I finally got around to reading this. I don't know if this was required reading in high school or jr. high, since I often didn't read what was assigned, but I know a lot of people read it for school.
I thought it was a little simplistic for the subject matter, and I enjoyed the way Orwell fleshed out some of the themes in 1984. I think the thing that bothered me was that the animals were grouped into classes of those who could learn and those who could not. In my opinion, the parallel one draws is that the lower classes in society are incapable of anything better. That is why they are exploited by the cunning.
Things are different today, but looking at it contextually from 1946 when the book was written, blacks in America worked mostly low-level, menial jobs. According to the world-view set forth by Orwell, no matter what happens, they will fall into a place of servitude and exploitation because they are not smart enough to learn. They will always obediently follow what "Mazzuh say."
I think history has proven Orwell wrong.