Chapter 1 Analysis Although Orwell aims his satire at totalitarianism in all of its guises—communist, fascist, and capitalist—Animal Farm owes its structure largely to the events of the Russian Revolution as they unfolded between 1917 and 1944, when Orwell was writing the novella. Much of what happens in the novella symbolically parallels specific developments in the history of Russian communism, and several of the animal characters are based on either real participants in the Russian Revolution or amalgamations thereof.
Due to the universal relevance of the novella’s themes, we don’t need to possess an encyclopaedic knowledge of Marxist Leninism or Russian history in order to appreciate Orwell’s satire of them. An acquaintance with certain facts from Russia’s past, however, can help us recognize the particularly biting quality of Orwell’s criticism (see Historical Background). Because of Animal Farm’s parallels with the Russian Revolution, many readers have assumed that the novella’s central importance lies in its exposure and critique of a particular political philosophy and practice, Stalinism.
In fact, however, Orwell intended to critique Stalinism as merely one instance of the broader social phenomenon of totalitarianism, which he saw at work throughout the world: in fascist Germany (under Adolf Hitler) and Spain (under Francisco Franco), in capitalist America, and in his native England, as well as in the Soviet Union. The broader applicability of the story manifests itself in details such as the plot’s setting—England. Other details refer to political movements in other countries as well. The animals’ song “Beasts of England,” for example, parodies the “Internationale,” the communist anthem written by the Paris Commune of 1871.
In order to lift his story out of the particularities of its Russian model and give it the universality befitting the importance of its message, Orwell turned to the two ancient and overlapping traditions of political fable and animal fable. Writers including Aesop (Fables), Jonathan Swift (especially in the Houyhnhnm section of Gulliver’s Travels), Bernard Mandeville (The Fable of the Bees), and Jean de La Fontaine (Fables) have long cloaked their analyses of contemporary society in such parables in order to portray the ills of society in more effective ways.
Because of their indirect approach, fables have a strong tradition in societies that censor openly critical works: the writers of fables could often claim that their works were mere fantasies and thus attract audiences that they might not have reached otherwise. Moreover, by setting human problems in the animal kingdom, a writer can achieve the distance necessary to see the absurdity in much of human behaviour—he or she can abstract a human situation into a clearly interpretable tale.
By treating the development of totalitarian communism as a story taking place on a small scale, reducing the vast and complex history of the Russian Revolution to a short work describing talking animals on a single farm, Orwell is able to portray his subject in extremely simple symbolic terms, presenting the moral lessons of the story with maximum clarity, objectivity, concision, and force. Old Major’s dream presents the animals with a vision of utopia, an ideal world.
The “golden future time” that the song “Beasts of England” prophesies is one in which animals will no longer be subject to man’s cruel domination and will finally be able to enjoy the fruits of their labours. The optimism of such lyrics as “Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown” and “Riches more than mind can picture” galvanizes the animals’ agitation, but unwavering belief in this lofty rhetoric, as soon becomes clear, prevents the common animals from realizing the gap between reality and their envisioned utopia. Chapter 2 Analysis
By the end of the second chapter, the precise parallels between the Russian Revolution and the plot of Animal Farm have emerged more clearly. The Manor Farm represents Russia under the part-feudal, part-capitalist system of the tsars, with Mr. Jones standing in for the moping and negligent Tsar Nicholas II. Old Major serves both as Karl Marx, who first espoused the political philosophy behind communism, and as Vladimir Lenin, who effected this philosophy’s revolutionary expression. His speech to the other animals bears many similarities to Marx’s Communist Manifesto and to Lenin’s later writings in the same vein.
The animals of the Manor Farm represent the workers and peasants of Russia, in whose name the Russian Revolution’s leaders first struggled. Boxer and Clover, in particular, embody the aspects of the working class that facilitate the participation of the working class in revolution: their capacity for hard work, loyalty to each other, and lack of clear philosophical direction opens them up to the more educated classes’ manipulation. The pigs play the role of the intelligentsia, who organized and controlled the Russian Revolution. Squealer creates propaganda similar o that spread by revolutionaries via official organs such as the Communist Party ? newspaper Pravda. Moses embodies the Russian Orthodox Church, weakening the peasants’ sense of revolutionary outrage by promising a utopia in the afterlife; the beer-soaked bread that Mr. Jones feeds him represents the bribes with which the Romanov dynasty (in which Nicholas II was the last tsar) manipulated the church elders. Mollie represents the self-centered bourgeoisie: she devotes herself to the most likely suppliers of luxuries and comfort.
The animals’ original vision for their society stems from noble ideals. Orwell was a socialist himself and supported the creation of a government in which moral dignity and social equality would take precedence over selfish individual interests. The Russian revolutionaries began with such ideals as well; Marx certainly touted notions like these in his writings. On Animal Farm, however, as was the case in the Russian Revolution, power is quickly consolidated in the hands of those who devise, maintain, and participate in the running of society—the intelligentsia.
This class of Russians and their allies quickly turned the Communist Party toward totalitarianism, an event mirrored in Animal Farm by the gradual assumption of power by the pigs. After Lenin’s seizure of power, Communist Party leaders began jockeying for position and power, each hoping to seize control after Lenin’s death. Snowball and Napoleon, whose power struggle develops fully in the next chapters, are based on two real Communist Party leaders: Snowball shares traits with the fiery, intelligent leader Leon Trotsky, while the lurking, subversive Napoleon has much in common with the later dictator Joseph Stalin.
Orwell’s descriptions in this chapter of the pre-Rebellion misery of the farm animals serve his critique of social inequality and the mistreatment of workers. They also make a pointed statement about humans’ abuse of animals. Indeed, the same impulse that led Orwell to sympathize with poor and oppressed human beings made him lament the cruelty that many human beings show toward other species. He got the idea forAnimal Farm while watching a young boy whipping a cart-horse. His pity for the exploited horse reminded him of his sympathy for the exploited working class.
Orwell creates a particularly moving scene in portraying the animals’ efforts to obliterate the painful reminders of their maltreatment: this episode stands out from much of the rest of the novella in its richness of detail. In the attention to “the bits, the nose-rings, the dog-chains, the cruel knives,” and a whole host of other instruments of physical discipline, we see Orwell’s profound empathy with the lowest of the low, as well as his intense hatred for physical suffering and its destruction of dignity.
Chapter 3 Analysis Boxer’s motto, in response to the increased labours on Animal Farm, of “I will work harder” is an exact echo of the immigrant Jurgis Rudkus’s motto, in response to financial problems, in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Whereas Boxer exerts himself for the common good, as his socialist society dictates he must, Jurgis exerts himself for his own good, as his capitalist society dictates he must. Both possess a blind faith that the key to happiness lies in conforming to the existing political-economic system.
Committed to socialism, Orwell would almost certainly have read The Jungle, which, published in its entirety in 1906, was a searing indictment of capitalism and galvanized the American socialist movement. His appropriation of Jurgis’s motto for Boxer implicitly links the oppression of capitalism with that of totalitarian communism, as, in each case, the state wholly ignores the suffering of those who strive to be virtuous and work within the system. The varying degrees of literacy among the animals suggest the necessity of sharing information in order for freedom to be maintained.
To the pigs’ credit, they do try to teach the other animals the basics of reading and writing, but the other animals prove unable or unwilling. The result is a dangerous imbalance in knowledge, as the pigs become the sole guardians and interpreters of Animal Farm’s guiding principles. The discrepancy among the animals’ capacity for abstract thought leads the pigs to condense the Seven Commandments into one supreme slogan: “Four legs good, two legs bad. ” The birds’ objection to the slogan points immediately to the phrase’s excessive simplicity.
Whereas the Seven Commandments that the pigs formulate are a detailed mix of antihuman directives (“No animal shall wear clothes”), moral value judgments (“No animal shall kill another animal”), and utopian ideals (“All animals are equal”), the new, reductive slogan contains none of these elements; it merely establishes a bold dichotomy that masks the pigs’ treachery. The motto has undergone such generalization that it has become propaganda, a rallying cry that will keep the common animals focused on the pigs’ rhetoric so that they will ignore their own unhappiness. In its implicity, this new, brief slogan is all too easy to understand and becomes ingrained in even the most dull- witted of minds, minds that cannot think critically about how the slogan, while seeming to galvanize the animals’ crusade for freedom, actually enables the pigs to institute their own oppressive regime. The animals themselves may ? be partially responsible for this power imbalance: on the whole, they show little true initiative to learn—the dogs have no interest in reading anything but the Seven Commandments, and Benjamin decides not to put his ample reading skills to use.
Though the birds don’t understand Snowball’s long-winded explanation of why wings count as legs, they accept it nonetheless, trusting in their leader. It would be unfair, however, to fault the common animals for their failure to realize that the pigs mean to oppress them. Their fervor in singing “Beasts of England” and willingness to follow the pigs’ instructions demonstrate their virtuous desire to make life better for one another. The common animals cannot be blamed for their lesser intelligence.
The pigs, however, mix their intelligence with ruthless guile and take advantage of the other animals’ apathy. Their machinations are reprehensible. Squealer figures crucially in the novel, as his proficiency in spreading lie-filled propaganda allows the pigs to conceal their acts of greed beneath a veneer of common good. His statements and behaviours exemplify the linguistic and psychological methods that the pigs use to control the other animals while convincing them that this strict regime is essential if the animals want to avoid becoming subject to human cruelty again.
In the opinion of Orwell, the socialist goals of the Russian Revolution quickly became meaningless rhetorical tools used by the communists to control the people: the intelligentsia began to interpret the “good of the state” to mean the good of itself as a class, and anyone who opposed it was branded an “enemy of the people. ” On Animal Farm, Squealer makes himself useful to the other pigs by pretending to side with the oppressed animals and falsely aligning the common good with the good of the pigs.
Chapter 4 Analysis This chapter extends the allegory of the Russian Revolution to Russia’s interwar period. The spread of Animalism to surrounding farms evokes the attempts by Leon Trotsky to establish communism as an international movement. Trotsky believed, as did Karl Marx, that communism could only achieve its goals if implemented on a global scale, and he devoted much of his formidable intelligence and eloquence to setting off what Western leaders later called the “Domino Effect. The Domino Effect, or Domino Theory, posited that the conversion or “fall” of a non-communist state to communism would precipitate the fall of other non-communist governments in nearby states. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson used this theory to justify their military involvement in Greece, Turkey, and Vietnam—countries they hoped to “save” from the spread of communism. In Animal Farm, the proprietors of the neighbouring farms fear a similar contagion, which we might term the “Snowball Effect. Just as the West tried to discredit Russian communism, so do Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick spread disparaging rumours about Animal Farm. Just as diplomatic skirmishes between the West and Russia ended up bolstering Trotsky and his allies, the armed skirmish between humans and animals ends up strengthening the animals’ hold on the farm. In this chapter, Orwell makes masterful use of irony, an important component of satirical writing, to illustrate the gap between what the animals are fighting for and what they believe they are fighting for.
All of the animals—except Mollie—fight their hardest in the Battle of the Cowshed, but as Chapter III demonstrates, they do not fully understand the ideals for which they fight, the principles that they defend. In putting all of their energies toward expelling the humans, the animals believe that they are protecting themselves from oppression. In reality, however, they are simply and unwittingly consolidating the pigs’ power by muting the primary threat to the pigs’ regime—the human menace.
Moreover, though the animals are prepared to give their lives in defense of Animal Farm, they appear unprepared to deal with the consequences of their fight: Boxer is horrified when he thinks that he has killed the stable boy. Snowball’s emphatic declaration after the battle of the need for all animals “to be ready to die for Animal Farm” sets up Orwell’s scrutiny of the motivations behind mass violence and manipulative leadership. Many readers have assumed that Animal Farm, in its critique of totalitarian communism, advocates the Western capitalist way of life as an alternative.
Yet a closer reading suggests that Orwell may take a more complicated stance. For if the animals represent the Russian communists and the farmers represent non-communist leaders, we see that Orwell denounces the communists, but also portrays the non-communist in a very harsh light. Mr. Jones proves an irresponsible and neglectful farm owner, and neither Mr. Pilkington nor Mr. Frederick hesitates to quash violently any animal uprisings that threaten his own supremacy. There is nothing noble in the men’s unprovoked attack on Animal Farm—they undertake this crusade merely out of self-interest. Chapter 5 Analysis This chapter illuminates Napoleon’s corrupt and power-hungry motivations. He openly and unabashedly seizes power for himself, banishes Snowball with no justification, and shows a bald-faced willingness to rewrite history in order to ? further his own ends. Similarly, Stalin forced Trotsky from Russia and seized control of the country after Lenin’s death. Orwell’s experience in a persecuted Trotskyist political group in the late 1930s during the Spanish Civil War may have contributed to his comparatively positive portrayal of Snowball.
Trotsky was eventually murdered in Mexico, but Stalin continued to evoke him as a phantom threat, the symbol of all enemy forces, when he began his bloody purges of the 1930s. These purges appear in allegorized form in the next chapters of Animal Farm. Lenin once famously remarked that communism was merely socialism plus the electrification of the countryside, a comment that reveals the importance of technological modernization to leaders in the young Soviet Union. The centrality of the electrification projects in the Soviet Union inspired the inclusion of the windmill in Animal Farm.
Communist leaders considered such programs absolutely essential for their new nation, citing their need to upgrade an infrastructure neglected by the tsars and keep up with the relatively advanced and increasingly hostile West. Russia devoted a great deal of brain- and manpower to putting these programs in place. As suggested by the plot of Animal Farm, Stalin initially balked at the idea of a national emphasis on modern technology, only to embrace such plans wholeheartedly once he had secured his position as dictator.
This chapter lies near the middle of Orwell’s narrative and, in many ways, represents the climax of the tension that has been building from the beginning. Since the animals’ initial victory over Mr. Jones, we have suspected the motives of the pig intelligentsia and Napoleon in particular: ever since the revelation in Chapter III that they have been stealing apples and milk for themselves, the pigs have appeared more interested in grabbing resources and power than in furthering the good of the farm. Now, when Napoleon sets his dogs on Snowball, he proves that his socialist rhetoric about the common good is quite empty.
The specifics of Napoleon’s takeover bespeak a long period of careful plotting: Napoleon has been deliberating his seizure of power ever since he first took control of the dogs’ training, in Chapter III. Thus, the banishment of Snowball constitutes the culmination of long-held resentments and aspirations and climactically justifies our feelings of uneasiness about Napoleon. In his use of the dogs, Napoleon has monopolized the farm’s sources of defense and protection—the dogs could have guarded the farm and warded off predators—in order to create his own private secret police.
The pigs claim a parallel monopoly on logic. Squealer linguistically transforms Napoleon’s self-serving act of banishing Snowball into a supreme example of self-sacrifice and manages to convince the animals that no contradiction underlies the leader’s abrupt about-face on the issue of the windmill. Each of Napoleon’s acts of physical violence thus gains acceptance and legitimacy via a corresponding exercise of verbal violence. Political subversion depends on a subversion of logic and language.
The connection between these two forms of violence and subversion remained a central concern for Orwell throughout his life, and he examines it both in later chapters of Animal Farm and in his last major novel, 1984. ?Chapter 6 Analysis Part of the greater importance of the novella owes to its treatment of Animal Farm not as an isolated entity but as part of a network of farms—an analogue to the international political arena. Orwell thus comments on Soviet Russia and the global circumstances in which it arose.
But the tactics that we see the pigs utilizing here—the overworking of the labouring class, the justification of luxuries indulged in by the ruling class, the spreading of propaganda to cover up government failure or ineffectiveness—evoke strategies implemented not only by communist Russia but also by governments throughout the world needing to oppress their people in order to consolidate their power. Napoleon makes the outrageous claim that Snowball was responsible for the windmill’s destruction in order to shift the blame from his own shoulders.
Governments throughout the world have long bolstered their standing among the populace by alluding to the horrors of an invisible, conspiratorial enemy, compared to which their own misdeeds or deficiencies seem acceptable. Stalin used this tactic in Russia by evoking a demonized notion of Trotsky, but the strategy has enjoyed popularity among many other administrations. Indeed, during much of the twentieth century, it was the communists who served as a convenient demon to governments in the West: both German and American governments used the threat of communism to excuse or cover up their own aggressive behaviours.
More broadly, the windmill represents the pigs’ continued manipulation of the common animals. They not only force the animals to break their backs to construct the windmill by threatening to withhold food; they also use the windmill’s collapse—the blame for which, though it is caused by a storm, rests with the pigs for not having the foresight to build thicker walls—to play on the animals’ general fear of being re-enslaved. By deflecting the blame from themselves onto Snowball, they prevent the common animals from realizing how greatly the pigs are exploiting them and harness the animals’ energy toward defeating this purported enemy. In this chapter, Orwell also comments on the cyclical nature of tyranny. As the pigs gain power, they become increasingly corrupt. Soon they embody the very iniquity that Animal Farm was created to overturn. As many political observers have noted, Stalin and his officials quickly entered into the decadent lifestyles that had characterized the tsars. The communists themselves had pointed to these lifestyles in maligning the old administration.
Orwell parodies this phenomenon by sketching his pigs increasingly along the lines of very grotesque human beings. Throughout the novel, the pigs increasingly resemble humans, eventually flouting altogether Old Major’s strictures against adopting human characteristics. With the pigs’ move into the farmhouse to sleep in the farmer’s beds, Orwell remarks upon the way that supreme power corrupts all who possess it, transforming all dictators into ruthless, self-serving, and power- hungry entities that can subsist only by oppressing others.
Chapter 7 Analysis The humans react with relief when the windmill topples because its failure seems to justify their contempt for the animals and their belief in their own superiority. Similarly, Soviet Russia struggled against a largely justified reputation for industrial incompetence, famine, and poor management. Stalin’s vaunted Five-Year Plans for agriculture resulted in the starvation of millions of people, and industrial production lagged far behind the capitalist West.
But the Soviets were determined to mask their problems and keep them from the eyes of the rest of the world. Correspondingly, the pigs of Animal Farm devise elaborate schemes to keep the human farmers from learning about their difficulties. The windmill becomes an important measure of the farm’s competence, and its collapse deals a major blow to the pigs’ prestige as equals in the community of farms—just as Soviet Russia’s industrial setbacks threatened its position as an equal to the leading nations of the world and as a viable model of communist revolution.
Chapter VII joins Chapter VI in focusing primarily on the violent tactics employed by oppressive governments—again explored through the behaviour of the pigs—to maintain the docility and obedience of the populace even as their economic and political systems falter and grow corrupt. In Soviet Russia, these tactics led to a massive class division in a supposedly egalitarian society. Orwell suggests that as long as a leadership claims a monopoly on logic, it will be able to justify its monopoly on resources, while the common people suffer and grow hungry.
Similarly, as life on Animal Farm grows leaner and leaner for most of the animals, the pigs live in increasing luxury. Napoleon’s transformation of the exiled Snowball into a despicable enemy to all who care about the good of Animal Farm mirrors Stalin’s abuse of the exiled Trotsky. Those animals who show even a glimmering of disapproval toward Napoleon, such as the hens who oppose the selling of their eggs, meet a swift death. Similarly, after forcing Trotsky’s exile from Russia, Stalin continued to claim the existence of Trotskyist plots throughout Soviet society.
During the1930s, he staged a number of infamous “purges,” show trials during which Stalin and his allies essentially forced government members and citizens to “confess” their complicity with Trotskyist or other anti-Stalinist conspiracies. In many cases, the purge victims would admit to activities in which they had never engaged, simply to put a stop to their torture. But after confessing, the alleged conspirators were executed as “enemies of the people. Stalin used his purges to eliminate any dissident elements in his government, provide his people with a common enemy to despise, and keep both the populace and his staff in a state of fear for their own safety, making them far less likely to disobey orders or challenge his rule in any way. Just as the pigs rewrite history, they manipulate statistics in their favor, claiming that every important aspect of life on the farm has improved statistically since the Rebellion: animals live longer, eat more, have more offspring, work fewer hours, and so forth.
In this way, the pigs produce a false vision of reality. Then, by ensuring that this reality is the only one to which the other animals have access and by establishing an effective death penalty for any animal who questions it, they render their dictatorship indestructible. Fear makes the animals inclined to believe the pigs’ propaganda, and by allowing themselves to believe in the comforting lies, the animals find what may be their only safe haven from violence and terror. Chapter 8 Analysis
By this point, Napoleon and Squealer have so systematically perverted the truth that the animals cannot recognize their leaders’ duplicity even when they witness it directly. Karl Marx had theorized the need for a “dictatorship of the proletariat” during the early years of his prescribed revolution, under which democratic freedoms would take second place to stamping out resistance in the bourgeoisie. In Soviet Russia, Stalin and his colleagues used Marx’s theories as a justification for their increasingly violent and tyrannical actions.
Moreover, they used this one Marxist principle to ? justify their neglect of the other principles. The Stalinist government, for example, quickly altered the noble ideals of equal work and equal compensation in order to favor the politically and militarily powerful. Even when the machinations of the government became clear to everyone in Russia—in the novella we see such a moment when the animals catch Squealer literally rewriting the law on the side of the barn—no significant popular revolt among the working classes ever occurred.
Similarly, the animals show no signs of rebellion. Minimus’s poem provides compelling evidence for the animals’ largely uncritical attitude toward the regime that oppresses it. Though the poem is outrageously inflated and tastelessly sentimental, the animals don’t question it; instead, they allow it to speak for them. With the poem, Orwell creates a passage of great irony and a wonderful satire of patriotic rhetoric. Much of the poem’s humour arises from its combination of high and low language, exposing the ridiculousness of what it intends to celebrate.
Thus, the poem praises Napoleon as “Fountain of happiness! ” but also “Lord of the swill-bucket! ” While it glorifies life under Napoleon, it emphasizes its simple triviality: “All that [his] creatures love” amounts to a “full belly” and “clean straw. ” This stylistic use of contrast helps render the poem’s tone of utter devotion (“Oh how my soul is on / Fire”) a mockery of itself. At the same time, of course, the poem parodies actual anthems and patriotic odes. Orwell aims to expose the inanity of such patriotic sentiment, and also its emptiness, if not its misdirection.
He suggests that such rhetoric fails to examine the essence of that which it praises. The description of Napoleon’s dealings with his neighbours, Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, elaborately parodies Stalin’s diplomatic tap dance with Germany and the Allies at the outset of World War II. Stalin, faced with an unpleasant choice between the capitalist Allies and the fascist Germans and reluctant to enter into another large war, stalled by alternately siding with one country and then the other, using propaganda to drag the populace along with his changing allegiances.
At the last minute, and quite unexpectedly, he signed the Non-Aggression Pact (an agreement not to wage war on each other) with the German leader Adolf Hitler, much as Napoleon makes the surprise move of selling the timber to Mr. Frederick. Hitler almost immediately went back on his word—as is evoked by Mr. Frederick’s forged banknotes—and invaded Russia’s western frontier, eventually killing over twenty-five million Russians and demolishing much of the infrastructure that the Soviets had built since the Russian Revolution.
In his depiction of the animals’ response to Mr. Frederick’s gratuitous destruction of the great windmill, Orwell aptly conveys the tremendous sense of betrayal and feelings of anger that Russians felt toward Germany during and after World War II. The pigs, echoing another tactic of the victorious governments after World War II, use the heroism of individuals from the lower classes to reinforce the patriotism of the demoralized survivors. Orwell crafts particularly keen descriptions of the patriotic celebrations and rituals after the animals’ war with Mr.
Frederick’s men. He subtly implies that while such ceremonies have the apparent function of bestowing the glory of the state upon the individual, they truly serve the opposite goal: to transfer the nobility of individual sacrifices onto the state. There are several notable parallels between Animal Farm and Orwell’s final novel, 1984. One can argue that Animal Farm was even a sort of study for 1984, which applies many of Animal Farm’s themes and ideas to human society, rendering the horror of totalitarian government all the more real.
One of the principal ideas that each work addresses is the ability of those in power to control and alter both attitudes and history, especially by subverting language. Just as Squealer offers a host of statistics to show that Animal Farm is in better shape than ever, despite the fact that the animals are hungry and cold, so too does the Ministry of Plenty, in 1984, crank out misleading reports about how greatly production has increased; indeed, the ministry reduces rations but convinces people that it is actually increasing them.
Similarly, Animal Farm’s ever-alternating alliance with Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington and the leaders’ claim that the farm has always remained committed to the same farmer reaches the apex of absurdity in 1984. In the middle of a speech during Hate Week, the masses mindlessly accept the speaker’s assertion that their country, Oceania, which has indeed been at war with Eurasia, is actually not at war and never has been at war with Eurasia. He says the country is and always has been at war with Eastasia.
The masses, carrying explicit anti-Eurasia signs, become embarrassed about their apparent mistake. ?Chapter 9 Analysis As members of the revolutionary era in Russia began to expect to receive some compensation for all of the terrible sacrifices they had made in the revolution and in the war with Germany, they became painfully aware of the full extent of their betrayal at the hands of the Stalinist leadership. The quality of life for the average citizen continued to decline, even as the ruling class grew ever larger and consumed ever more luxuries. Orwell uses Boxer’s death as a searing ? ndictment of such totalitarian rule, and his death points sadly and bitterly to the downfall of Animal Farm. The great horse seems to have no bad qualities apart from his limited intellect, but, in the end, he falls victim to his own virtues—loyalty and the willingness to work. Thus, Boxer’s great mistake lies in his conflation of the ideal of Animal Farm with the character of Napoleon: never thinking for himself about how the society should best realize its founding ideals, Boxer simply follows Napoleon’s orders blindly, naively assuming that the pigs have the farm’s best interest at heart.
It is sadly ironic that the system that he so loyally serves ultimately betrays him: he works for the good of all but is sold for the good of the few. The pig leadership’s treachery and hypocrisy becomes even more apparent in the specific manner of Boxer’s death: by selling Boxer for profit, the pigs re-enact the very same cruelties against which the Rebellion first fights—the valuing of animals for their material worth rather than their dignity as living creatures. When a new crate of whisky arrives for the pigs, we can reasonably infer that the money for it has come from the sale of Boxer.
Moreover, the intensely pathetic nature of Boxer’s fate—death in a glue factory—contrasts greatly with his noble character, and the contrast contributes to the dramatic effect of Boxer’s death, increasing the power of Orwell’s critique. Boxer’s life and death provide a microcosm for Orwell’s conception of the ways in which the Russian communist power apparatus treated the working class that it purported to serve: Orwell suggests that the administration exhausted the resources of the workers for its own benefit and then mercilessly discarded them.
In order to defuse potential outrage at his blatant cruelty, Napoleon brings Moses back and allows him to tell his tales of Sugarcandy Mountain, much as Stalin made a place for the once-taboo Russian Orthodox Church after World War II. Moses’s return signals the full return of oppression to the farm. While the pigs object early on to Moses’s teachings because they undermine the animals’ will to rebel, they now embrace the teachings for precisely the same reason.
Napoleon further hopes to appease his populace by means of his Spontaneous Demonstrations, which force the animals to go through the motions of loyalty, despite what they may actually feel. The name of the new ritual bears particular irony: these gatherings are anything but spontaneous and demonstrate very little beyond a fearful conformity. The irony of the title indicates the overriding hollowness of the event.
Because the elite class controls the dissemination of information on Animal Farm, it is able to hide the terrible truth of its exploitation of the other animals. Fallible individual memories of Snowball’s bravery and Napoleon’s cowardice at the Battle of the Cowshed prove no match for the collective, officially sponsored memory that Squealer constructs, which paints a picture indicating completely the reverse. With no historical, political, or military resources at their command, the common animals have no choice but to go along with the charade.
Chapter 10 Analysis The last chapter of Animal Farm brings the novel to its logical, unavoidable, yet chilling conclusion. The pigs wholly consolidate their power and their totalitarian, communist dictatorship completely overwhelms the democratic-socialist ideal of Animal Farm. Napoleon and the other pigs have become identical to the human farmers, just as Stalin and the Russian communists eventually became indistinguishable from the aristocrats whom they had replaced and the Western capitalists whom they had denounced.
The significance of Napoleon’s name is now entirely clear: the historical Napoleon, who ruled France in the early nineteenth century and conquered much of Europe before being defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1814, originally appeared to be a great liberator, overthrowing Europe’s kings and monarchs and bringing freedom to its people. But he eventually crowned himself emperor of France, shattering the dreams of European liberalism. Rather than destroying the aristocracy, Napoleon simply remade it around himself.
Similarly, the pig Napoleon figures as the champion of Animalism early on. Now, however, he protests to the humans that he wants nothing more than to be one of them—that is, an oppressor. Throughout the novella, Orwell has told his fable from the animals’ point of view. In this chapter, we see clearly the dramatic power achieved by this narrative strategy. The animals remain naively hopeful up until the very end. Although they realize that the republic foretold by Old Major has yet to come to fruition, they stalwartly insist that it will come “[s]ome day. These assertions charge the final events of the story with an intense irony. For although Orwell has used foreshadowing and subtle hints to make us more suspicious than the animals of the pigs’ motives, these statements of ingenuous faith in Animal Farm on the part of the common animals occur just before the final scene. This gap between the animals’ optimism and the harsh reality of the pigs’ totalitarian rule creates a sense of dramatic contrast.
Although the descent into tyranny has been gradual, Orwell provides us with a restatement of the original ideals only moments before the full revelation of their betrayal. ?? Orwell uses emphatic one-line paragraphs to heighten the terror of this betrayal: the succinct conveyance of “It was a pig walking on his hind legs” and “He carried a whip in his trotter” drops this stunning information on us without warning, shocking us as much as it does the animals. Moreover, Orwell’s decision to tell the story from the animals’ point of view renders his final tableau all the more terrible.
The picture of the pigs and farmers, indistinguishable from one another, playing cards together is disturbing enough by itself. Orwell, however, enables us to view this scene from the animals’ perspective—from the outside looking in. By framing the scene in this way, Orwell points to the animals’ total loss of power and entitlement: Animal Farm has not created a society of equals but has simply established a new class of oppressors to dominate the same class of oppressed—a division embodied, as at the opening of the novella, by the farmhouse wall.
The final distillation of the Seven Commandments that appears on the barn—“all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”—stands as the last great example of how those in power manipulate language as an instrument of control. At the beginning of the novella, the idea of “more equal” would not only have seemed contrary to the egalitarian socialist spirit of Animal Farm, it would have seemed logically impossible. But after years of violence, hunger, dishonesty, and fear, the spirit of Animal Farm seems lost to a distant past.
The concept of inherent equality has given way to notions of material entitlement: Animal Farm as an institution no longer values dignity and social justice; power alone renders a creature worthy of rights. By claiming to be “more equal”—an inherently nonsensical concept—than the other animals, the pigs have distorted the original ideals of the farm beyond recognition and have literally stepped into the shoes of their former tyrannical masters. Important Quotations Explained . “Four legs good, two legs bad. ” This phrase, which occurs in Chapter III, constitutes Snowball’s condensation of the Seven Commandments of Animalism, which themselves serve as abridgments of Old Major’s stirring speech on the need for animal unity in the face of human oppression. The phrase instances one of the novel’s many moments of propagandizing, which Orwell portrays as one example of how the elite class abuses language to control the lower classes.
Although the slogan seems to help the animals achieve their goal at first, enabling them to clarify in their minds the principles that they support, it soon becomes a meaningless sound bleated by the sheep (“two legs baa-d”), serving no purpose other than to drown out dissenting opinion. By the end of the novel, as the propagandistic needs of the leadership change, the pigs alter the chant to the similar-sounding but completely antithetical “Four legs good, two legs better. ” 2.
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tiding Of the golden future time. These lines from Chapter I constitute the first verse of the song that Old Major hears in his dream and which he teaches to the rest of the animals during the fateful meeting in the barn. Like the communist anthem “Internationale,” on which it is based, “Beasts of England” stirs the emotions of the animals and fires their revolutionary idealism. As it spreads rapidly across the region, the song gives the beasts both courage and solace on many occasions.
The lofty optimism of the words “golden future time,” which appear in the last verse as well, serves to keep the animals focused on the Rebellion’s goals so that they will ignore the suffering along the way. Later, however, once Napoleon has cemented his control over the farm, the song’s revolutionary nature becomes a liability. Squealer chastises the animals for singing it, noting that the song was the song of the Rebellion. Now that the Rebellion is over and a new regime has gained power, Squealer fears the power of such idealistic, future-directed lyrics.
Wanting to discourage the animals’ capacities for hope and vision, he orders Minimus to write a replacement for “Beasts of England” that praises Napoleon and emphasizes loyalty to the state over the purity of Animalist ideology. 3. At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws. These words from Chapter V describe Napoleon’s violent expulsion of Snowball from Animal Farm, which parallels the falling-out between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky.
Napoleon, who is clearly losing the contest for the hearts and ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?minds of the lower animals to his rival Snowball, turns to his private police force of dogs to enforce his supremacy. As Stalin did, Napoleon prefers to work behind the scenes to build his power by secrecy and deception, while Snowball, as Trotsky did, devotes himself to winning popular support through his ideas and his eloquence.
Napoleon’s use of the attack dogs in this passage provides a blatant example of his differences with Snowball and points beyond the story to criticize real leaders for their use of such authoritarian tactics. More generally, this episode is the first of many in which the political positioning of the Rebellion’s early days gives way to overt violence, openly subverting the democratic principles of Animal Farm. It signals the deterioration of Animal Farm from a society based on equal rights to a society in which those who are powerful determine who gets what rights. . All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. The ultimate example of the pigs’ systematic abuse of logic and language to control their underlings, this final reduction of the Seven Commandments, which appears in Chapter X, clothes utterly senseless content in a seemingly plausible linguistic form. Although the first clause implies that all animals are equal to one another, it does not state this claim overtly.
Thus, it is possible to misread the word “equal” as a relative term rather than an absolute one, meaning that there can be different degrees of “equal”-ness, just as there can be different degrees of colorfulness, for example (more colourful, less colourful). Once such a misreading has taken place, it becomes no more absurd to say “more equal” than to say “more colourful. ” By small, almost imperceptible steps like these, the core ideals of Animal Farm—and any human nation—gradually become corrupted. The revision of the original phrase also points to the specific form of corruption on Animal Farm.
The initial, unmodified phrase makes reference to all animals, its message extending to the entire world of animals without distinction. Similarly, Old Major expresses ideals that posit the dignity of all, the comradeship of all, the inclusion of all in voting and decision-making, so that no one group or individual will oppress another. The revised phrase, however, mentions an “all,” but only in order to differentiate a “some” from that “all,” to specify the uniqueness, the elite nature, and the chosen status of that “some. ” The pigs clearly envision themselves as this rivileged “some”; under their totalitarian regime, the working animals exist only to serve the larger glory of the leadership, to provide the rulers with food and comfort, and to support their luxurious and exclusive lifestyle. 5. “If you have your lower animals to contend with,” he said, “we have our lower classes! ” This quip, delivered by Mr. Pilkington to Napoleon and his cabinet during their well-catered retreat inside the farmhouse in Chapter X, makes fully explicit the process of ideological corruption that has been taking place throughout the novella.
Old Major’s notion of the absolute division of interests between animals and humans here gives way to a division between two classes, even cutting across species lines. Pigs and farmers share a need to keep down their labouring classes. Mr. Pilkington’s witticism lays bare the ugly but common equation of labourers with animals. Moreover, the quote serves to emphasize directly the significance ofAnimal Farm as a social commentary, cementing the conceptual link between the downtrodden animals and the working classes of the world.
Orwell explodes his “fairy story,” as he termed it, by bringing it into the realm of human consequence, thereby making its terrors all the more frightening to his readership. Principles Of Animalism ?Principles of Animalism 1: The basic ideas Old Major passes on in his first speech are that humans are the enemy because they overwork the animals and treat them badly. He says all animals should cooperate to overthrow the humans. He teaches that all animals are equal, even the wild creatures like rats and rabbits, and that they should all protect each other as friends. All humans are enemies.
He warns the animals never to live in houses, sleep in beds, wear clothes, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, touch money or engage in trade – these are all the evil habits of humans. Particularly, no animal must ever try to exert power over another animal – strong or weak, they are all brothers. As a symbol of Animalism and its ideas, he teaches them the song, Beasts of England. Principles of Animalism 2: Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer are the ones who develop Old Major’s ideas into acomplete system of thought and name it Animalism. They determine specific principles which they can then teach to the other animals. Principles of Animalism 3: The pigs then reduce the principles of Animalism to seven basic commandments. These include that animals are equal, all animals are friends and all humans enemies, and that animals should not wear clothes, sleep in a bed, drinkalcohol or kill any other animal. The Seven Commandments omit some of Old Major’s original warnings, such as that animals should not touch money or engage in trade. Principles of Animalism 4: Although all the animals are equal, the pigs take over the leadership with the very first harvest – it is seen as natural that because they know more they should direct and supervise the others.
Principles of Animalism 5: The Seven Commandments are then reduced to just one principle, which is written in bigger letters above the others – Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad. Snowball says that this is the essence of Animalism and anyone who thoroughly grasps it will be safe from human influences. Principles of Animalism 6: It is accepted that the pigs have the right to decide the farm policies because they are more intelligent – even though all animals are equal.
Principles of Animalism 7: Napoleon then decides that the animalsshould not even be allowed to vote on decisions, but everything should be decided by a committee of pigs which will meet in private and communicate its decisions to the other animals later. He is to preside over the committee himself. Principles of Animalism 8: The skull of Old Major, as the founder of Animalism, is disinterred (now clean of flesh) and set up on a stump at the foot of the flagstaff, beside the gun, and the animalsare required to file past it reverently before entering the barn on a Sunday.
Although the animals are supposedly still equal, the seating arrangements in the barn change to reflect a kind of hierarchy. The pigs and dogs sit on the raised platform, with the other animals sitting facing them in the main part of the barn. At the very front of the platform are Napoleon, Squealer and the poet Minimus, with the young dogs forming a semi-circle around them. Principles of Animalism 9: At crucial moments when the animalsare dragging heavy boulders up the slope of the quarry, the pigs will actually join in.
This is clearly unusual – the pigs are avoiding all the physical labor that goes into running the farm and leave it all for the ‘lower’ animals to do. Principles of Animalism 10: Old Major warned never to handle money, engage in trade, or have any dealings with human beings, but Napoleon has now decided to do this. He has little choice – the farm needs iron, lamp oil, nails and string etc. which it cannotproduce. However, the pigs do not admit that they are going against anything Old Major said. They claim there was never any resolution against these things. Principles of Animalism 11: Squealer begins to refer to Napoleon as ‘the Leader’.
When the pigs move into the farmhouse and begin sleeping in the beds, the Fourth Commandment turns out to have mysteriously changed. It now reads ‘No animal shall sleep in a bedwith sheets. ‘ Principles of Animalism 12: Napoleon’s dogs slaughter a large number of the animals. This is the first time anyone has broken the rule that no animal shall kill another animal – up to now not even a rat has been killed. Principles of Animalism 13: The change of ‘Beasts of England’ to the song ‘Animal Farm’ is part of the change from Old Major’s original ideas of freedom to the pigs’ own agenda.
Principles of Animalism 14: After Napoleon has several of the animals executed, the Sixth Commandment has mysteriously changed and now reads “No animal shall kill any other animalwithout cause. ” Principles of Animalism 15: The term ‘Comrade’, originally meant to remind everyone that all the animals are equal, becomes completely meaningless when used in connection with the general hero-worship of Napoleon. ?Principles of Animalism 16: After the pigs get drunk on whisky from the farmhouse cellar, Napoleon orders Whymper to buy some booklets on brewing and distilling, and arranges to plant barley.
The Fifth Commandment is then found to have been changed to read ‘No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. ‘ Principles of Animalism 17: Squealer explains away the fact that the pigs and dogs have not had their rations reduced along with the other animals, by saying that a too rigid equality in rations would be ‘contrary to the principles of Animalism’. Principles of Animalism 18: Napoleon now argues against ideas from the early days of Animalism, like putting electric lights in the stalls, by saying that they are ‘contrary to the spirit of Animalism’.
Principles of Animalism 19: The pigs disobey even the ‘essence’ of Animalism – four legs good, two legs bad. In the end the SevenCommandments of Animalism are obliterated and replaced with one commandment which is the opposite of the originals: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. ” Right after this, the pigs order a telephone and newspaper subscriptions and start wearing clothes, carrying whips and smoking pipes. Principles of Animalism 20: After so completely subverting the principles of Animalism, the pigs actually turn into humans.
Propaganda ?Propaganda 1: Old Major uses some techniques of propaganda in his speech to the animals – he identifies humans as the enemy, and attempts to unite them all against this common enemy. He promises that their lives will be better and easier if they do what he suggests and overthrow the humans. He also teaches them a simple, easy-to-remember song, Beasts of England, to inspire them with his ideas. Although he genuinely believes that he is acting in the animals’ best interests and is not trying to deceive them, this is all still propaganda.
Propaganda 2: The pigs persuade the other animals to agree with the principles of Animalism. They hold secret meetings in the barn, which always end with singing ‘Beasts of England’. When the animals talk about loyalty to Mr. Jones, or ask why they should care about the Rebellion if it is going to happen after they die, or why they need to work for it if it is going to happen anyway, the pigs do not focus on logically explaining away these difficulties. Instead, they tell the animals that these ideas are contrary to the spirit of Animalism.
It is very difficult to oppose an abstract argument like this. When Mollie asks if there will still be sugar and ribbons after the Rebellion, Snowball tells her that her ribbons are a badge of slavery. Although she does not seem convinced, she doesn’t try to argue with him. Boxer and Clover, once they have been told something by the pigs, pass it on to the other animals by simple arguments. Propaganda 3: Although the sheep, hens and ducks may not fully understand what it means, they all memorize the slogan “Four legs good, two legs bad. ” Such a slogan is simple, easy to remember and repeat.
The sheep develop a great liking for it and often all lie around in the field bleating “Four legs good, two legs bad” for hours without getting tired of it. The question is, does someone repeating such a slogan really think about what it means, or simply get used to the sound and accept the slogan? Propaganda 4: Squealer uses several clever techniques to persuade the other animals to accept that the pigs will keep all the apples and milk. He tells the animals that he hopes they don’t think the pigs are doing this to be selfish – implying that if they do think this, they are being foolish.
He tells them that many of the pigs in fact dislike milk and apples – he says he dislikes them himself – and take them only to stay healthy for the sake of the other animals. He tells them it is scientifically proven that milk and apples contain substances absolutely necessary to the health of a pig. He says that because the pigs are brainworkers and do all the management, they have a duty to stay as alert and healthy as they possibly can. He plays off the animals’ fears by telling them that if the pigs fail in their duty, Jones will come back.
All the animals are very afraid of Jones coming back, and so if the only way to avoid it is to give the pigs all the milk and apples, they will agree to this. Propaganda 5: Snowball and Napoleon use messengers to spread their ideas as widely as possible to animals on surrounding farms, and to teach these animals the signature tune, “Beasts of England”. ?Propaganda 6: Pilkington and Frederick engage in anti-Animal Farm propaganda, making up exaggerated horror stories about what they think is happening there, without any grounding in reality.
Propaganda 7: Each faction – the one that supports Napoleon and the one that supports Snowball – develops its own simple slogan to persuade animals to vote for that candidate, emphasizing the future benefits. The two slogans are “Vote for Snowball and the three-day week” and “Vote for Napoleon and the full manger”. Propaganda 8: Squealer emphasizes that with one false step, the animals will bring Jones back. He uses their fear of Jones to make them cooperate.
Propaganda 9: When the animals ask why, if the windmill was Napoleon’s idea, he spoke so strongly against it, Squealer explains that it was a maneuver to get rid of Snowball, who was a dangerous influence. He says that this is called ‘tactics’, and although the animals don’t understand the word, Squealer is so persuasive and the three dogs with him look so threatening that they accept the explanation. Propaganda 10: Squealer persuades the animals that their memories are at fault when they think they remember passing a resolution against money and trade at the first meeting after the Rebellion.
He suggests that this is imaginary and probably due to lies spread by Snowball. He also asks them how they can be sure they did not dream it, since there is no record in writing and no proof of such a resolution. Propaganda 11: When the animals remember passing a resolution in the early days never to use the farmhouse, Squealer is again able to convince them that they are imagining it. He emphasizes that it is necessary for the pigs as brainworkers to have a quiet place to work, and that it is unsuitable for the Leader (Napoleon) to be living in an undignified sty.
He convinces them that there can never have been a ruling against beds, since a bed is simply a place to sleep and even a pile of straw must count as a bed – he says the rule was against sheets, which are a human invention, and that the pigs have removed the sheets from the farmhouse beds. He says the pigs need a comfortable place to sleep because of all the brainwork they have to do, and asks whether the animals want the pigs to be too tired to carry out their duties, and whether they want Jones to come back. Propaganda 12: When the windmill blows down in a gale, Napoleon prevents the pigs from looking stupid for building the walls too thin.
He claims that Snowball crept in overnight and broke the windmill apart. He also has a pig leave footprints in the grass leading to the hedge, so that he can ‘discover’ them in front of the animals, sniff them and announce that they are Snowball’s. This lends credibility to his story. Propaganda 13: Napoleon does not want the humans to realize that the animals are starving, so he persuades Whymper that there is more than enough food. Previously no animals have had contact with Whymper, but Napoleon orders a few of them, mostly sheep, to casually mention to each other that rations have been increased when Whymper is nearby.
He also arranges for the nearly empty storage bins to be filled up with sand, which is then covered with what remains of the grain and meal. He finds an excuse to lead Whymper through the storage shed, so that Whymper is deceived into thinking the bins are all full and reports to the outside world that the animals have plenty of food. During the major shortage at the end of January, Napoleon avoids making appearances in public, and makes sure he is guarded by a number of dogs whether he is inside the farmhouse or somewhere on the farm.
Propaganda 14: Squealer manages to convince the animals that whereas they remember Snowball fighting heroically at the Battle of the Cowshed, he was in fact on the other side. He does this by telling them that the pigs have found secret documents proving it – he tells Boxer he could show him evidence of the plot in Snowball’s own handwriting, but Boxer would not be able to read it since Boxer only knows the first four letters of the alphabet.
The animals remember seeing Snowball wounded by Jones’s gun, but Squealer tells them it was part of the arrangement and the shot only grazed him. He asks them if they don’t remember Snowball signaling them all to turn and run away at the key moment (which in fact happened, since Snowball had arranged to lead the men into the cowshed by pretending to run ? away and then ambushing them). Squealer describes Snowball’s cowardice at the scene of the battle, and Napoleon’s imaginary bravery, in such detail that it seems to the animals they do remember these things.
When Boxer still refuses to believe that Snowball was already a traitor at the Battle of the Cowshed, Squealer changes his mind by telling him that Napoleon says so. Propaganda 15: Napoleon bans the song ‘Beasts of England’ and replaces it with a new song praising the glories of Animal Farm. Squealer explains the action by saying that ‘Beasts of England’ is outdated because it was a song wishing for freedom and the animals now have their freedom and no longer need the song.
Some of the animals might have protested, but the sheep, Napoleon’s most devoted followers, start bleating ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ over and over again and put an end to the discussion. Propaganda 16: When the animals become upset because they are always hungry, Squealer starts reading to them every Sunday from long strips of paper, telling them that the production of every type of food on the farm has increased by two, three or even five hundred percent. The animals do not remember very well what conditions were like under Jones, so they do not dispute this.
Propaganda 17: As Napoleon leans towards selling the timber to Pilkington rather than Frederick, anti-Frederick rumors begin to abound. Some of them are that Frederick is planning to take over Animal Farm with a group of armed men and has already bribed the magistrates and police to let it happen; and that Frederick tortures and starves his animals. Napoleon tells the pigeons that he sends out to neighboring farms to drop their slogan of ‘Death to Humanity’ and replace it with ‘Death to Frederick’.
Propaganda 18: Now that the animals have finally accepted Squealer’s version of the Battle of the Cowshed and remember this as the true version, he is able to convince them further that they are still remembering things wrong and Snowball was in fact criticized for his cowardice in the battle. Propaganda 19: When Napoleon changes his mind and sells the timber to Frederick, all the stories are immediately changed so that the animals will not think that Napoleon has acted inconsistently.
He tells them that the rumors of an attack are totally untrue, that he has been in agreement with Frederick secretly the whole time, and that the rumors of cruelty to animals on Pinchfield probably originated with Snowball, who is not at Pinchfield after all, but has been living in luxury at Foxwood for years. He says he only pretended to be friendly with Pilkington to get Frederick to raise his price. Propaganda 20: Squealer overwhelms the animals and forestalls their complaints with endless lists of ‘facts’ which they cannot disprove because the facts are total nonsense.
Propaganda 21: Strategically, as the animals have less and less food, Napoleon makes sure they are encouraged more and more to be enthusiastic about Animal Farm and be patriotic. He also further revises his story of the Battle of the Cowshed, to make the animals believe that Snowball was the out and out villain. Some of them still remember seeing wounds on Snowball’s back, but they are told that these were inflicted by Napoleon’s teeth.
Propaganda 22: Although the pigs officially declare that everything Moses says about Sugarcandy Mountain is a lie, they secretly are glad to have his ideas spread around the farm – they allow him to stay on doing no work, and give him an allowance of a gill of beer a day. Moses tells the animals that after they die they will have a happy, easy life in a better world, and this makes them more likely to accept their current hungry, laborious lives. Greed Greed 1: Old Major describes all the evils the humans force on the animals as due to greed.
He warns the animals that humans act only in their own interests and will steal everything the animalsproduce. Jones callously slaughters the animals when they have become useless. ?Greed 2: Although the animals assume that theapples will be shared out equally, the pigs take all the apples and milk for themselves. The pigs do not acknowledge that they are being greedy, but say that they are taking the apples and milk for the good of the other animals, because it is important that they remain in good health to manage the farm.
Greed 3: Mollie is too lazy to do her share of the work, even though the other animals are supporting her and giving her an equal share of food. Because Mollie wants her sugar and ribbons, even though they are not allowed on the farm, she decides to run away from Animal Farm. She abandons the other animals and finds a new owner who will give her what she wants. Greed 4: Napoleon isn’t satisfied with the fact that the pigs, of whom he is a leader, now run the farm. He wants more power, he wants personal power, and he doesn’t want to share his power with Snowball – so he develops a scheme to run Snowball off the farm.
Greed 5: The pigs are not satisfied with living in their sty, but move into the farmhouse. They take their meals in the kitchen, use the drawing-room as a recreation room and sleep in the beds. They also start getting up an hour later than the other animals do. Greed 6: Napoleon is still hungry for more power and more status. He issues all his orders through Squealer or one of the other pigs, and avoids going out in public more often than once every two weeks. When he does appear he is attended by his dogs and a black cockerel.
In the farmhouse he moves into separateapartments from the others, takes his meals alone with two dogs waiting on him, and eats from the special Crown Derby china dinner service. The gun is now fired on his birthday as well as the other two anniversaries every year. The pigs make up titles for him like ‘Father of All Animals’, ‘Terror of Mankind’ and ‘Protector of the Sheep-fold. ‘ Greed 7: Napoleon refuses to take a check for the timber, and demands to be paid in cash.
He then holds a special meeting to display the bank-notes – he lies on a bed of straw on the platform, wearing both the military decorations he has awarded himself, with the money next to him piled on a china dish from the farmhouse kitchen. The animals are allowed to file past one by one and look at the money for as long as they want to. This backfires on Napoleon – it turns out that the notes were forged and Frederick got the timber for nothing. Greed 8: Napoleon buys sugar for himself, but doesn’t allow the other pigs to eat it. He fathers thirty-one piglets, impregnating all four of the sows on the farm at about the same time.
The pigs are hungry for yet more status – they make a rule that if a pig and another animal meet on a path, the other animal must stand aside. They also make a rule that all pigs, of whateverdegree, will be allowed to wear a green ribbon on their tail on Sundays as a mark of privilege. Greed 9: The pigs cook up the barley and instead of using it to feed the hungry animals, use it to brew beer. They give each pig an allowance of a pint of beer a day, with half a gallon for Napoleon, which is served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen.
Greed 10: The pigs sell Boxer to the knacker to be slaughtered, because he is past work – even though, with proper care, he could have been expected to live another three years. They want the money to buy themselves whisky. Greed 11: After many years, Napoleon becomes a mature boar weighing twenty-four stone, while Squealer becomes so fat that it is difficult for him to see out of his eyes. Greed 12: Clearly, the human farmers are just as keen to make a profit and care as little about their animals as the pigs do. The humans compliment the pigs on their methods.
More Quotes ?Quote 1: “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. ” Chapter 1, pg. 7 Quote 2: “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades. ” Chapter 1, pg. 9 Quote 3: “THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS 1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 2.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 3. No animal shall wear clothes. 4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 7. All animals are equal. ” Chapter 2, pg. 21 Quote 4: “The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. ” Chapter 3, pg. 24 Quote 5: “I will work harder! Chapter 3, pg. 25 Quote 6: “FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD” Chapter 3, pg. 29 Quote 7: “It was given out that the animals there practised cannibalism, tortured one another with red-hot horseshoes, and had their females in common. This was what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature, Frederick and Pilkington said. ” Chapter 4, pg. 33 Quote 8: “‘I have no wish to take life, not even human life,’ repeated Boxer, and his eyes were full of tears. ” Chapter 4, pg. 37 Quote 9: “No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal.
He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? ” Chapter 5, pp. 47-8 Quote 10: “Napoleon is always right. ” Chapter 5, pg. 48 Quote 11: “All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings. ” Chapter 6, pg. 1 Quote 12: “The human beings did not hate Animal Farm any less now that it was prospering; indeed, they hated it more than ever. ” Chapter 6, pg. 56 Quote 13: “They were always cold, and usually hungry as well. ” Chapter 7, pp. 62-3 Quote 14: “If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of meal. ” Chapter 7, pg. 6 Quote 15: “If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak… Instead – she did not know why – they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes. ” Chapter 7, pp. 73-4 ?? Quote 16: “[S]ome of the animals remembered – or thought they remembered – that the Sixth Commandment decreed ‘No animal shall kill any other animal. And though no one cared to mention it in the hearing of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the killings which had taken place did not square with this. ” Chapter 8, pg. 76 Quote 17: “It had become usual to give Napoleon the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another, ‘Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days’; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, ‘Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes! ‘” Chapter 8, pg. 8 Quote 18: “Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones’s day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas. ” Chapter 9, pg. 93 Quote 19: “Besides, in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made all the difference, as Squealer did not fail to point out. Chapter 9, pg. 94 Quote 20: “Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally. ” Chapter 10, pg. 107 Quote 21: “Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse – hunger, hardship and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life. ” Chapter 10, pg. 109 Quote 22: “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” Chapter 10, pg. 12 Quote 23: “No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. ” Chapter 10, pg. 118 Themes, Motifs & Symbols Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Corruption of Socialist Ideals in the Soviet Union Animal Farm is most famous in the West as a stinging critique of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution.
Retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones by a democratic coalition of animals quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. Much like the Soviet intelligentsia, the pigs establish themselves as the ruling class in the new society. The struggle for preeminence between Leon Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs Snowball and Napoleon.
In both the historical and fictional cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure (Trotsky and Snowball) is expelled from the revolutionary state by the malicious and violent usurper of power (Stalin and Napoleon). The purges and show trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies and solidified his political base find expression in Animal Farm as the false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill.
Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual abandonment of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviors, the trappings of their original oppressors. Although Orwell believed strongly in socialist ideals, he felt that the Soviet Union realized these ideals in a terribly perverse form. His novella creates its most powerful ironies in the moments in which Orwell depicts the corruption of Animalist ideals by those in power.
ForAnimal Farm serves not so much to condemn tyranny or despotism as to indict ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? the horrifying hypocrisy of tyrannies that base themselves on, and owe their initial power to, ideologies of liberation and equality. The gradual disintegration and perversion of the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy with vivid force, as do Squealer’s elaborate philosophical justifications for the pigs’ blatantly unprincipled actions. Thus, the novella critiques the violence of the Stalinist regime against the human beings it ruled, and also points to Soviet communism’s violence against human logic, language, and ideals.
The Societal Tendency Toward Class Stratification Animal Farm offers commentary on the development of class tyranny and the human tendency to maintain and reestablish class structures even in societies that allegedly stand for total equality. The novella illustrates how classes that are initially unified in the face of a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, may become internally divided when that enemy is eliminated. The expulsion of Mr.
Jones creates a power vacuum, and it is only so long before the next oppressor assumes totalitarian control. The natural division between intellectual and physical labor quickly comes to express itself as a new set of class divisions, with the “brainworkers” (as the pigs claim to be) using their superior intelligence to manipulate society to their own benefit. Orwell never clarifies in Animal Farm whether this negative state of affairs constitutes an inherent aspect of society or merely an outcome contingent on the integrity of a society’s intelligentsia.
In either case, the novella points to the force of this tendency toward class stratification in many communities and the threat that it poses to democracy and freedom. The Danger of a Naive Working Class One of the novella’s most impressive accomplishments is its portrayal not just of the figures in power but also of the oppressed people themselves. Animal Farm is not told from the perspective of any particular character, though occasionally it does slip into Clover’s consciousness.
Rather, the story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Gullible, loyal, and hardworking, these animals give Orwell a chance to sketch how situations of oppression arise not only from the motives and tactics of the oppressors but also from the naivete of the oppressed, who are not necessarily in a position to be better educated or informed. When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right. Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’s oppression. The Abuse of Language as Instrumental to the Abuse of Power One of Orwell’s central concerns, both in Animal Farm and in 1984, is the way in which language can be manipulated as an instrument of control. In Animal Farm, the pigs gradually twist and distort a rhetoric of socialist revolution to justify their behavior and to keep the other animals in the dark.
The animals heartily embrace Major’s visionary ideal of socialism, but after Major dies, the pigs gradually twist the meaning of his words. As a result, the other animals seem unable to oppose the pigs without also opposing the ideals of the Rebellion. By the end of the novella, after Squealer’s repeated reconfigurations of the Seven Commandments in order to decriminalize the pigs’ treacheries, the main principle of the farm can be openly stated as “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. ” This outrageous abuse of the word “equal” and of the ideal of