6/1/14

Páginas brillantes de la literatura inglesa - 7

Hoy comparto con vosotros un fragmento de una de las más famosas obras de la literatura inglesa: Animal Farm de George Orwell, publicada por primera vez en 1945 y considerada por la inmensa mayoría de los críticos como una sátira mordaz de las dictaduras, sean del signo que sean. 
El fragmento elegido es parte del discurso de Major, el viejo cerdo, al resto de los animales de la granja, incitándolos a rebelarse contra Mr Jones, el propietario de la granja, al que presenta como un cruel dictador que se aprovecha de ellos, obligándoles a trabajar sin descanso en beneficio propio. Leed este librito de nuevo y os ayudará a entender el posterior fracaso de la doctrina comunista, nacida de la revolución del pueblo ruso contra la dictadura zarista, pero que a la larga terminó por convertirse en otra dictadura, la del proletariado:

'Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself. Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilizes it, and yet there is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin. You cows that I see before me, how many thousands of gallons of milk have you given during the last year? And what has happened to that milk which should have been breeding up sturdy calves? Every drop of it has gone down the throats of our enemies. And you hens, how many eggs have you laid this last year, and how many of those eggs ever hatched into chickens? The rest have all gone to market to bring in money for Jones and his men. And you, Clover, where are those four foals you bore, who should have been the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was sold at a year old - you will never see one of them again. In return for your four confinements and all your labour in the field, what have you ever had except your bare rations and a stall?
'And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones, I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children. Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end. You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all must come - cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will send you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the fox-hounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond.
'Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives! And above all, pass on this message of mine to those who come after you, so that future generations shall carry on the struggle until it is victorious.
'And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no creature except himself. And among us animals let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.'

GLOSSARY

plough - arado
rabbit - conejo
the bare minimum - lo justo/lo mínimo
to starve - morir de hambre
to till the soil - labrar la tierra
dung - estiercol
gallon - galón (4,546 litros)
to breed up - criar
sturdy - robusto
calves - terneros
to hatch into chickens - salir polluelos (del huevo)
foal - potrillo
to bear - engendrar
confinement - parto
stall - pesebre
to reach their natural span - alcanzar su tiempo de vida natural
to grumble - quejarse
young porker - cerdito
scream your lives out at the block - gritar cuando se dejan la vida en el tajo
fate - destino
muscle - músculo
knacker - matarife
foxhound - perro raposero
toothless - desdentado
to tie - atar
brick - ladrillo
to drown - ahogar
pond - estanque
crystal clear - más claro que el agua
evils - males
to spring from - tener su origen en
almost overnight - casi de la noche a la mañana
body and soul - en cuerpo y alma
overthrow - derrocamiento
straw - paja
remainder - resto
struggle - lucha
to falter - vacilar
to lead someone astray - equivocar a alguien

EJERCICIO

Rellenar los huecos con el verbo adecuado, usado en el texto:

'Man is the only creature that .... (eats/drinks/consumes) without producing. He does not .... (give/produce/makes) milk, he does not ....(put/lay/set) eggs, he is too weak to .... (push/pull/draw) the plough, he cannot ....(walk/jump/run) fast enough to ..... (catch/grab/kill) rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He ..... (sets/puts/lays) them to work, he .... (offers/gives/lays) back to them the bare minimum that will ...... (avoid/stop/prevent) them from starving, and the rest he .... (keeps/retais/saves) for himself. Our labour .... (ploughs/digs/tills) the soil, our dung .....(manures/fertilizes/fructifies) it, and yet there is not one of us that ....(possesses/has/owns) more than his bare skin. You cows that I ....(contemplate/see/gaze) before me, how many thousands of gallons of milk have you ..... (given/made/done) during the last year? And what has ....... (occurred/happened/become) to that milk which should have been ...... (breeding/feeding/rearing) up sturdy calves? Every drop of it has ..... (come/dropped/gone) down the throats of our enemies. And you hens, how many eggs have you .... (laid/put/set) this last year, and how many of those eggs ever ....... (broke/conceived/hatched) into chickens? The rest have all ..... (travelled/gone/sold) to market to bring in money for Jones and his men. And you, Clover, where are those four foals you ....(bear/bore/born) , who should have .... (had/been/meant) the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was .... (killed/slaughtered/sold) at a year old - you will never ...(see/love/caress)  one of them again. In return for your four confinements and all your labour in the field, what have you ever .... (received/kept/had) except your bare rations and a stall?
'And even the miserable lives we .... (live/endure/lead) are not allowed to ..... (reach/attain/achieve) their natural span. For myself I do not ...... (complain/grunt/grumble), for I am one of the lucky ones, I ... (was/am/have) twelve years old and have ... (had/bred/produced) over four hundred children. Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal ..... (escapes/flees/saves) the cruel knife in the end. You young porkers who are .... (standing/sitting/sleeping) in front of me, every one of you will .... (expire/shout/scream) your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all ... (ought/should/must) come - cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs ... (have/enjoy/meet) no better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours .... (lose/miss/waste) their power, Jones will ..... (send/sell/give) you to the knacker, who will ....(nick/slice/cut)  your throat and ... (boil/cook/roast) you down for the fox-hounds. As for the dogs, when they .... (become/turn/grow) old and toothless, Jones .... (ties/knots/fixes) a brick round their necks and .... (chokes/drowns/stifles) them in the nearest pond.
'Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours .... (spring/derive/stem) from the tyranny of human beings? Only ....(free/clear/get) rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would ... (remain/be/stand) our own. Almost overnight we could .... (turn/grow/become) rich and free. What then .... (must/ought/should) we do? Why, .... (work/labour/toil) night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not ....(understand/know/realize)  when that Rebellion will come, it might ... (happen/occur/be) in a week or in a hundred years, but I ...., (understand/think/know), as surely as I .... (see/eye/behold) this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later justice will be ....(executed/done/achieved). Fix your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the short remainder of your lives! And above all, ...(give/hand/pass) on this message of mine to those who .....(exist/live/come) after you, so that future generations shall ....(continue/keep/carry) on the struggle until it is victorious.
'And ..... (recollect/remember/recall), comrades, your resolution must never .....(falter/fail/fall) No argument must .... (take/drive/lead) you astray. Never ..... (believe/listen/hear) when they tell you that Man and the animals .... (have/shared/enjoy) a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It ... (is/was/will be) all lies. Man .....( has/helps/serves) the interests of no creature except himself. And among us animals .... (allow/let/permit) there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men ....(are/were/become) enemies. All animals ... (are/remain/keep) comrades.'





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