked Animal Farm as it is a travesty of Soviet history.
I thought Animal Farm was an allegorical - he calls it a fable - take on how the young Soviet Union led by its majority of intellectual revolutionaries under Lenin descended into a self-serving elite - the nomenklatura - which after Lenin's death proceeded to humiliate and execute nearly all of its leaders and their families.
Old Major was either Marx or Lenin, Boxer and Clover were the hard-working proletariat, Napoleon was Stalin, Squealer represented any number of back-stabbers and Snowball was Trotsky, because according to Orwell he just melted away.
The dogs kept locked up until required by Napoleon were the forces of reaction in the Soviet Union and the humans were of course the imperialists - who eventually Napoleon wanted to do a deal with.
Disastrously for us all Snowball's prophecy came to pass.
I think Animal Farm is a masterpiece of of the literary metaphor and so do millions of readers, young actors, exam-setters and film-watchers throughout the world.