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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



At last the winter was over and the animals worked even harder to complete the windmill.

Some animals had thought that the walls were too thin on the original windmill, so this time the walls were made twice as thick, which meant an even harder task for the animals.  They were kept going by the thought that once the windmill was completed, their lives would be easier.

Napoleon concludes his deal concerning the sale of timber to Frederick, but it turns out that the money used to buy the timber is forged.

Soon after, Frederick with fifteen men, attack the farm and blow up the windmill with gunpowder. The Battle of the Windmill results in the death of many animals, and it is only through the intervention of the dogs that the humans are driven off. They also lose three men.

Squealer tries to lead the victory celebrations, but the animals find it difficult to see how they won the battle, as they lost so many animals and the windmill was destroyed.

The pigs discover a crate of whisky and celebrate in the farmhouse.  It is noted that another Commandment now seems to read differently from that originally remembered - “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess”.

The effect of the explosion on the windmill is disastrous to the morale of the animals, but Boxer tries to rally them vowing that he will rebuild the windmill.

One of the pigs, Minimus, composes a song in honor of Comrade Napoleon:

 “Friend of the fatherless! 

Fountain of happiness!

Lord of the swill-bucket!  Oh, how my soul is on

Fire when I gaze at thy

Calm and commanding eye,

Like the sun in the sky,

Comrade Napoleon! ''

“Had I a suckling pig,

Ere he had grown as big

Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin,

He should have learned to be

Faithful and true to thee,

Yes, his first squeak should be

Comrade Napoleon.”

The poem was inscribed on the wall at the opposite end of the barn from the Seven Commandments.
The pigs are na've in thinking that they have taken advantage of the humans by selling the timber to Frederick at a high price, and their smugness is soon replaced by anger when they realize that they have been paid in forged notes.

Napoleon’s reaction is to put Frederick on the top of his wanted list and his incompetence is soon blotted out with the battle that follows.

Unlike the Battle of the Cowshed, the Battle of the Windmill is a total failure, mainly due to the fact that the humans were in control of this affair rather than the animals.  It is clear that if Snowball had still been on the scene, then matters might have turned out differently in the battle.

To the outside world, the windmill is the symbol of animalism and in destroying this symbol you destroy the animal society. Napoleon failed to ensure that the windmill was adequately protected.

Using propaganda, Napoleon through Squealer turns this defeat into victory, and throughout all this, the animals still forlornly hope that Old Major’s dreams will eventually come to fruition.

Napoleon now views the animals as a means to an end. He clearly wishes to try and keep the remaining animals on board, and this can be achieved through fear.  He still uses propaganda in trying to brainwash the animals, but like all such dictators, he has lost touch with those that he rules. Ironically, he is now starting to believe his own propaganda, and even some of the least intelligent of the animals are beginning to see through the fa'ade of Napoleon. 

They used to enjoy singing their old song, and what has been put in its place is uninspiring and tasteless. 

There is now a steady shift away from the unreserved loyalty shown by Boxer towards the cynicism of Benjamin, who was lucky to escape the purge. He was wise enough to limit his outspoken views.

The reader again witnesses a further humanizing of the pigs with their excessive alcohol drinking, which leads to the amendment of another Commandment.

Apart from the loss of life at the Battle of the Windmill, there were also animals who suffered serious injuries, in particular Boxer who split a hoof. This marks his slow deterioration in the months ahead.

Towards the end of the Chapter, Orwell again makes good use of irony for at last the animals discover who has been amending the Commandments.  Squealer is discovered in a heap below the wall showing the Commandments with a pot of paint and a brush. This comes as no surprise to the reader, but again Orwell uses third person narrative in order to provide the animals’ perspective to this incident.  However, the penny does not fully drop with some of the animals. They are now in the habit of not thinking for themselves, but having the pigs do this for them.


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