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ICSE Class 10 English Animal Farm Summary
We have provided below a summary of Chapter Animal Farm. This is an important chapter in Standard 10th ICSE English. The summary provided below has been prepared by expert English faculty for ICSE based on the latest ICSE books. You should refer to all Chapter Summaries ICSE Class 10 English which will help you to understand all chapters and to get more marks in exams.
Animal Farm ICSE Class 10 English
About the Author
Animal Farm is an allegorical novella written by George Orwell, first published in England on 17th August, 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell was a democratic socialist, he was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow – directed Stalinism. He had an attitude that was critically shaped by his experiences during the Spanish Civil War. He believed that the Soviet Union, had become a brutal dictatorship built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror. In a letter to Yvonne Davet, Orwell described Animal Farm as a satirical tale against Stalin (“Un Conte Satirique Contre Staline,”), and in his essay “Why I write” (1946), he wrote that, Animal Farm was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole”.
The original title was ‘Animal Farm’ : A Fairy story; U.S. Publishers dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime was kept.
Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and the British people, and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem; it was a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American Publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly, because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the cold war.
Time magazine chose the book ‘Animal Farm’ as one of the best 100 English language novels (1923 to 2005), it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th century novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is included in the great books of the western world selection.
Introduction of the Novel
Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as “enemies” and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called “Beasts of England”. When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer, Mr. Jones, from the farm, renaming it as “Animal Farm”. They adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, “All animals are equal.”
Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health.
Some time later, several men attack Animal Farm. Jones and his men are making an attempt to recapture the farm, aided by several other farmers who are terrified of similar animal revolts. Snowball and the animals, who are hiding in ambush, defeat the men by launching a surprise attack as soon as they enter the farmyard. Snowball’s popularity soars, and this event is proclaimed, “The Battle of the Cowshed”. It is celebrated annually with the firing of a gun, on the anniversary of the Revolution.
Napoleon and Snowball vie for pre-eminence. When Snowball announces his plans to modernize the farm by building a windmill, Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and declares himself leader.
Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer, Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project. Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat, Napoleon begins to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consorting with his old rival. When some animals recall the Battle of the Cowshed, Napoleon (who was nowhere to be found during the battle) frequently smears Snowball as a ‘collaborator of Jones’, while falsely representing himself as the ‘hero of the battle’. “Beasts of England” is replaced with an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that they are better off under Napoleon, than they were under Mr. Jones.
Mr. Frederick, one of the neighbouring farmers, attacks the farm, using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Though the animals win the battle, they do so at great cost, as many, including Boxer the workhorse, are wounded. Despite his injuries, Boxer continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the veterinary surgeon, explaining that better care can be given there. Benjamin, the cynical donkey who “could read as well as any pig”, notices that the van belongs to a knacker and attempts a futile rescue. Squealer quickly assures the animals that the van had been purchased from the knacker by an animal hospital, and the previous owner’s signboard had not been repainted. In a subsequent report, Squealer reports sadly to the animals that Boxer died peacefully at the animal hospital; the pigs hold a festival one day after Boxer’s death to further praise the glories of Animal Farm and have the animals work harder by taking on Boxer’s ways. However, the truth was that Napoleon had engineered the sale of Boxer to the knacker, allowing him and his inner circle to acquire money to buy whiskey for themselves. (In 1940s England, one way for farms to make money was to sell large animals to a knacker, who would kill the animal and boil its remains into animal glue.)
Years pass by, and the windmill is rebuilt along with construction of another windmill, which makes the farm a good amount of income. However, the ideals which Snowball discussed, including stalls with electric lighting, heating and running water, are forgotten, with Napoleon advocating that the happiest animals live simple lives. In addition to Boxer, many of the animals who participated in the Revolution are dead, as is Farmer Jones, who died in another part of England. The pigs start resembling humans, as they walk upright, carry whips and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to a single phrase. “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name, “The Manor Farm”. As the animals look from pigs to humans, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two.
• Old Major : He was an aged prize Middle white boar, who was about to die soon. He provides the inspiration that fuels the rebellion. He is an allegorical combination of Karl Marx, one of the creator of Communism, and Lenin the communist leader of the Russian Revolution and the early Soviet nation, in that he draws up the principles of the revolution. Major died, leaving Snowball and Napoleon to struggle for control of legacy.
• Napoleon : A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire. He was the only Berkshire on the farm, who was not a much talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way. He emerged as the leader of ‘Animal Farm’ after the Rebellion. He overthrew Snowball. Napoleon is the main villain of ‘Animal Farm’ who is called Cesar. Based on Joseph Stalin, Napoleon used his nine loyal attack dogs as his military force to intimidate the other animals and consolidate his power.
• Snowball : Napoleon’s rival and original head of the farm after Jones was overthrown. He is mainly based on Leon Trotsky but he also combines elements from Lenin as well. He was a clever pig, who won the loyalty of the other animals by his decisions for the betterment of the farm. He failed to see the sinister thoughts of Napoleon who easily chased him away from the farm.
• Squealer : He was a small, white, fat porker who served as Napoleon’s second-in-command and minister to spread propaganda among the other animals. He was holding a position similar to that of Vyacheslav Molotov. Squealer justified the Pigs’ monopolisation of resources and spread false statistics pointing to the farm’s success.
• Minimus : The poet pig who wrote verses about Napoleon. He also wrote second and third National Anthems of ‘Animal Farm’ after the singing of “Beasts of England” was banned.
• The piglets – Hinted to be the children of Napoleon and they were the first generation of animals subjugated to his idea of animal inequality.
• The young pigs : The four pigs who complain about Napoleon’s take over of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed, the first animals killed in Napoleon farm.
• Pinkeye : A minor pig who is mentioned once in the novel, he is the pig who tastes Napoleon’s food to make sure it is not poisoned, in response to rumours about assassination attempt on Napoleon.
• Mr. Jones : He was the original owner of the Manor Farm before the Rebellion. He drank heavily. His farm was in disrepair without farm hands who often looked on the job. He was an unkind master who indulged in heavy alcohol while his animals lacked food. He tried to gain the power of the farm once again, but failed. He is an allegory of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who was murdered along with the rest of his family on 17th July, 1918 by the Bolsheviks.
• Mr. Frederick : The shrewd owner of neighbouring Pinchfield Farm, who briefly enters into an alliance with Napoleon. Animal farm shares land boundaries with Pinchfield on one side and Foxward on another, making Animal Farm a “Buffer Zone” between the two bickering farmers. The animals of Animal Farm were terrified of Frederick, because he had a secret motive of capturing the Animal Farm and he even destroyed their windmill. Napoleon entered into an alliance with Frederick in order to sell surplus timber. However, the animals were able to turn Frederick away after much loss.
• Mr. Pilkington : The easy – going but crafty and well-to-do owner of Foxword, a large neighbouring farm overgrown with weed. Unlike Frederick, Pilkington is rich and owns more land, but his farm is in need of care as opposed to Frederick’s smaller but more efficiently – run farm. Although on bad terms with Frederick, Pilkington is also concerned about the animal revolution that deposed Jones, and worried him, that this could happen to him also.
• Mr Whymper : The human solicitor hired by Napoleon to represent Animal Farm in human society. At first, he is used to acquire necessities that cannot be produced on the farm, such as, dog biscuits and Paraffin wax, but later he procures luxuries like, alcohol for the pigs.
Horses and Donkeys
• Boxer : was a loyal, kind, dedicated, extremely strong, hard-working and respectable cart – horse, although quite naive and gullible. He played a key role in the early prosperity of Animal Farm and the later completion of the windmill. Quick to help others but he was rather slow-witted. Boxer showed much devotion to Animal Farm’s ideals but he had little ability to think about them independently. He naively trusted the pigs to make all his decisions for him. But he held the belief that ‘Napoleon is always right’. When boxer is injured, Napoleon sells him to a local knocker to buy himself whisky, and Squealer gives a moving account falsifying Boxer’s death.
• Mollie : A self – centred, self – indulgent and vain young mare who pulled Mr. Jones carriage. Mollie craved the attention of human beings and loved being groomed and pampered. She had a difficult time with her new life on Animal Farm, as she missed wearing ribbons in her mane and eating sugar cubes. She quickly leaves for another farm after the revolution. She is only once mentioned again, in a manner similar to those who left Russia after the fall of Tsar.
• Clover : A female cart-horse and Boxer’s close friend. She is gentle and caring who shows concern especially for Boxer, who often pushes himself too hard. Clover can read all the letters of the alphabet, but cannot “put words together.“ She seems to catch on the sly tricks and schemes set up by Napoleon and Squealer. She often suspected the pigs of violating one or another of the Seven Commandments, but she repeatedly blamed herself for misremembering the commandments.
• Benjamin : He was a donkey, who was one of the oldest, wisest animal on the farm. And also one of the few who can read properly. The donkey was indifferent to any of the happenings on the farm. Benjamin firmly believed that life would remain unpleasant no matter who was in charge. Of all the animals on the farm, he alone comprehended the changes that took place, but he seemed either unwilling or unable to oppose the pigs.
• Muriel : A wise, white, old goat who was friendly with all the animals on the farm. She, like Benjamin and Snowball, is one of the few animals on the farm who could read. She read the Seven Commandments to Clover, whenever Clover suspected the pigs of violating their prohibitions.
• Jessie and Bluebell : Two dogs, each of whom gave birth to nine puppies early in the novel. Napoleon took the puppies in order to “educate” them. He reared them to become savage beasts who served him.
• The puppies : They were offsprings of Jessie and Bluebell, they were taken away at birth by Napoleon and reared by him to be his security force.
• Moses : was the raven who was a special pet of Mr. Jones. He was a spy and a tale – bearer, but he was a clever talker. He had spread stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, the paradise to which animals supposedly go when they die. Moses played only a small role in Animal Farm.
• The sheep : They show limited understanding of the Animalism and the political atmosphere of the farm. They blindly support Napoleon’s ideals with vocal jingles during his speeches and meetings with Snowball.
• The hens : The hens are promised at the start of the revolution that they get to keep their eggs, which are stolen from them under Mr. Jones. However, their eggs are soon taken from them under the promise of buying goods from outside Animal Farm. The hens are among the first to rebel against Napoleon.
• The cows : The cows are enticed into revolution by promises that their milk will not be stolen, but can be used to raise their own calves. Their milk is then stolen by the pigs, who learn to milk them. The milk is stored into the pig’s mash everyday, while the other animals are denied such luxuries.
• The cat : was never seen to carry out any work, it was absent for long periods and is forgiven, because her excuses are so convincing and she “purred so affectionately” that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions. She has no interest in the politics of the farm, and the only time she is recorded having participated in an election, she is found to have actually “voted on both sides”.
Freedom is the birth right of every living being, whether it is a human being or any animal. Nobody wants to lead a slavery life. Someone has to rebel for the cause. Here are the animals of the Manor Farm, who are ill-treated, starved to death by their owner Mr. Jones, and they start to rebel against him.
One night Mr. Jones stumbles drunkenly up to bed as the farm animals were waiting in the still silence. The moment he goes to sleep, all animals bustle around. They all were preparing themselves for the big meeting that is to take place that night. Old Major has called the meeting to discuss a strange dream he had the previous night He is waiting for his fellow animals in the big barn.
The first animals to arrive are the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie and Pincher, followed by the pigs, hens, pigeons, sheep and cows, as well as the horses : Boxer, Clover and Muriel, the white goat, and the donkey, Benjamin, followed them. A group of motherless ducklings were wandering in and Clover, being the motherly type, forms a safe place for them to sit with her leg. Mollie, the young mare, arrives just before the cat, who settles in between Boxer and Clover. Everybody attends the meeting except Moses, the raven, who is sleeping on his perch behind the barn door.
Old Major addresses the animals, calling them, “Comrades”. He explains that, since he is getting old and may die soon, he wishes to impart his wisdom. Over his lifetime, he has come to the conclusions that, “No animal in England is free “ and “ The life of an animal is full of misery and slavery.”
Old Major states that animals’ domination by man is the sole reason they cannot be free, happy and fulfilled. Man is “ the only creature that consumes without producing”. His only job is to be “lord of all the animals,‘‘ which makes him “the only real enemy “animals have. Man overworks animals only to rob them of the fruits of their labour, and treat them only well enough to survive and provide more labour. When man is done with an animal, he slaughters it cruelly.
According to Old Major, Rebellion is the path to freedom. Overthrowing the human race would make animals “rich and free” almost instantly. Old Major begs the other animals to devote the rest of their lives to the cause of Rebellion and to reject the idea that they have codependency with man. Furthermore, the animals must be united in order to overthrow man : “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades,‘‘ Despite saying this, he is not sure whether wild animals count on them or not.
Old Major holds a vote to decide whether domesticated animals should unite with wild animals. Only the dogs and the cat voted for the “No”, although the cat is not paying attention and votes twice. After the vote, Old Major crystallizes his point, stating : “Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.” He adds the additional point that, once they have achieved victory, animals must not emulate man. They must not wear clothing, live in houses, or copy any of man’s other ‘evil’ habits.
Finally, Old Major relates his dream to the animals. His dream was about the state of happiness that will exist once man is eliminated. In the dream, a tune his mother and the other sons sang to him in his childhood returned to him, and new words accompanied the tune. Old Major is sure that he has uncovered an old animal anthem in his dream life, that has been dormant for generations. It is called ‘Beasts of England’, and he sings it to the other animals. Orwell describes the song as “a stirring tune”. The song glorifies the freedom and joy that will follow “ Tyrant man’s overthrow”, and he urges all animals to “toil for freedom’s sake,” even if they die before the cause is won.
The song rouses the animals, even the dullest of animals learn it in minutes. In fact, the animals are so taken with the song that they sing it five times in unison. The ruckus awakes Mr. Jones, who fires several bullets from his shotgun into the barn wall. Because of the fear of Mr. Jones, everyone fled to their own original places and the whole farm was asleep in a moment.
Word Meanings :
Soon after the meeting, something unusual happened at Manor Farm. Old Major died peacefully in his sleep, three days after the meeting took place. The animals buried him in the farm’s orchard. In the three months that followed, the most intelligent of the animals began meeting regularly. Even though they didn’t know when the Rebellion would happen, yet, they organized for it. The work of organizing and teaching fell upon the pigs, who were considered to be the cleverest of all animals. The two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, took the responsibility upon themselves. Snowball was a vivacious pig, whereas Napoleon was a large, rather fierce pig who was not much of a talker. Another pig named Squealer, joined Napoleon and Snowball, as he was well known for his powers of speech and persuasion. The three pigs worked together to formalize old Major’s ideas into a system of ideas called ‘Animalism’. They held several secret meetings to expound the principles of Animalism to others. The pigs faced difficulty to convince other animals about the need for Rebellion. Some wondered why they should work for the Rebellion that might not happen in their life times. Among them was Moses, the raven, who promised them that they would go to a land of plenty called ‘Sugarcandy Mountain’, when they died. Boxer and Clover proved helpful in winning the animals over to the cause, because the animals believed the horses to be trustworthy.
Soon the animals got the opportunity to rebel against Mr. Jones who had lately fallen into evil ways. He lost a lawsuit and therefore, continued to neglect the farm and drank too much. His men were dishonest who also neglected the farm and, thus the farm kept deteriorating and the animals were kept underfed. One Saturday night, Mr. Jones got drunk in the Red Lion and forgot to feed the animals. The cows broke in the door of the store shed and, thus all animals helped themselves to food. When Mr Jones tried to stop and whip the animals, they fought back. Jones, his family and his men ran out of the farm.
The animals, seeing what they had accomplished and realizing that they were free, destroyed the farmer’s tools and the symbols of their bondage, such as bits, nose rings and halters. They burned everything that reminded them of their oppressor. After that, they all sang ‘Beasts of England’ seven times before they could go to sleep.
The next morning the animals hurled themselves into the air with leaps of excitement and gazed around in the morning light. They all agreed on the point that no animal must ever live there. In the meantime, the pigs had taught themselves to read and write and renamed Manor Farm as Animal Farm.
On the barn wall they wrote the basic tenets of Animalism as 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.
All animals agreed to them. Just before the animals moved out to the hay field to harvest, they realized that the cows needed milking, so the pigs decided to do the job. When the animals wondered about what would be done with the buckets of milk, Napoleon told them not to worry. Soon after when the animals returned from the hay field, they noticed that the milk in the buckets had disappeared.
Word Meanings :
The animals had to work very hard to get the hay in. But, the harvest was more of a success than Mr. Jones and his men ever accomplished, despite the fact that the tools were not well suited for animals to use. The pigs supervised the others but did not participate in the manual labour. With their superior knowledge, they assumed leadership for themselves. All animals worked day and night and finished the harvest in two days less than it had taken Mr. Jones and his men. The horses, ducks and hens, played their role in the harvest. With the ‘parasitical human beings’ out of the way, the animals enjoyed a feeling of abundance for the first time. They had more leisure and their food tasted all the better as it was not doled out to them by a grudging master. However, they had to face many difficulties. They had a hard time harvesting the corn. Boxer was invigorated and pushed himself to work harder than ever, because he was strong and big, thus he contributed to the most strenuous labour. In contrast, the hens and ducks worked together gathering small bits of corn that the bigger animals were not able to do.
The system of Animalism on Animal Farm worked well : Every animal was satisfied with his share of the labour and its fruits. No one stole or argued, and very few shirked their responsibilities, with the exception of frivolous Mollie and the cat. Mollie was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof. And the cat could never be found, where there was work for her to do. Old Benjamin, the donkey, seemed unchanged and worked in the same slow obstinate way.
Every Sunday was a day of rest on the Animal Farm. The animals held an hour-long ceremony, which was conducted every week without fail. The flag was hoisted which was green, to represent the green field of England, as explained by Snowball. The hoof and the horn signified the future Republic of the Animals, which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown. A gathering called meeting followed the flag raising, in which the animals planned the coming week and the pigs represented resolutions for debate. Snowball and Napoleon debated the most and took the opposite sides. The animals ended each ‘meeting’ by singing “Beasts of England.” The pigs had set up a study centre for themselves in the harness : room, where they studied trades using Mr. Jones’ books. Snowball began organizing the animals into Animal Committees, including, the Egg Production Committee, the Clean Tails League, the Wild Comrades’ Re-education Committee, to tame rats and rabbits and the Whiter Wool Movements. Snowball succeeded in teaching some of the animals to read, although most of them lacked the intelligence needed for literacy. In fact, many of the animals lacked the intelligence needed to memorize the Seven Commandments, so Snowball reduced Animalism’s tenets (Commandments) to one simple saying : “Four legs good, two legs bad.” As time passed, the pigs began to increase their control over the other animals. For example, when Jessie and Bluebell gave birth to puppies, Napoleon took them to an isolated loft where he could teach them. The loft could only be reached by a ladder from the harness room. Soon everyone forgot their existence. Napoleon believed that educating young, impressionable animals was more important than trying to re-educate older ones. It turned out that pigs started mixing the cow’s milk with their food. When the wind knocked ripe apples out of the orchard trees, the pigs claimed the right to take them all, as well as the bulk of the apple harvest. The pigs claimed that they needed milk and apples in order to power their “brainwork”. Squealer explained that if, the pigs would stop drinking milk and eating apples, they could lose their powers of organization and Mr. Jones would come back. The threat of Mr. Jones’s return was enough to quell the other animals’ doubts and questions.
Word Meanings :
The news of Animal Farm Rebellion has spread to the surrounding country. Snowball and Napoleon are sending pigeons to the neighbouring farms and beyond, to tell the animals about the rebellion, and to teach them the tune of “Beasts of England”. Mr. Jones had spent a lot of time at the Red Lion complaining to everyone about the “Monstrous injustice he had suffered from a pack of good-for-nothing animals.” The owners of the two adjoining farms, Foxwood and Mr. Pilkington, started spreading rumours about the Animal Farms that, animals there practised cannibalism and tortured one another with red horseshoes.
These stories were never fully believed and caused a wave of rebelliousness throughout the countryside. The tune and words of “Beasts of England” were heard everywhere and started spreading at a remarkable speed.
Early one day in October, a flight of pigeons came and gave news that Jones, all his men, and half a dozen men from the neighbouring farms, had entered the five barred gate and were carrying sticks and Jones was carrying gun in his hand. They had come to recapture the farm. The animals, however were well prepared. Snowball had studied an old book of Julius Caesar and had a strategy in his mind. Even though Jones was armed with a gun, the humans were no match for the forces of the Animal Farm. Jones was able to kill one of the sheep but the humans were brutally beaten up and fled. Boxer had nearly killed a man but it was later found out that he was merely stunned and left the place in their absence. After the war, Mollie was found missing and everyone feared that the men might have harmed her in some way. But in the end, they found her hiding in the stall with her head buried among the hay in the manger. She fled the battle as soon as the gun went off.
The animals assembled with the wildest excitement to celebrate their victory. The flag is raised, “Beasts of England” is sung. A medal for “Animal Hero First class” is created and awarded to Snowball. And a medal for “Animal Hero, Second Class” is created, and awarded to a sheep that died when Jones fired his gun. The dead sheep was given a solemn funeral. After much discussion the battle was named as the “Battle of the Cowshed”, and it was decided that Jones’ gun should be placed at the bottom of the flagstaff, to be fired twice a year, one on the anniversary of the Battle of Cowshed and other on the anniversary of the Rebellion.
Word Meanings :
As the winter drew on, Mollie becomes an increasing burden on Animal Farm. She arrives late for work every morning and gives excuses of oversleeping etc. Clover went to her stall and found lumps of sugar and several bunches of ribbons of different colours. She accepts treats from men associated with nearby farms, and generally behaves contrary to the tenets of Animalism. Eventually she disappears, lured away by a fat, red-faced man who stroked her coat and fed her sugar; now she pulls his carriage. None of the other animals ever mention her name again.
In January, the weather was cold and bitter and nothing could be done in the fields. The pigs were busy planning out the work for the coming season. Meetings were held in the big barn. Snowball and Napoleon’s constant disagreements continued to dominate the proceedings. Snowball proves himself a better speaker and debater, but Napoleon can better canvass for support in between meetings. Snowball brims with ideas for improving the farm. He studies Mr. Jones books and eventually concocts a scheme to build a windmill, with which the animals could generate electricity and automate many farming tasks, bringing new comforts to the animals’ lives. But building the windmill would entail much hard work and difficulty, and Napoleon contents that the animals should attend to their current needs rather than plan for a distant future. The question deeply divides the animals. Napoleon surveys Snowball’s plans and expresses his contempt by urinating on them. Then there was difference of opinion relating to the defence of the farm. Snowball wanted to spread Rebellion and Napoleon wanted to procure firearms and train themselves.
The days of voting for the windmill came. Napoleon was not at all excited but Snowball impressed everybody with his speech. Napoleon gives a strange whimper, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass : studded collars charge into the barn, attack Snowball, and chase him off the farm. They return to Napoleons’ side, and with the dogs growling menacingly, Napoleon announces that, from now on, meetings will be held only for ceremonial purposes. He states that all important decisions will fall to the pigs alone.
Afterwards, many of the animals felt confused and disturbed. Squealer explains to them that Napoleon is making a great sacrifice in taking the leadership responsibilities upon himself and that as the cleverest animal, he serves the best interest of all by making the decisions. These statements placate the animals, though they still question the expulsion of Snowball. Squealer explains that Snowball was a traitor and a criminal. Eventually, the animals come to accept this version of events, and Boxer adds greatly to Napoleon’s prestige by adopting the maxims “I will work harder” and “Napoleon is always right”. These two maxims soon reinforce each other when, three weeks after the banishment of Snowball, the animals learn that Napoleon supports the Windmill Project. Squealer explains that their leader never really opposed the proposal, he simply used his apparent opposition as a manoeuvre to oust the wicked Snowball. These tactics he claims, served to advance the collective best interest. Squealers’ words proved so appealing, and the growls of his three dogs entourage so threatening, that the animals accept his explanation without question.
Word Meanings :
Another year passes. The animals worked like slaves. They all believed that they were doing it for their own benefit and that’s why no one complained. The animals are asked to work Sunday afternoons as well. If anyone did not come then their ration would be reduced by half. The harvest was not so good and it was easy to predict that the winter would be a hard one.
Progress on the windmill is laborious and slow. The stones with which it is to be built have to be hauled to the top of the quarry and thrown from there to the bottom, so that the stones can be broken into the appropriate sizes. It takes until the end of the summer to accumulate enough stone to begin building the windmill work which depends almost entirely on the tremendous efforts of Boxer, who works himself harder than ever before.
As the work on the harvest and the windmill proceeds, the animals find themselves running out of supplies. Items such as paraffin, seeds, manure and machinery, could not be produced on the farm. This problem is resolved when Napoleon announces one day that Animal Farm will, henceforth, enter into trading arrangements with some of the surrounding farms. Hay and wheat from the farm will be sold, and the hens are told that they will have to give up some of their eggs, a sacrifice that they should be proud to make. Some of the animals are doubtful about this move, seeming to remember an agreement in the early days after the Rebellion never to have anything to do with the humans. Again, Squealer puts any doubts to rest in the following days, informing them that such a resolution was never written down.
After this, Napoleon announced that no animal but he himself, will come in contact of the humans and would take the burden upon himself. Mr. Whymper, a solicitor living in Willingdon was appointed for this purpose. Squealer assured the animals that the resolution against engaging in trade and using money was a lie circulated by Snowball. The Solicitor comes every Monday, and his presence makes the other animals very uneasy, but their doubts are eased by their pride in seeing Napoleon giving orders to a human.
Shortly afterwards, the pigs move into the farmhouse. They eat in the kitchen, relax in the drawing room, and even sleep in the beds. Some of the animals are very doubtful about this. Clover consults the Seven Commandments on the gable wall, and asks Muriel to read out the fourth commandment, which states, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets”. Muriel cannot remember sheets being mentioned before. However, helped by the smooth words of Squealer, she assumes that she must have been wrong. She and the other animals accept his argument that the pigs, as the leaders, must have as much comfort as possible to facilitate their brain work. The pigs even started to sleep an extra hour.
The work on the windmill continues. The animals are all extremely proud of their progress, except for Benjamin, who expresses no opinion for or against the windmill. By November, the windmill is half finished. However, disaster strikes when a night time storm destroys it. The animals all gather around the ruin. Napoleon is silent for a long time, before making the sudden and dramatic announcement that the windmill was destroyed by Snowball. Some pig footprints leading away from the farm are discovered, and Napoleon confirms that they belong to Snowball. The other animals are shocked that their former leader could do such a thing. Napoleon announces that work on rebuilding the windmill will commence immediately.
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The winter had arrived and it was bitter and stormy weather. The work continues on the windmill through the bitter winter because the animals want to prove themselves to the humans outside the farm, who doubt them. These same humans say the windmill collapsed because the walls were too thin, but the animals continue to believe that Snowball is responsible. However, they also decide to rebuild the windmill with thicker walls, which means they need more stones. Collecting the stone in winter weather is slow and difficult, impeding their progress. Only Boxer and Clover, with their unshakable work ethic, keep up the animals spirits.
Other problems also abound. In January an improperly planted crop fails, leaving the farm with a severe food shortage from the outside world. Napoleon and the animals work frantically to conceal the shortage from the outside world. Rumours of famine are already circulating among the humans, so confirming these rumours would put the farm in danger. The animals are instructed to talk about increased rations when Mr. Whymper is around. Still, Napoleon makes arrangements to sell more of the hen’s eggs so the farm can buy grain to make up for the shortfall in their stores.
Wanting their eggs to become chicks, the hens rebel, laying their eggs in the hen house rafters so they fall to the floor and break. Napoleon responds by withholding the hen’s rations, but their resistance still lasts for five days. Nine hens die of starvation, but Napoleon makes sure the other animals are told they died of disease.
It was heard that Snowball was hiding in one of the adjoining farms. There was a pile of timber and Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, were interested in it. However, whenever the deal took shape, Snowball was noticed to be in that particular farm. Everything bad that happened in the farm was put on Snowball’s head. Even broken windows and blocked drains were put on his name. All the bad things that happened were blamed on Snowball, even if the true causes became apparent later. Eventually, Squealer announces Snowball has sold himself to Frederick and says Snowball was always in league with the humans, even fighting for Jones at the Battle of Cowshed.
Later, Napoleon uses the threat of Snowball to eliminate some of his enemies. During a meeting, he sends his dogs after the four pigs who question his trade plans, the hens that have rebelled over the eggs, and a few other animals who confess to working with Snowball. All of these animals are executed immediately. This violence stuns the other animals, especially Clover. After the executions, she and other animals got there on the knoll where the windmill stood. In an attempt to comfort themselves, the animals try to sing ‘Beasts of England ‘but Squealer tells them the song in now banned, replaced with a new song swearing allegiance to Animal Farm. Minimums, the poet, had composed it but somehow neither the words nor the tune was as appealing as ‘Beasts of England’.
After the executions, the animals question (away from the pigs and dogs) whether these events fall in line with the Seven Commandments; they think they remember, Sixth Commandment stating that, No animal shall kill another animal’. Clover asked Muriel to read to her the Six Commandment. It read, “No animal should kill other animal without cause”. Somehow, the last two words were not in their memory. Like the previous case, another commandment had been altered and the animals thought that the killings were justified.
The general conditions of the animals continue to be harsh, as the workload of rebuilding the windmill and regular form of duties require additional effort. Although, the animals believe that they are getting no more food than they did under Mr. Jones, Squealer presents weekly numbers that seem to prove they are actually getting more food and are better off. At this point, Squealer is doing most of Napoleon’s public speaking. Napoleon has isolated himself in the farmhouse, away from even the other pigs, and rarely appears in public. When three hens confess to plotting to assassinate Napoleon in summer, he becomes even more isolated, adds more guard dogs, and gets a food taster. The four dogs guarded his bed at night and a pig, Pinkeye, was given the task to taste his food lest it should be poisoned. The hens were executed. The pigs circulated poems and songs praising Napoleon as the saviour and protector of all the animals.
The pile of timber remained still unsold though negotiations were on. Frederick was more anxious to get hold of it but never offered a reasonable price. Then there were also stories of him plotting an attack against the Animal Farm. Snowball was also rumoured to be in his farm. Napoleon made arrangements to sell the pile of timber to Pilkington and he was to enter in a regular agreement of trade between Animal Farm and Foxwood. Windmill was nearing its completion and with it the rumours of impending attacks were also coming. There were many stories like, Frederick bribing the officials to get away with the law and torturing animals in his farm.
After all of these rumours and stories, the animals were shocked to learn that Napoleon had sold the timber to Frederick and had been negotiating with Frederick in secret all along. He spread the stories about selling to Pilkington only to get Frederick to meet his price. The rumours about Frederick’s farm likely came from Snowball, who apparently is actually hiding on Pilkington’s farm. Once they hear the whole story, the animals are proud of Napoleon’s negotiating powers and were also impressed that he is savvy enough to demand cash payment instead of cheque.
With the windmill finished and the timber sold, the machinery for the windmill can be purchased, and all their dreams come true. However, three days after the sale, Mr. Whymper tells Napoleon that Frederick’s money has been counterfeited and he has cheated them all. Napoleon pronounces a death sentence to Frederick and prepares for an attack the next morning. The animals are outmatched and men have guns. The animals send a message to Pilkington, who refuses to help. The battle culminates when Frederick and his men blow up the finished windmill. The animals, who have retreated, are outraged by this act and counter attack vigorously, suffering casualties but driving the humans from the farm. The pigs declare a victory and hold a ceremony celebrating what they call, “the battle of the windmill”.
The animals, however, are crushed by the loss of the windmill and don’t understand why the pigs want to celebrate? Squealer convinces them that the battle is a triumph because the animals held on to the farm, but they are not fully convinced until Napoleon speaks to them. The fallen animals are given a funeral, and the rest of the animals receive extra rations.
A few days after the battle, the pigs discover whisky in the farmhouse and drink it. That night many surprising sounds came from the farm house. The pigs were drunk ! However, the morning brought bad news with it. Squealer, who was not his usual self, announced that Napoleon was dying . The atmosphere at once grew grave. The rumour made its way that Snowball had eventually been successful in poisoning Napoleons’ food.
But his condition improved by evening and by next day he was back to work. It was learned that Whymper had been asked to buy booklets on brewing and distilling. A week later, Napoleon ordered that the grazing-ground for the retired animals would be ploughed up and soon it was realized that Napoleon wanted to sow it with barley.
One night, at about twelve O’clock, there was a loud crash in the yard. All animals rushed to the spot. At the foot of the fall, upon which the Seven Commandment were written, lay a broken ladder and near it, Squealer in deep pain. There was a paint – brush and a pot of white paint also.
The dogs escorted him back to the farmhouse. Benjamin seemed to understand everything but would say nothing. Muriel, after a few days, noticed that there was another commandment that the animals had remembered wrong. The Fifth Commandment did not read “No animal shall drink alcohol” as she had thought, but instead it read
“No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.”
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Rebuilding of the windmill begins immediately after the celebration. Boxer had been hurt in the battle of the windmill and was nursing a split hoof. Boxer refused to take even a day off work and did not show any trouble. Boxer works harder than ever. His thoughts are now turning to retirement, for which, under the laws of Animal Farm, he is due next year. In the meantime, another cold winter with little food must be endured. The rations of all the animals except that of the pigs and the dogs, were reduced- Squealer was still making a fool of all the animals by giving them figures. He informed them that they had been doing much better than the days of Jones and the animals believed him. However, by now they have forgotten life under Jones. Squealer never failed to point out that now they were not slaves.
The strain of the resources of the farm grows. The four sows had given birth to thirty-one piglets between them. It was easy to understand that they were Napoleon’s kids. Napoleon announced that he would teach the piglets himself and that a new classroom must be built for the piglets, who are instructed to remain aloof from the other animals. The schoolroom is in addition to the requirement to rebuild the windmill and the need to keep the farm supplied with various other requirements. Potatoes are sold, and practically every egg laid by the hens is sold to earn the money required for these supplies. There was a shortage of money. The exploitation of the animals had long begun without their realising it. The other animals were suffering but somehow the pigs were comfortable enough. They were actually putting on weight when others were starving. In February, the barley was prepared into beer and it was announced that all barley would be reserved for the pigs. Napoleon was having the largest share of the beer daily.
Napoleon now introduces a weekly event called, the spontaneous demonstration, where every animal would leave its work to march in military procession around the farm, so as to instil pride in the animals in the achievements of the farm since the Rebellion. It comforts the animals to know that, no matter how hard their lives are, at least they have the benefit of being their own masters. In April, Animal Farm was proclaimed a Republic and Napoleon was made the President. Later, more news about Snowball’s treachery were revealed.
Another consolation around this time is the reappearance of Moses, the raven and his tales of Sugar Candy mountains. He returned after many years. The animals failed to understand why he was being allowed to live on the farm when the pigs called him a liar. They were tolerating him, giving him an allowance of beer everyday.
The building work around the farm continues through the summer, heavily dependent on the extraordinary efforts of Boxer. He was famished and a bit old now but never faltered. He is showing some signs at this stage that his strength is failing. He himself is hoping to get as much work done as possible before he retires. Then one summer evening, he collapses. All the animals rush to his side, unable to bear the thought that anything might happen to him. He was getting weak day after day but only his will kept him going. He did not pay heed to Clover and Benjamin’s working, and one day his lungs gave away. He was lying near the quarry unable to get up. The pigs were informed at once, but Squealer came about a quarter of an hour later. Squealer promised to send him to the town so that the veterinary surgeon can treat him. Clover and Benjamin spend as much time as they can over the next few days nursing him. Then, while all the animals are all at work, the van comes to take Boxer away. They would not have noticed, except Benjamin, who gallops across the farm to tell them that Boxer is being taken away. No one has ever seen Benjamin gallop before. The animals rush to the yard in time to see the van begin to pull away. They start to wave goodbye to Boxer, but Benjamin is very agitated, and tells them to read the letters on the van. Muriel reads out the sign on the van, which describes the van as belonging to the local horse-slaughter. The animals try to warn Boxer, who tries to kick his way out of the van, but he has no strength and the kicking from the van soon dies away.
Three days later Boxers’ death was announced. Squealer informed everyday that he was with him at his death bed. He makes a moving speech in praise of Boxer. He explains the sign on the van by saying that the veterinary surgeon brought the van from the horse slaughter, and had not yet replaced the sign. The animals are relieved to hear this, and are greatly consoled by Squealer’s further descriptions of the wonderful care and treatment that Boxer received in his final hours. Napoleon pays his respects to Boxer at the meeting on the following Sunday. He tells them that it was not possible to return Boxer’s remains for burial on the farm, but that he will be commemorated with a wreath instead. Napoleon announces a memorable banquet for Boxer, which takes place in the farmhouse shortly afterwards, attended only by the pigs.
Then one night, there were strange sounds from the farmhouse and no one stirred out of it before noon the following day. It was learnt that the pigs had acquired money to buy themselves whisky.
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Several years passed by, many animals attained age and died and few recall the days before the Rebellion. The animals completed a new windmill, which is used not only for generating electricity but for milling corn, a far more profitable endeavour. The farm seems to have grown richer, but only the pigs and dogs live comfortable lives. Squealer explains that the pigs and dogs do very important work-filling out farms. The other animals largely accept this explanation, and their lives go on very much as before. They never lose their sense of pride in Animal Farm or their feeling that they have differentiated themselves from animals on the other farms. The inhabitants of Animals Farm still fervently believed in the goals of the Rebellion:a world free from humans, with equality for all animals.
One day, Squealer takes the sheep off to a remote spot to teach them a new chant. He informed others that he was teaching them to sing a new song. Not long afterward, the animals have just finished their day’s work when they hear the terrified neighing of a horse. It is Clover, and she summons the others hastily to the yard. There, the animals gaze in amazement at Squealer walking towards them on his hind legs. Napoleon soon appears as well, walking, upright, worse, he carries a whip. Before the other animals have a chance to react to the change, the sheep began to chant as if on cue : “ Four legs good, two legs better!” Clover whose eyes are foiling in her old age, asks Benjamin to read the writing on the barn wall where the Seven Commandments were originally inscribed. Only the last Commandment remains : “All animals are equal”. However, it now carries an addition : “But some animals are more equal than others.” In the days to follow, Napoleon openly begins smoking a pipe of Jones in his mouth and wears his clothes. His favourite show was dressed in Mrs. Jones clothes, and the other pigs subscribe to human magazines, listen to the radio, and begin to install a telephone, also wearing human clothes that they have salvaged from Mr. Jones’ wardrobe.
One day, the pigs invite neighbouring human farmers over to inspect Animal Farm. The farmers praise the pigs and express, in diplomatic language, their regret for past “misunderstandings”. The other animals, led by Clover, watch through a window as Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon toast each other, and Mr Pilkington declares that the farmers share a problem with pigs : “If you have your lower animals to contend with,” he says, “We have our lower classes!”. Mr. Pilkington notes with appreciation that the pigs have found ways to make Animal Farm’s animals work harder and on less food than any other group of farm animals in the county. He adds that he looks forward to introducing these advances on his own farm. Napoleon replies by reassuring his human guests that the pigs never wanted anything other than to conduct business peacefully with their human neighbours and that they have taken steps further to that goal. Animals on Animal Farm will no longer address one another as “Comrade”, he says, or pay homage to Old Major, nor will they salute a flag with a horn and hoof upon it. All of these customs have been changed recently by decree, he assures the men. Napoleon even announces that Animal Farm will now be known as the Manor Farm, which is, he believes, its “Correct and original name”.
The pigs and farmers return to their amiable card game, and the other animals creep away from the window. Soon the sounds of a quarrel draw them back to listening. Napoleon and Pilkington have played the ace of spades simultaneously, and each accuses the other of cheating. The animals, watching through the window, realize with a start that, as they look around the room of the farmhouse, they can no longer distinguish which of the card players are pigs and which are human beings.
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