In Chapter 2 of Animal Farm, what causes the animals to rebel against Mr. Jones and his four farm hands?

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pholland14's profile pic

pholland14 | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The revolution started when Mr. Jones was too drunk to feed the animals or to milk the cows; due to Old Major's rhetoric about the animals being better at running the farm than the humans, the animals revolted.  This was not Jones's first negligent offense--other farmers remarked that Jones's farm was poorly run.  In the animals' eyes, Jones was also cruel, as he would kill the animals after they had outlived their usefulness.  His farmhands follow their employer's example, as they are equally negligent.  The farm is not run to the satisfaction of the animals--they see that they should receive the fruits of their labors, not the drunkard Jones.   They wait until he is intoxicated, then rush to overthrow him.  Since the animals are fueled by the rhetoric of the now-passed Old Major and Jones is definitely not expecting organized resistance from his "dumb" animals, it is little wonder that he and his employees are chased off the premises.  

teachersage's profile pic

teachersage | (Level 2) Educator

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Farmer Jones has been drinking heavily after losing money in a lawsuit and has begun neglecting the farm and the animals. His farm hands, knowing he is not paying attention, follow suit and also neglect the animals. The sequence of events that leads the animals to rebel is as follows:

Farmer Jones goes out on Midsummer's Eve, a traditional time of reveling that coincides with the summer solstice, and gets drunk at the Red Lion. He doesn't come in until noon the next day, then promptly falls asleep on the living room sofa. His men milk the cows in the morning but then go out rabbiting and forget to feed them in the evening. The animals, hungry and fed up, start helping themselves to grain from the store shed when one of the cows breaks into a grain bin with her horn.

At this point, Farmer Jones wakes up, and he and his men enter the barn with their whips lashing all over. This is more than the animals can stand and they spontaneously attack the men and drive them away. This leaves them in charge of the farm.

It's important to note that, despite the inspiring talk from Old Major about a future golden age of animal rule, the rebellion breaks out without any planning, as a spontaneous outburst in response to hunger. However, the political ideology the animals have formulated allows them to seize hold of this opportunity and implement a new form of government. The rebellion also occurs as a result of the incompetence of the human masters. 

gpane's profile pic

gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Although the animals have been dreaming, and in some cases actively planning for revolution and the idealistic future outlined by the visionary Major, when the time comes their rebellion happens quite spontaneously. The precipitating factor is when Mr Jones takes to drinking heavily and he and his men grossly neglect the farm as a result. The animals are left unfed, the cows unmilked, and soon they can take it no longer. One of the cows is the first to break out of her stall and then the animals rally together, bearing down on Mr Jones and running him and the other men off the farm and breaking into the foodstores to feed themselves. When it is over they realize the momentous event that has just taken place:

And so, almost before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through: Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs. 

The actual uprising itself therefore did not really take any planning after all; it occurs as the natural consequence of unbearable hunger and privation.

At first, the animals are overcome with sheer delight when they realize that the farm is now theirs and that they are in control of their own destiny. Sadly, though, the pigs will take over everything to the extent that the other animals (except the dogs, who act as the pigs' bodyguards) will eventually be reduced to the same level of servitude and suffering as under Mr Jones; probably even worse.

lalala2998's profile pic

lalala2998 | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on


The animals was badly treated and fed only enough to keep them away frim death. After the death of Old Major, Jone's management to the farm is getting worse and worse, the animals only get fed once in a couple of days. The animals cant support it anymore so they broke into the storeroom and start to feed themselve.

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