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In chronological order, what are the main events in Chapters 9 and 10 of Animal Farm?

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arie4 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 10, 2009 at 4:36 AM via web

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In chronological order, what are the main events in Chapters 9 and 10 of Animal Farm?

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ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 16, 2009 at 10:07 AM (Answer #1)

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Chapter 9 opens after the animals have defeated Frederick in battle.  Boxer and the other animals are now attempting to erect a windmill, although Boxer is injured and unable to work at full capacity.  The food supply continues to dwindle on the farm.  To make matters worse, thirty-one new piglets are born, placing added strain on the already hurting food supply.  Animal Farm is declared a republic with Napoleon as its president.

After he recovers from his split hoof, Boxer is able to work more effectively; however, he collapses one day with a lung ailment.  Squealer informs them that Napoleon has called the veterinarian and the knacker's truck arrives.  When the other animals show concern, Squealer explains this away, suggesting that the vet had bought the van from the knacker but had yet to repaint its sides.  The animals believe him and think nothing more of it.  The death of Boxer, the symbol of hard work on the farm, is contrasted by the arrival of a crate of whiskey for the pigs, who, after consuming the whiskey in the course of the night, do not wake up until after noon the next day.

In Chapter 10, a number of years have passed, though nothing has really changed, with the exception of two windmills instead of one and more land for the animals to work.  Excepting the pigs, the animals on the farm worked very hard and the food supply was even more strained.  One day, Squealer emerges walking on two legs.  The other pigs follow suit, and Napoleon emerges carrying a whip, walking on two legs, and wearing the clothes of Mr. Jones.  Eventually, all of the pigs follow suit.

In the card game at the end of the chapter (and the novel), Napoleon and Pilkington both attempt to play the ace of spades.  A fight ensues, and those animals at the dining room window watching cannot tell the difference between the humans and the pigs.  This final episode brings the novel full circle.  The animals on the farm initiated a revolution to slough off the rule of Mr. Jones, and in the end the pigs, wearing Mr. Jones's clothes, walking on two legs, and carrying whips, assume the role of Mr. Jones.

The last two chapters, unlike the first eight chapters, see the passage of a much greater span of time, illustrating that the passage of time does nothing to change the perspective of the animals on the farm.  They do not have a perspective in any larger sense.  They work and starve, but they do not question why and they marvel at the transformation they see before their eyes at the close of the novel.  One of Orwell's harshest criticisms of communism is the a historical outlook it embodies.

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