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Today's quote:

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Did Mr Gareth Jones inspire "Animal Farm"?


Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring."

In the article "Why I write", George Orwell stated, "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totaliarianism ... 'Animal Farm' was the first book in which I tried, with full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole."

George Orwell could not have written his 'famine' section in his parody of Stalinist Russia, "Animal Farm", without specific knowledge of Gareth Jones, and it strikes me as more than just accidental that he calls the farmer in "Animal Farm" Mr. Jones. Just as the Communists had killed the Tsar and all his family, so too had they ruthlessly and cruelly killed Gareth Jones, and so Orwell gave the Tsar-character the name of Jones.

Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones (13 August 1905 – 12 August 1935) was a Welsh journalist who in March 1933 first reported in the Western world, without equivocation and under his own name, the existence of the Soviet famine of 1932–33, including the Holodomor, that killed millions.

We have all read "Animal Farm". If you haven't, click on this link for your chance to discover the origin of the quotation "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others", and perhaps, to round it off, you may want to watch the excellent movie "Mr Jones". I just did.

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