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Animal Farm


Author Background
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10



In addition to the general running of the farm, the animals now have to work on building the windmill, which requires the quarrying of stone and its transportation to the hilltop.

The animals’ happy memories of their first summer now seem very distant as their conditions become more oppressive.

Boxer remains the example to the other animals, and they are inspired by his hard work.

Soon it was necessary for the animals to work on Sunday afternoons as well, but with a common purpose they labored hard to make a success of the windmill.  Their main challenge was the breaking up of the stone into suitable sized pieces, for no animal could use a pick or crowbar. In the end, the animals used gravity by dropping boulders onto other boulders in order to produce smaller pieces.  However, the process was slow and laborious. 

Clover was concerned that Boxer was working too hard, but her warnings went unheeded.

Although the animals were working harder than they had when Jones was in charge, at least they had sufficient amounts of food to eat.

The animals learned that Napoleon had now started trading with the other farms. This seemed to go against the basic ideology of Animal Farm. Napoleon advised the animals that he had engaged a solicitor to act on their behalf.  He ended his speech by saying, “Long live Animal Farm!” and they all sang “Beasts of England”.  Some of the more intelligent animals questioned this action.

There were also rumors that Animal Farm would be conducting business with Messrs. Pilkington and Frederick.

The pigs now took up residence in the farmhouse, and again Squealer justified this action by saying that the pigs required peace and quiet in order to carry out their brain work.

Clover felt that the pigs’ actions went against the Seven Commandments.  As she had difficulty in reading, she asked Muriel to read the 4th Commandment, which read, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”.  Clover was sure that this Commandment had never mentioned sheets, and Squealer explained that there was no rule about animals sleeping in a bed without sheets.

A gale hits the farm and the animals awake to find their windmill destroyed.

Napoleon blames this on Snowball, calling it an act of terrorism.

The reader now witnesses the start of the 2-tier system within Animal Farm.

Napoleon and some of the pigs do not wish to share in the hardship endured by the other animals, and so that they can lead a more luxurious life, trading commences with the neighboring farms.  Using propaganda, Squealer infers that all the animals will benefit from this trading.

Unwittingly, Boxer becomes the main support for Napoleon, his idealistic view blinding him to the deception he and the other animals suffer from.  Like all true dictators, Napoleon is establishing a totally different life for himself and his lieutenants and the rest of the community have to work hard to support his regime.

Orwell uses a favorite theme regarding the manipulation of history.  Slowly, one by one, the original Seven Commandments are revised. For Napoleon realizes that in order to control the present and the future, he must change recent history in order to support the current doctrine. It is fortunate that the animals have poor memories, and their only grasp of the past is through the inscribed Commandments on the barn wall, which are amended whilst they work in the fields or on the windmill.

Napoleon and the pigs are slowly transforming into “humans” mimicking their behavior.

Boxer’s blind acceptance of these changes means that the majority of the animals are content to fall in line. They, after all, hold Boxer in high esteem due to the hard work he puts in to the running of the farm.  Boxer holds an extreme position, and is in stark contrast to Benjamin who is skeptical about all the changes that happen on the farm and the delusion of animalism.

Again there are similarities between Animal Farm and Russia between the two wars.  Napoleon announces his 2-year plan for building the windmill directly mirroring the infamous 5-year Plans of Stalin. Although Napoleon recognizes the importance of the windmill, the main aim of its construction is to keep the animals occupied so that they have little time to ponder the changes that are being made on the farm.  Stalin used the same tactics in keeping control over the masses in Russia, and Boxer symbolizes these masses on the farm.

Napoleon is creating a totalitarian society whose success is based on isolating the members from the outside world.  Animal Farm and its occupants have been separated from the rest of the world so that they can easily accept their harsh conditions because they know nothing else.

There are many parallels in today’s world regarding such systems, namely China after the Second World War, and Afghanistan and North Korea in more recent times.  At the head of such a system is, of course, an omnipotent leader who lives a godlike existence, and the main purpose of the masses is to support this leader.


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