Eric Blair, well-known with his pen name George Orwell, was a strong believer of democratic socialism. He fought in wars and witnessed the cruelties of the dictatorship. Being an essayist and novelist his political viewpoints came forth in the form of Animal Farm. The novella is an allegory and attacks the rule of Stalin with the help of animal characters. George Orwell explained about his dystopian novella and the intention behind his attempt through the essay “Why I Write”.
Animal Farm, after getting rejected by many publishing houses due to the political satires, finally got published in the year 1945, 17th August, while the essay was written in the year 1946. The novella is found in ten chapters and its original title was “Animal Farm: A Fairy Story”. The subtitle was removed in the American version of the novella and now the subtitle is rarely used. The story resembles the Russian Revolution, Spanish Civil war, Soviet Union and the rule of Stalin.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 1
Mr. Jones is a drunkard and the proprietor of the Manor Farm. One day he gets so drunk that he forgets to close the pop-holes and goes to bed. All the animals in the farm flutter and stir to meet at the big barn to listen to the dram of old Major – a white boar. The boar is the most esteemed animal in the farm and everyone was eager to hear about his dream and speech. Everyone attends the gathering except for Moses, the tame raven of Mr. Jones.
Old Major states that, he may not live long and he has something important to say to the other animals. He emphasizes on the slavery they were undergoing in the Manor Farm and about the miserable life ahead. The root cause of their predicament is the domination of the humans, who are incapable of producing milk, laying eggs, hunting rabbits and pulling the plough. Old Major reasons that their enslavement and hard life are caused by the tyranny of man.
Old Major speaks of a Rebellion that will overthrow the humans and lets the animals be free. He is sceptical whether it will come in his lifetime, but is sure about the day of the revolt. The animals get so inspired by the thought of the rebellion. During the discussion, some wild rats enter and the dogs try to catch them. The white boar emphasizes that unity should exist amongst the animals; therefore, he decrees that “All animals are equal”.
Old Major shifts to explain his dream in which, the human race is vanished. It reminds him of a song learnt during his childhood – Beasts of England. He sings the Beasts of England [find the image below] and it excites the animals. They pick up the song and begin to sing it with great pitch and hope. Hearing the sounds made by the farm animals, Mr. Jones fires a pellet, fearful of the presence of a fox and every animal slips away from the big barn.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 1
George Orwell presents through Old Major a Utopian society where everyone can live without any fetters. He explains the consequences of being a slave, as well enumerated in the case of Boxer [the strongest of the animals in the Manor Farm]. The wise boar teaches them the Beasts of England, where there is clear inspiration about the golden time in the future. However, this has to be achieved through toil. Old Major, though speaks of rebellion his ideas lead to a socialistic society, where every animal is equal. The emphasis on the wild rats shows that, George Orwell beliefs that in Socialism there is place for everyone and any individual deserves a chance.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 2
Only three nights later, the wise old Major dies in his sleep and he is buried near the orchard. The animals inspired by the speech of old Major were very active discussing the thoughts and the future ahead. There were many meetings and the pigs were given the mantle to take care of them, because they were considered as the cleverest of all the animals in the farm. The task was handled well by two young boars namely, Snowball and Napoleon. Squealer’s another pig who was good at speeches and he could convince anyone through the use of words.
The three boars developed the ideas of old Major and make it into a philosophy known as Animalism. There were many meetings after the death of old Major and some members doubted the need of attending the meetings or discussing about the rebellion, as they were unsure that it is unlikely to happen in their lifetime. However, Snowball convinces them about a bright future. When Moses tells about a fabled Sugar Candy Land, the pigs try to ensure that the animals do not fall for the false statements of the crow.
Boxer and Clover – cart horses, become faithful disciples of Animalism. They accepted pigs as their teachers and believed that everything coming from them is true. As the meetings and “Beasts of England” went on, in a twist of tale Mr. Jones loses money in a lawsuit. He starts to drink and stops taking care of the farm. His idle men never took concern of the animals and in June Mr. Jones forgot to feed the animals and the frustrated animals retaliate against the humans in the farm. Even thought, Mr. Jones and his men try to control the animals, their efforts were not enough. They run for protection after realizing that the animals have won and Mrs. Jones too runs away from another side followed by Moses.
The animals achieve an unbelievable victory, but they circled round the farm to see the humans are completely gone. They search everywhere and find no traces of Jones or his men. The tools used to castrate animals, ribbons [which is disliked by Mollie – the white mare], nosebags, blinkers, etc. are thrown into the fire. Everything that reminded of the cruelty of Mr. Jones was destroyed and all the animals sang with an uproar the “Beasts of England”.
In the morning they admire the feat they have accomplished and they enter the house of Mr. Jones too observe the life of humans. After having breakfast, Snowball and Napoleon call for meeting and reveal that the pigs have been reading since the death of old Major. Later, they change the name of MANOR FARM into ANIMAL FARM. Snowball paints the name by holding a paint brush with his trotter over the original name. Then they declare the SEVEN COMMANDMENTS of the Animal farm and paint it on a wall.
Amidst all this, the cows utter a loud lowing because they were not milked for 24-hours. The pigs manage to milk the cows and the five buckets of milk are taken into possession by Napoleon to serve a purpose. He asks the animals to take heed of the harvest rather than the milk and they do so.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 2
George Orwell slightly hints the fate of the animals after throwing away the humans with the behaviour of Napoleon while taking decision about the milk. Further, the philosophical differences amongst the animals are shown through Mollie and Moses. While Moses represents a more cunning and faithful slave, Mollie represents a bourgeoisie individual who is always greedy for the lavish luxuries of life. They have their mind of their own; while Moses flies away Mollie seems to struggle with the idea of burning her possessions. Orwell sets up the tone of the novella through them and hints about the consequences of relying on an individual to run the community.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 3
The animals toiled hard and the harvest came better than ever. It was difficult for them to use the human use intended implements, but the pigs modified them to fit the limbs of the animals. The horses helped in raking and mowing of the field, while the pigs gave instructions to the animals without working. They were all happy about the fact that they successfully produced a great harvest [better than Mr. Jones] and the harvest belongs to them entirely.
Boxer, the cart horse, was the inspiration to every animal in the farm. He always showed willingness to take on the hardest tasks and he made a motto – “I will work harder” to keep himself going. He gets to work half an hour early and does small works even when he finds some leisure to rest. Everyone worked in harmony except for Mollie and a cat. They were usually late and the cat would disappear all of a sudden and reappear during the dining sessions.
Old Benjamin – the donkey – worked in his usual pace not showing any opinion towards the Rebellion and always says that donkeys live longer than any other animal as a cryptic answer to his indifference towards the changes in the Animal Farm. There was no work on Sunday and all the animals participate in a ceremony.
The ceremony involved flag hoisting of the Animal Farm, which is created by Snowball. He finds a green coloured tablecloth and paints in white a hoof and a horn. The horn and hoof represent the “Republican of the Animals”, while the green colour symbolizes the green pastures of England. Snowball tries different things and tries to organize committees aimed to educate the animals. However, the opinions of Snowball and Napoleon always clashed.
Snowball’s idea of educating the animals bore some success as the dogs learned to read, goat Muriel was able to read newspapers, Benjamin read well but never showed his talents to the pigs, Clover completed the alphabet but cannot put the letters together to form a word, Mollie only learnt her name and Boxer never could get past D. The other animals were unable to learn so Snowball took the essence of the seven commandments and created a maxim: “FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD”.
The birds felt that being two legged species, the maxim is not fairly put, but Snowball explains them that the wings are equivalent to legs. Soon, the maxim was painted on the wall above the commandments and sheep loved the maxim.
Bluebell and Jessie gave birth to nine puppies and Napoleon takes responsibility to rear them and educate them. He takes them to the harness-room, which can be reached only through a ladder. Later, it is revealed that the milk taken every day is mixed into the mash and so are the windfall apples. The animals were not in a complete agreement to the situation and Napoleon sends Squealer to provide an explanation.
Squealer states that most pigs dislike apples and milk, but they contain substances that helps a pig’s well-being. Pigs being the operators of the Animal Farm require enough necessities to take care of their brains; otherwise, according to Squealer, the management would collapse and Mr. Jones would come back. The animals were in a total agreement to the words of the pig and felt that these necessities are obvious for pigs.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 3
The power of unity is well portrayed by George Orwell through the first part of this chapter. The animals work hard and reap great benefits, a greater achievement for they had neither proper equipment nor the experience to do things themselves.
The contrast between Benjamin and Boxer, Snowball and Napoleon shows the different philosophies in a community. Benjamin seems to be aware of the consequences of a communistic setup, while Boxer is too loyal to freedom that he thinks of only working harder. On the other hand, Snowball shows the true spirit of communism, where everyone deserves equal rights [even though the rule is in the hands of a few] and Napoleon plots for the benefit of the pigs and submerges the facts with the help of Squealer.
The flag created by Snowball is a look alike of the communist flag. While the communist flag consists of red background with a sickle and hammer, George Orwell changes the colour of the flag of Animal Farm into green and places hoof and horn.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 4
Everyone in the vicinity of the farm and nearly half of the county got the news of the rebellion of the animals. Snowball along with Napoleon made effort to spread the news through pigeons and teach other animals the “Beasts of England”. Meanwhile, Mr. Jones spent his time drinking, blaming the animals and cursing his fate.
The two adjacent farm owners – Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington, pitied the condition of the fellow farm owner. But, they looked it as an opportunity to seize the Manor Farm. Fortunately, for the animals, Mr. Frederick the owner of Pinchfield and Mr. Pilkington the owner of Foxwood detested each other’s presence. Therefore, they could not come into an agreement about getting hold of the Manor Farm.
However, to prevent their animals into revolting against them, they spread out rumours like starvation, quarrelling, cannibalism, torture, etc. increasing in the Manor Farm. The rumours were believed by some, but most did not believe the words. There were many instances of animals revolting against their owners. Bulls, sheep and cows of several farms refused to obey. The Beasts of England was heard everywhere and humans punished the animals singing or spelling the name. The song was everywhere and there was a fear amongst the humans. They trembled and feared that all the happenings will lead to their doom.
In October, Mr. Jones along with few men from the adjacent farms attempted to regain his farm. He brought five men holding sticks and he came with a gun. Snowball and the others expected this move from Mr. Jones and were prepared to fight them. Snowball created some plans to tackle Mr. Jones by reading a book on the campaigns of Julius Caesar.
The two initial attacks by the animals were meek and Mr. Jones men easily sent the animals running. However, it was the plan of Snowball to created disorder by disturbing their concentration on attack. Once, the humans felt that animals were running for their lives they ran after them without any pattern. The animals lead the men towards the yard where three horses, three cows and the pigs were waiting for the humans.
After the signal from Snowball, the animals in waiting charge towards the men. Snowball dashes forward and Mr. Jones fires the gun at him. The pellets from the gun graze Snowball’s back and kill a sheep. Enraged, Snowball tackles Mr. Jones and he falls into a pile of dung. Boxer fights ferociously and knocks a Foxwood boy unconscious. The rest of the men were nervous and ran to protect themselves. The animals chase them to the gates and within five minutes they achieve a glorious victory.
Boxer feels sad for the unconscious stable boy and thinks that he killed him. He expresses grief and emphasizes that he doesn’t want to kill anyone even if it is a human. However, Snowball consoles him and says that there is no place for sentimentality in a battle. Suddenly, they feel that Mollie is missing and they fear that men took her. Actually, after hearing the gun shot she hides in her stall burying her head inside the hay. While they were busy talking to Mollie, the stable boy wakes up and runs out of the Animal Farm.
An immediate celebration followed with the hoisting of the flag and singing of “Beasts of England”. Snowball delivers a speech and reiterates the importance of keeping one’s life between the humans and the Animal Farm. The animals create medals for the animals that fought with valour in the battle. Both Boxer and Snowball were awarded “Animal Hero, First Class”. The sheep that died during the battle was awarded “Animal Hero, Second Class”. The battle was called as the BATTLE OF THE COWSHED as the ambush was laid in that place. They decide to fire the gun twice every year on Twelfth of October – the day the Battle of the Cowshed took place, and on the day of Rebellion [Midsummer Day].
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 4
George Orwell demarcates the difference between unity and chaos. The neighbourhood farm owner Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick are in a constant state of disagreement. This neither helps Mr. Jones nor their plan of getting the Manor Farm. On the other hand, the animals stay together in the fight [except for Mollie] and battle for a genuine cause. With that unity and planning they secure the Animal Farm and shatter the hopes of Mr. Jones who only comes with five other men.
The leadership skills of Snowball greatly shine in this chapter and the way he leads the animals is inspirational. Even though, he gets grazed by a bullet he thinks of the greater good and charges towards the enemy. This spirit spreads to every animal and they fight with every ounce of energy, especially Boxer. The presentation of medals, naming the battle and declaration of celebration mark the growth of animals into civilized species with clear awareness of their next step [or do they?].
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter -5
As time passed and winter arrived, Mollie grew more preoccupied with herself. She came late to work, often found excuses and would run to the drinking pool whenever she feels like it. The worst thing is that Clover observes Mollie getting pampered by a human from the neighbourhood farm – Foxwood. However, Mollie denies the fact and after she runs away. The pigeons announce that Mollie is with a man, who is feeding her sugar lumps and allowing her to wear ribbons. By hearing this, no animal ever spoke about Mollie.
The animals had to face hard weather in January and they could farm nothing from the fields. The pigs had several meetings and there was a great dispute between the ideas of Snowball & Napoleon. If one wanted barley, the other wanted oats; if one wanted cabbage, the declared that the land is fit for roots. However, the meetings were always won by Snowball because of his eloquent speeches; but, Napoleon was able to bring support for himself. He made sheep his followers and whenever Snowball tried to give a speech, the sheep bleated “Four legs good, two legs bad”.
Snowball planned several schemes that reduced the cartage labour and Napoleon never had a plan of his own. He simply disagreed to everything said by Snowball. After doing a lot of survey, Snowball finds a fit place to establish a Windmill. The windmill, according to Snowball, helps to provide electricity to the farm and keep the animals warm in winter. Further, it could be used to run a milking machine, circular saw, chaff-cutter, etc. The animals were astonished to hear about the innovative ideas of Snowball and in a few weeks the pig was able to create plans for the windmill.
Snowball remained for hours studying books to construct the windmill. He drew plans in a shed, which was his room of study. Every animal looked at the plans at least once in a day. Napoleon never took interest in the plan and when he did saw them, he urinated on them. The Animal Farm divided into two groups on the issue of building a windmill. Snowball, did agree that the windmill would be hard to construct but it ensured a bright future with less labour and more food. Napoleon insisted that in the process of building all the animals would die; therefore, he emphasized on the production of food. Benjamin, the donkey, didn’t take sides and was neutral about both the opinions.
The two pigs debated on the increase of security to the Animal Farm as well. While Napoleon wanted to bring fire arms so that the animals can learn about their use; Snowball wanted to spread the rebellion to the neighbourhood farms. The time came, when Snowball’s plan of constructing a windmill was put to vote. During his speech, he was distracted by sheep but he went forward with such eloquence that he won over the crowd. At this precise moment, all the animals hear a horrifying baying sound.
The animals see nine huge dogs with brass collars charging towards Snowball. The pig escapes narrowly from their jaws. He escaped through the hedge and he never returned. The animals were terrified to look at the dogs and they were very close to Napoleon. He climbs to the top, where Old Major used to stand and declares that there won’t be any debates during Sunday meetings. Further, the animals would assemble only to sing the song and hoist the flag; all the decisions were announced to be taken by pig committees.
Four young porkers squealed at the disturbed decision of sending Snowball out and cancelling the debate. The dogs silence them by growling fiercely. When a question about the bravery of Snowball was raised, Squealer answers them by stating that Snowball’s involvement in the Battle of Cowshed is exaggerated. In the end, he declares that everything is done for the greater good and is an act to prevent the re-entry of Mr. Jones. Hearing this, the animals went silent and Boxer adds a new axiom – “Napoleon is always right”.
Snowball’s shed was closed, the skull of Old Major was taken from the earth and placed near the flagstaff. During Sundays, Napoleon gave instructions for the animals and in three weeks time he announced that the windmill is going to be built. The animals were surprised to hear that Napoleon wants to build something that he sternly opposed. Squealer explains to the animals that the concept of windmill was stolen by Snowball from Napoleon. Therefore, Napoleon tactically opposed the windmill to send away Snowball from the farm. The animals, although were not satisfied with the answer, never raised a question about it.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 5
George Orwell hints in the previous chapters about the domination of Napoleon and his intentions to rule the farm rather than run it. This becomes clear when he overthrows Snowball and makes everyone silent. It could be understood that Napoleon planned this way before the announcement of the windmill. He usurps the puppies in the name of education, seizes the supply of apples and milk claiming that pigs need them more, teaches the sheep an axiom to go against Snowball and opposes the construction of the windmill.
The hypocritical nature of those in power is shown by Orwell through Napoleon. Further, he deceives everyone with the help of Squealer and makes the animals believe that Snowball is a treacherous pig without any obedience and loyalty. This indicates that Napoleon was thinking above all the animals as if he was the supreme ruler. It is a direct on the different types of government especially communism and despotism.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 6
The animals worked as slaves all that year, but felt happy that the hard work they were putting was for their own well-being. They worked for sixty hours a week and their work load was increased by Napoleon, who declares that animals should voluntarily contribute on Sunday afternoons and the failure of attendance leads to the splicing of rations. Although, they put such hard work the harvest decreased that year and they could see the suffering ahead in the winter.
The biggest difficulty was the construction of the windmill. Everything was available like sand, cement, limestone quarry, etc. but the problem was breaking the huge stones [in the quarry of limestone] into transferrable pieces. No animal was able to use the tools designed by and for the humans. After many weeks of hopeless efforts they get the idea of using gravity. The animals with all the effort dragged a boulder to the top of the quarry and dropped it from there. The broken stone was gathered and transferred with the help or cartloads to the construction site. By late summer, the animals were successful in gathering enough stone to start the windmill and it indeed began.
The whole process was laborious and sometimes the boulder released from the top of the quarry wouldn’t break. The effort took a day and it meant that a day’s effort went in vain. Boxer stood as inspiration to all the animals whose strength seemed equal to all the other animals. He worked so hard that Clover warned him to be careful as all that strain can lead to problems. However, he resumed to his axioms and continued to put in all his strength. He woke up three quarters an hour early than others; work individually on spare day and leisure. The animals received their ration equal to the ration in the time of Mr. Jones; but, they were content it was for their own good.
Gradually, the Animal Farm witnessed the deficiency of certain supplies such as dog biscuits, paraffin oil, iron, nails and strings. These supplies cannot be produced in the farm; hence, Napoleon announces that Animal Farm is going to arrange a trade with other farms to procure the supplies. It brought uneasiness into the animals and the four young pigs protested. But, the dogs growled to silence the pigs and Napoleon’s speech made it clear that trade was necessary with Mr. Whymper to construct the windmill.
The animals dreaded the presence of Mr. Whymper ever Monday; but, they had a sense of pride to look at Napoleon [four legged animal] giving instructions to him. On the other hand, the humans discussed about the Farm much and their hate has developed much. However, an inner sense of respect leads to the use of “Animal Farm” instead of “Manor Farm” by them. The rumours spread in humans and animals that Napoleon was going to make business with either Mr. Pilkington or Mr. Frederick.
During this time, the pigs took the liberty of moving into the farmhouse where Mr. Jones used to live. The animals remember that a resolution has been made about the prohibition of using the farmhouse. However, Squealer convinces them by stating that Napoleon had to move to the farmhouse to protect the dignity of the Animal Farm as a leader. Therefore, he moved from the sty to the bed. Boxer emphasized that Napoleon was always right.
Clover was not entirely convinced; therefore, he asks Muriel to read the Fourth Commandment. She announces that on the wall it says – “NO ANIMAL SHALL SLEEP IN A BED WITH SHEETS”. Clover cannot remember the presence of sheets and at this moment Squealer intervenes to subdue the thoughts of Clover. After a few days, an announcement came that pigs would wake up an hour late than usual.
By autumn, the trade was going well and the windmill was half-complete. All the animals were excited about their achievement. However, a great gale rocked the Animal Farm in November. The buildings looked fragile and tile blew off. That night the hens felt horrible and often heard sounds resembling gun shots. In the morning, the animals found that the flagstaff’s down and the windmill was nothing but ruins.
Napoleon declares that this was the doing of Snowball and he shall be brought to justice. He announces that whoever brings Snowball to him shall be awarded “Animal Hero, Second Class” along with some apples. Further, he encourages them to start the windmill again which is their only hope for a better living.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 6
The hypocritical nature of Napoleon is once again emphasized by Orwell, when he declares that the work is voluntary but anyone who doesn’t show will have their rations cut. The initial regard for the principles or Seven Commandments of Animalism is disregarded by Napoleon under the name of Sacrifice. The trade with Mr. Whymper points that the future of the Animal Farm will be similar to the days experienced under Mr. Jones. Further, this is a direct violation of the First Commandment – “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy”. This shows that:
“Liberty is a transitional phase between two long periods of slavery.”
Squealer is shown as that loyal hand to Napoleon, who can alter anything. He even changes the Fourth Commandment to make it convenient for the leader and the other pigs. Napoleon seems to completely understand the nature of the working class animals and uses his words to convince them to do anything. It is evident; when he declares that the windmill was ruined by Snowball and asks the animals to work even harder. Napoleon and Squealer seized every opportunity after the exile of Snowball to ensure that they control everything in the Animal Farm.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 7
The winter was bitter, but the animals toiled hard to build the windmill. Rumours came that the humans believed that the windmill fell because the animals couldn’t build it properly. So, the animals decide to have a three foot wall instead of eighteen inches. This meant more work, but the animals were adamant to complete the windmill and prove themselves. Squealer encouraged them with excellent speeches, but the real inspiration came from Boxer.
There was huge lack of food in January and potatoes [which were not covered properly] became discoloured and soft. The rations were cut and sometimes they had to suffice with mangel beet and chaff. However, they did not reveal to the human world about their starvation and to stop the rumours about their suffering, Napoleon planned to use Mr. Whymper. Whenever, he visited the Animal Farm he was shown bins full of meal and grain. In reality, the bin was filled completely with sand and only the top portion was covered with meal and grain.
By the end of January, there arose a necessity to get food from the outside world. The animals were starving and Napoleon seldom appeared in public. The hens were ordered to give four hundred of their eggs per week to stop the Animal Farm from starvation. The hens were not ready to make this sacrifice and three Black Minorca pullets led the hens to protest against the wish of Napoleon. In turn, the pig ordered to stop their ration and any other animal helping the hens shall be put to death. The protest went on for five days, but they couldn’t achieve success. So, the hens went back to the nests. As many as nine hens died and they were buried. It was declared that these hens suffered from coccidiosis and died.
There was no word or witness of Snowball. But, rumours of him hiding either in Pinchfield or Foxwood were still circling the air. Napoleon decides to sell an unnoticed and old pile of timber based on the suggestion of Mr. Whymper. However, Napoleon could not decide who to sell the pile as whenever he makes a decision [to sell it to Pilkington or Frederick] a rumour comes that Snowball is hiding in that particular farm.
Spring came with alarming news that Snowball is visiting the Animal Farm at nights. Whenever, an accident took place like breaking of eggs, trampling of milk pails, disappearance of corn, etc. it was attributed to Snowball. The rumours went to an extent that the cows argued that in the night Snowball came and milked them without them noticing it. Napoleon ordered thorough investigation about the appearance of Snowball.
Napoleon sniffed the place and announced that the smell of Snowball can be found everywhere. The animals got frightened and uncertain of the consequences. That night Squealer announced that news came that Snowball was dealing with Mr. Frederick and they are planning to attack the Animal Farm. Squealer further explains that Snowball was always in league with Mr. Jones and he was a secret agent. He was the one who purposefully led the animals into an ambush in the Battle of the Cowshed. But, the animals could only remember Snowball charging forward and achieving them victory. Some even expressed their opinion and said that he took a gunshot as well.
Squealer carefully declared that it was part of the arrangement between Snowball and Mr. Jones. Further, he graphically describes how Snowball fled when Mr. Jones and his men were rushing towards the cowshed. Squealer says that if it were not for the valour of Napoleon there wouldn’t have been an Animal Farm. Then, he emphasizes on how Napoleon knew all about this affair and Boxer immediately agrees that if it was told by Napoleon it must be the truth.
Squealer further announces that there are secret agents of Snowball in the farm and they should be careful. After four days, Napoleon orders the animals to come to the yard. He was wearing two medals – “Animal Hero, First Class” and “Animal Hero, Second Class” [which he awarded to himself]. He cries loud and the dogs pounce on the four pigs who often protest the ways of Napoleon. Surprisingly, three of the dogs try to attack Boxer as well. But, before the might of Boxer they couldn’t last long. However, he lets them go. Meanwhile, the bleeding pigs are called upon by Napoleon and ask them to confess.
The four pigs confess about their meetings with Snowball and were involved in the ruining of the windmill. They even agree that Snowball made an agreement with Mr. Frederick on handing over the Animals Farm. The entire farm was in dismay to hear the words and the dogs tear apart the throats of the pigs. Napoleon demands other animals to confess – three hens, three sheep, goose and few other animals come forward. They all get killed and before Napoleon a huge pile of corpses are seen. The remaining animals huddled together in fear and unimaginable fact that animals are being killed by fellow animals.
Clover was in the middle of the huddle and tears were streaming from his eyes. She could not understand the helplessness of the remaining animals, the slaughter of her friends and the actions of Napoleon. She convinced her mind that killing the animals was necessary to prevent the return of humans. So, she decides to be loyal to Napoleon; but, she knew deep inside that being faithful to Napoleon is not the intention of the rebellion. She began to sing the “Beasts of England” and everyone sang along for three times. Then Squealer interrupts and says the “Beasts of England” has been banned. He says that it was a song for the rebellion since the rebellion is over there is no need for the song.
Minimus gave the animals another song approved by Napoleon and which is supposed to be sung in meetings. It started with the words:
“Animal Farm, Animal Farm,
Never through me shall thou come to harm! […]”
But, the animals felt that it was never a better tune than the Beasts of England.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 7
Napoleon gradually breaches the commandments of Animalism. By executing death penalty to animals he disregards the second and the sixth commandment – “Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend” and “No animal shall kill any other animal”. Orwell shows through the actions of Squealer and Napoleon that there is a bigger plot brewing and the pigs are using Snowball to lay a successful path.
The reality of dictatorship despite all the hiding [in front of Mr. Whymper] is presented by the depressing thoughts of Clover. Her awareness that the Animal Farm has deviated from its original principles indicate a doom to the animals and the hopeless situation they are in. The attack on Boxer indicates that Napoleon doesn’t want any other influences on the Animal Farm and knows well that animals revere Boxer more than any other animal.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 8
Clover asks Benjamin to read for him the Sixth Commandment. Benjamin reads – “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.” They felt that the reason for killing the animals was strong and they were content with the yard incident. The animals that year worked even harder and seemed to eat less, similar to the days of Mr. Jones. Squealer on Sundays used to announce the improvement of food production by 100%, 200% and so on. The animals felt that it would be better have the food near them instead of hearing the statistics.
Gradually, everything in the Animal Farm became Napoleon. But, his frequency of public appearance decreased by the day. Squealer acted as the first mate and ensured that Napoleon was not just “Napoleon”, but made him “Leader Napoleon” and “Comrade Napoleon”. This slowly got habituated into the animals as well. He was treated as the almighty of the Animal Farm. The hens admitted it was due to the guidance of Napoleon that they could lay eggs and cows thanked Napoleon for they believed that he was the cause for the water in the pool to taste sweet.
Minimus writes a poem – “Comrade Napoleon” on Napoleon and Squealer inscribes it on a barn wall opposite to the Seven Commandments along with a portrait of the Leader Pig. Snowball was believed to be in Pinchfield along with Mr. Frederick and plotting against Napoleon. Therefore, his security was increased and the pile of timber was arranged for Mr. Pilkington. Rumours were spread that Mr. Frederick would attack the Animal Farm with 20 armed men and made all the arrangements to ensure that the law doesn’t intervene. Further, he was labelled as a torturer of animals and the animals believed that he flogged a horse to death. The pigeons were instructed to share the message Death to Frederick rather than Death to Humanity.
Once again, Snowball gets blamed for the presence of weeds in the wheat crop. Squealer takes it as an opportunity and announces that Snowball was never announced a medal. Some animals were not convinced, but the pig’s eloquence made them to keep quiet.
By the autumn the windmill was finished and every animal took pride in it. They used to walk near the mill and look at it as their grand achievement. The windmill, expectedly, was named as Napoleon Mill. After two days, Napoleon announces that all the rumours spread on Mr. Frederick were not true and it was Mr. Pilkington who had exhibited such tortures on the animals. He was planning to attack the Farm and Snowball was brewing a plan with him. Therefore, the pile of timber was sold to Mr. Frederick. The pigeon’s message changed to Death to Pilkington. The confusion and blame game planned by Napoleon was to get higher price for the timber. Indeed, his plan worked and he got 12 pounds additionally than the agreed amount. The pile was transferred successfully and Mr. Frederick paid in cash. Only later it was found out that the notes were not real but forgeries.
Death sentence was pronounced on Mr. Frederick and Napoleon expected an attack on the farm. Pigeons were sent with a conciliation note for Mr. Pilkington. The next morning 14 men along with Mr. Frederick came to attack and they had six guns. They opened fire when they came near the animals and Napoleon found no way to defeat them. His only hope was help from Mr. Pilkington but the pigeons bring a paper that has a message – “Serves you right” from Mr. Pilkington.
Mr. Frederick’s men made a hole in the windmill and blew it with blasting powder. The animals were furious and attacked together with rage never seen before. They did not mind the guns or the sticks and though some of the animals died, the humans were afraid of the ferociousness of Boxer. He injures three men and Mr. Frederick asks them to retreat. Squealer announced this as a great victory and they can build another windmill.
Boxer was hurt badly as the pellets went under his skin and his leg was bleeding badly. The animals were in pain, bleeding, distraught to see the windmill vanish. Napoleon came forth and gave a victory speech, which made the animals think that their victory was indeed glorious. Two days were given for celebrations and every animal was given a gift. A new decoration was created to honour the bravery of the most ferocious animals in the battle – Order of the Green Banner. It was awarded to Napoleon.
The pigs find whiskey and one night they were heard singing and some lines of the Beasts of England was heard too. The next morning Squealer came to announce that Napoleon was dying, which made every animals to feel numb. However, by night Squealer announced that he was alright and recovered well from the poison that Snowball was able to put in his food. Mr. Whymper was asked to get booklets on brewing and orders were passed to use the paddock for harvesting barley.
One night a huge sound came from the place where the Seven Commandments were written. The animals find Squealer along with an overturned paint can on the ground. The dogs escorted him to the farm house, but no one could understand what Squealer was doing there. However, Benjamin understood what was going on, but he never told it to anyone. Later it was found that the animals were misinterpreting the Fifth Commandment. It read “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess” rather than their original idea “No animal shall drink alcohol.”
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 8
Orwell shows how the animals were conditioned to believe that all good roads lead to Napoleon and the bad roads to Snowball. No one questions anymore and Napoleon has become their Supreme Leader. The wailings of the animals when they find out Napoleon was sick [who in fact was overdosed with whiskey] proves that they have developed a blind faith.
Further, there is no comparison between the effectiveness of “Beasts of England” to that of the egoistic “Comrade Napoleon” written by Minimus. Yet, the animals took it as theirs after a few trails. But, the night the pigs had whiskey the animals could hear the song taught by Old Major. Boxer deserved the new decoration, but it was self-declared by Napoleon. All these incidents show that Napoleon is a hypocrite, blood-thirsty, egoistic dictator. But, the animals won’t do anything as they are covered in the belief that they are free no matter what.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 9
Boxer was suffering from the injury, yet showed neither pain nor emotion and was determined to help with the windmill. He got occasional treatment by Clover to who he admitted his anguish. However, he would never listen to her warnings that he needs rest. Boxer near the age of retirement wants to complete the windmill.
The animals forget the days of Mr. Jones and Squealer makes them believe that they are living in a far better state. The ration for every animal was “readjusted”, animals worked when they were not asleep and driven by the only factor – freedom from human rule. Population of animals increased, especially pigs and it was announced that a schoolroom will be constructed for the young pigs. It was also declared that no animal shall play with the young pigs and if encountered on a path the animals should give way to the young pigs.
The rations were “Readjusted” from time to time and the use of lanterns in stalls was prohibited. News broke out that pigs would receive beer everyday for keeping the Animal Farm organized. Once in a week the animals performed a military formation on the day of “Spontaneous Demonstration”. During the month of April, Animal Farm was declared as a Republic and Napoleon was unanimously elected as the President.
Moses, the raven, comes back suddenly after many years and talks about the “Sugarcandy Mountain”. The animals loved to hear from him and believed that there is such place. But, the pigs hated his words and declared that he was a liar. There was a steady progress with the windmill and Boxer’s injury was healed. He took part in the construction actively. But, one day Boxer falls on his side unable to move and blood was seen from his mouth. He reveals that his lung was in pain and plans an early retirement along with Benjamin.
Squealer tells to other animals that Napoleon has arranged to call medical support for Boxer from a veterinary surgeon. For two days the surgeon didn’t came and Boxer was treated with some medicine found in the farm house. Clover and Benjamin never left his side after finishing the day’s work. Boxer was hopeful for a recovery and life after retirement. He says that he would spend his days studying. A van pulled by two horses came to take Boxer and all animals were happy and wished Boxer farewell.
Benjamin was furious and was shouting at the animals, calling them fools. He read the letterings on the closed van that said – “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler…” which meant that Boxer was sold to the knackers. Now, all the animals shouted Boxer to get out of the van and he tried to kick with his hoofs. But, the strength of Boxer was not the same and the sound of hoofs kicking the van faded. After three days, Boxer was announced dead by Squealer at Willingdon Hospital.
Squealer explains that the veterinary surgeon bought the van from a slaughterer and this created a misconception amongst the animals that Boxer was sent to the knackers. Napoleon on Sunday morning gives a speech about Boxer and announces a banquet. On the day of the banquet the pigs receive a delivery of some wooden crate. That night the pigs were shouting and singing just like the day when they found whiskey in the farm house.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 9
George Orwell dedicates an entire chapter to Boxer and the ideas he had on his life. There was desperation, commitment, leadership qualities and above all hope. Despite his injury he works harder than ever and makes sure that even without his presence the windmill is complete. The raven which was despised for disappearing from the farm years ago has become the symbol of hope and every animal feels happy that there are other animals living in a better state.
On the contrary the scheming pigs take the matters too far by selling Boxer to a horse slaughterer. Although, the animals initially believe that it was the case, they come back to convince their slavish minds that Boxer was indeed joined in a hospital. But they never doubt how the pigs received the whiskey crate and how the money was acquired – obviously from the slaughterer who bought Boxer.
Now that Boxer is gone the fate of the animals is clearly visible and they for the remainder of their lives will live in darkness – a darkness which the pigs would claim as a shadow cast by Napoleon to protect them from the outside world. This is a Universal situation where the public remain in the shadows and the leaders do things without the consent of the people. Moreover, they do it for their own benefits rather than trying to help the public.
Animal Farm Summary: Chapter – 10
As years went on many of the smaller animals that were in the rebellion die. There were no animals except the pigs, Benjamin, Clover and Raven that could remember the days of the rebellion. Mr. Jones too was dead. Some of the animals were bought by the pigs to ensure the work goes on. No animal retired at the previously determined age.
The Animal Farm expanded and two fields were bought by Napoleon from Mr. Pilkington. The windmill was complete and revealed that it was not meant for generating electricity rather it was built to mill corn to generate income. The words of Snowball and the decrease of labour mentioned by him were not considered by Napoleon.
It seemed to the animals that the farm got richer but the animals never seem to get richer or happier with the exception of pigs and dogs. Of course, Squealer always explained to the animals about the necessity of having money within the circle of pigs and dogs. The animals cannot remember the days of Mr. Jones or the early rebellion except for Benjamin.
The animals were still hopeful and had a sense of pride about working for animals rather than humans. Their dreams continued and historical incidents became heroic legends. They believed that someday they will see the England dreamt by Old Major.
In early summer, the sheep were summoned by Squealer and they spent the day near the birch saplings. For an entire week the sheep were kept in that place supervised by Squealer. The sheep returned one evening right at the moment when the animals finished their work. Suddenly, Clover neighed in a very loud noise and it startled everyone. The animals rush into the yard to see what happened.
Squealer was walking on his hind legs.
He was followed by the other pigs and finally came Napoleon with a whip in his hand. The animals were amazed to witness the impossible, but soon got terrified to look at the pigs standing on two legs. The sheep broke into bleating – “Four legs good, two legs better”.
Clover was very upset and with the help of Benjamin reaches the place where the Seven Commandments were written. To their amazement there were no Seven Commandments and Benjamin read out the words written on the wall.
Nothing seemed strange for them after reading the commandment. The pigs carrying whips, walking on hind legs, installing a telephone, ordering newspaper and the pigs wearing the old clothes of Mr. Jones.
One afternoon, the humans were allowed to visit the farm and to inspect the marvels found in the Animal Farm. During that evening, it seemed like the pigs were having a celebration with the humans. With Clover leading the other animals slowly crept near a window to witness what was happening. Napoleon occupied the seat of honour and seen playing cards with others. For a moment they stop playing and Mr. Pilkington announces a toast. He expresses his amazement at the way the animals were working in the Animal Farm. From him, the animals get to know that in no other farm in England were animals worked more or had lesser food.
Mr. Pilkington always referred to the animals that worked in the Animal Farm as “lower animals” and he compares them to the “lower working class humans”. He finally congratulates the pigs and for the prosperity of the farm. Napoleon through his speech too expressed joy about the situation and was mindful that there are still some things in the farm that needs suppressing. Things like Sunday meetings, honouring the skull of Old Major, having a flag with horn and hoof were some of the things Napoleon wanted to take care of immediately.
To the surprise of everyone in the room, Napoleon announces that the farm will no longer be called as Animal Farm but would resume its former name – The Manor Farm. Clover and the other animals were chilled to the bone and they move away silently.
After reaching twenty yards, they hear uproar and rush back to the window. There was a violent quarrel and it seemed to start from Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington. The reason seemed silly – “each played an ace of spades simultaneously” – but was enough to setup a fight between the pigs and the humans.
Clover and the other animals could not distinguish between a man and a pig or a pig and a man. They couldn’t differentiate between the pigs and the humans, they all looked the same.
Animal Farm Analysis: Chapter – 10
George Orwell shows the inevitable in a very chilling manner. All the hopes carried by the animals for a better life were shattered by the invitation of rival humans into the farm. The fact that the pigs learnt to walk on hind legs is a great indication that pigs don’t want to live like animals; but, they desired to become humans.
They break Third and Seventh Commandment as well by wearing clothes and stating that some animals are more equal. The “lower animals” now realize their predicament and during the quarrel they couldn’t comprehend the pigs from the humans. This shows that the creatures in that room have the same sense of purpose i.e. to suppress the hopes of people or animals and survive from their hard work.
The quarrel also suggests that there is always a struggle for power when two leaders come together. Although, Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon were completely totalitarian – when it came to adjusting among themselves – they couldn’t bear the sight of each other. All the forgotten differences might have sprung into the mind and all it required was an ace of spade.
George Orwell leaves the reader there and creates suspense about the future of the Animal Farm. There are many questions that need answering like:
What happened to Snowball?
Will Snowball ever return to the Animal Farm?
How can the animals fight out of their current situation?
But, all the answers linger between hope and vanity. The two powerful emotions that set the pace of the novella from the beginning.
The Real Animal Farm
Animal Farm Summary and Analysis given here direct the novella as a universal picture, where the suffering of people through the decisions of those in power is shown. However, Animal Farm clearly reflects certain incidents around the Russian Revolution and the consequences of it. George Orwell carefully writes the satire that seems to parallel the communist influence in Russia.
The people of Russia were suffering from the tyrannical rule of Tsar Nicholas II [Mr. Jones]. He was called as Nicholas the bloody for his endeavours as an Emperor. At the same time the communist ideas of Karl Marx influenced everyone and were further revolutionized by Lenin [Old Major]. The revolution led to the abduction of Tsar and a communist government was formed. Lenin was the one who made Russia [Manor Farm] into U.S.S.R [Animal Farm].
Leon Trotsky [Snowball] was a strong believer of the ideals of communism [Animalism] and aimed to improve the working class of the country, whereas Joseph Stalin [Napoleon] believed in taking power from the people, rather than giving it to them. When Trotsky’s policies interrupted the suppressive thoughts of Stalin, he was expelled from the country and assassinated. Even after years of his death, Stalin’s men blamed Trotsky for the sufferings of the people.
Gradually, the working class [Boxer, Benjamin, Clover…] suffered more than they did in the rule of Tsar but they were not able to realize it. Stalin expands his power in the International scenario through various trade ideas and along with his companions began to live a life of luxury just like Tsar Nicholas. Many associates of Trotsky were killed by the KGB, Stalin’s special police [Dogs], under the name of purge [confessions by the animals] and Stalin made efforts to eliminate all those who were loyal to Trotsky.
Joseph Stalin lingered dangerously amongst the capitalist allies [Mr. Pilkington] and Adolf Hitler [Mr. Frederick] not clearly showing faith to any one of them. In 1939, Stalin joined hands with Adolf Hitler which was an unexpected move. They sign the Non-Aggression Pact to stay in good friendship. But, Hitler attacks the western frontier of Russia few after signing the pact. This results in the death of more than 25-million people of Russia and the influential infrastructure [windmill] gets destroyed.
During the World War – II, Tehran Conference (1943) was conducted to ensure peace amongst different nations of the world. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin were present to discuss about peace and how to achieve it. But, they had their own opinions and disagreements and the war continued for two years after the conference. George Orwell fittingly uses the conference [card game] as the end to the Animal Farm. Everyone involved in the conference had their own schemes and were trying to hold the thread themselves. Therefore, peace was not achieved immediately just as in the card game where the pigs and the animals had their own intentions to dominate one another. When Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon were found to cheat the whole idea of working together gets disrupted.
The Russian working class, under the dictatorship of Stalin, realize that
“All Humans are equal, but some Humans are more equal than others.”
Just like in the Animal Farm where some animals became superior to the others using politics, schemes, emotions and dirty plots.
Orwell's Novella - Download in PDF