Animal Farm Summary

Overview

Animal Farm

Summary of the Novel
The animals of Manor Farm have always been miserable under Mr. Jones and his men. They have come to accept their difficult lives as part of the natural order of things. It is Old Major, a prize-winning boar, who shares his dreams with the other animals. He tells them that the cause of all their suffering is man. With man gone, the animals would enjoy the abundance the land provides and build a new society based on equality. He says that Jones has no concern for the animals—that he uses them until they are no longer productive. He butchers the pigs and drowns the dogs when they get old. Old Major predicts that Jones will even sell Boxer, the horse, and the hardest and most faithful worker on the farm, to the slaughterhouse once he is no longer able to work. He encourages the animals to work for this revolution. He warns them never to become like man and to always treat each other as equals.

Three nights later, Old Major dies, and the task of preparing the animals for the revolution falls to the pigs, who are smarter than the others and who later teach themselves to read. Three young pigs, the intellectual Snowball, the domineering Napoleon and the eloquent Squealer, organize Old Major’s dream of the future into a political philosophy called Animalism.

When the drunken Mr. Jones fails to feed the animals one night, the animals drive him and his men off the farm. They change the name to “Animal Farm,” and the pigs, who seem to have assumed leadership, write the principles of Animalism, reduced to Seven Commandments, on the barn wall. These are to be the unalterable rules by which the animals will live ever after:

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.

At first the revolution seems to be a success. All of the animals, directed and supervised by the pigs, work hard to bring in the harvest. But there are indications from the beginning that the pigs treat themselves specially. They remain the supervisors, doing no physical labor, and they take extra food (mild and windfall apples) for themselves instead of sharing with the others. Meanwhile Jones, with the aid of his neighbors, tries to retake the farm. They are driven off at the “Battle of the Cowshed” by the military tactics of Snowball and the strength of Boxer. Both are decorated as heroes for their roles in the victory.

A power struggle for control of Animal Farm develops between Snowball and Napoleon, and it culminates with the building of a windmill. When the animals seem about to vote in favor of the project, Napoleon, who opposes the plan, unleashes nine dogs he has been training secretly to follow his orders without question. Snowball is chased off the farm, barely escaping the jaws of the dogs. In a turnabout, Napoleon orders that work on the windmill begin. The work is difficult, and the animals suffer in the process. When a storm blows the windmill down, Napoleon blames the exiled Snowball and condemns him as an enemy. Napoleon exploits the animals’ fear that Jones will return and their fear of his fierce dogs to consolidate his power. He uses Squealer to lie to the animals and convince them that things aren’t what they seem. As work on the second windmill begins, Napoleon and the pigs become more and more corrupt. They change the commandments, move into Jones’s house, and drink whisky. Napoleon even kills other animals who dare to stand up to his authority.

The second windmill is blown up in an attack by Frederick, after he steals wood from Animal Farm, by paying for it with counterfeit money. But Napoleon pronounces this defeat to be a great victory, and work begins on a third attempt to build a windmill. None of the promises of leisure time and comfort come true—no heat or electricity in the barn, no machines to do their hard work. In fact, life grows harder for all of the animals, except the pigs, and food is scarcer. When Boxer, the hardest worker on the farm, is hurt, Napoleon sells him to the horse slaughterer. Squealer convinces the others that Boxer died in the hospital after getting the best treatment. Old Major’s prediction about Boxer has come true, but it is Napoleon who is the villain.

In the end, the pigs completely subvert the ideals of Animalism. They are the new masters. They walk on two legs. They violate and change each of the Seven Commandments. Ultimately, these commandments are erased and replaced with only one: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In the final scene, Mr. Pilkington comes for a tour and Napoleon announces some changes. The name is changed back to “Manor Farm,” and a new level of understanding is reached between pig and man. The book ends when someone cheats in a card game. The animals, watching from outside, cannot tell the difference between the pigs and the men.

The Life and Work of George Orwell
George Orwell was born Eric Hugh Blair in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, India. He was the second of three children, and the only boy, born to Richard and Ida Blair. His elder sister, Marjorie, and his younger sister, Avril, completed this middle-class Anglo-Indian family. His dour, discouraging father was an agent in the Opium Department of the British Civil Service. As was the custom with such middle-class children born abroad, he was sent back to England for his education. His mother, a modern, rather left-wing woman and militant suffragette, accompanied him.

Orwell attended the best English schools, including Eton College (1917-1921), a school that epitomized “traditional” British education. Poorer than the other students and feeling insecure about himself, he never quite fit in with the rest of his classmates. Politically, he had difficulty accepting the world of British imperialism that surrounded him. These feelings of being an “outsider,” coupled with Orwell’s firm belief (which he expressed early in his life to friends and family) that he felt fated to become a “great writer,” affected the course of his entire life. Influenced by his mother’s “revolutionary” politics and charged by his own political ideas, Orwell ultimately turned to a writing career.

However, when he graduated from Eton College in 1921, Orwell briefly followed the family tradition and entered civil service as a member of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He served in this position from 1922 to 1927, gathering material for his two most famous essays, “On Shooting an Elephant” and “A Hanging.” During these five years, he witnessed and participated in the British policies of colonialism. A Socialist at heart, Orwell came to the conclusion that British imperialism was futile and destined to come to an end.

Orwell returned to England to devote his time to writing and supported himself in this period of fairly severe poverty with a series of temporary jobs and journalistic writing assignments. An account of these difficult years was recorded in his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933). His novel Burmese Days (1934) came from his Far East experiences. It was followed by A Clergyman’s Daughter (1935) and Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), which expressed his negative attitudes toward British society. An assignment covering the lives of the miners of northern England enabled Orwell to share the experiences and hardships of these working-class people.

Orwell married Eileen O’Shaughnessy in the summer of 1936. At the end of that year, he and his new wife left for Spain where he joined a “Trotskyist” unit of the militia and fought in the Spanish Civil War. What he witnessed there shook his Socialist ideals. He was appalled by the brutal tactics employed by the Communists who were armed by the Soviet Union and turned loose against Stalin’s political enemies in Spain. Orwell was wounded in Spain and diagnosed with tuberculosis upon his return to England. An account of his Spanish experiences is the subject of Homage to Catalonia (1938), an autobiographical work.

During World War II, Orwell was kept out of active service because of his worsening health. He continued to contribute to the war effort through his writing and his broadcasts to India over the BBC. When his wife died in 1943 during a minor operation, Orwell left London and went to the Hebrides Islands with his adopted son. From November 1943 to January 1944, he worked on Animal Farm, which he published in 1945 as the war was coming to an end. His tuberculosis grew worse but his writing continued. He completed 1984, a political novel which he began in 1948 and saw published in 1949, just six months before his death on January 21, 1950, at the age of 46.

Estimated Reading Time

Animal Farm is a relatively short book of about 130 pages in 10 chapters. Each chapter is approximately 12 pages long. By breaking your reading time into five half-hour segments, two chapters at a sitting, you can read the book in three hours.

Animal Farm Summary (Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

George Orwell says of Animal Farm, a novel subtitled A Fairy Story, that it 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.” Set at Manor Farm, run by Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Animal Farm begins with a sketch of farm life from the perspective of the animals. Jones, who drinks excessively, and his nondescript wife do little to care for the animals while living off the animals’ labor. It is old Major, the prize Middle White boar, who speaks in his old age of better times when the animals will set their own laws and enjoy the products of their labor. He tells the farm animals, “All the habits of Man are evil,” and he warns them to avoid human vices, such as living in houses, sleeping in beds, wearing clothes, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, touching money, and engaging in trade. It is old Major who leads the farm animals in their first song of solidarity, which they sing so loudly that they wake the Joneses. Jones, hearing the ruckus and assuming that a fox is responsible for it, fires shots into the darkness and disperses the animals. Three nights later, old Major dies peacefully in his sleep. With him dies the selfless belief system needed to enact his vision.

As old Major has predicted, the overthrow of the Joneses and Manor Farm occurs. Jones, increasingly incapacitated by alcohol, neglects the animals and the fields and finally leaves the animals to starve. In their desperation, the starving animals attack Jones and drive him off Manor Farm. Mrs. Jones flees by another way. Though the humans have been overthrown, it is not harmony but a lengthy power struggle that follows.

In this power struggle, essentially between the two young boars Snowball and Napoleon, one sees at first a sort of idealism, especially in Snowball, who speaks of a system that sounds much like Orwell’s particular vision of “democratic Socialism.” The animals begin by renaming Manor Farm as Animal Farm and by putting into print their seven commandments, designed primarily to identify their tenets and to discourage human vices among themselves. At first, the new order almost appears to work: “Nobody stole, nobody grumbled. . . . Nobody shirked—or almost nobody.” In fact, Orwell’s animals have human weaknesses that lead to their destruction. Mollie, one of the horses, is vain and does not want to forfeit ribbons and lumps of sugar. The sheep, hens, and ducks are too dull to learn the seven commandments. Boxer, a horse, believes blindly in the work ethic and the wisdom of Napoleon. Benjamin, a donkey, is cynical, refusing to act or become involved because he believes his actions are irrelevant. He believes “hunger, hardship, and disappointment” are “the unalterable law of life.” In fact, the one action that Benjamin takes, a desperate attempt to prevent Napoleon from sending his friend Boxer to the glue factory, is futile. When he acts, his actions make no difference. Nothing changes.

Gradually, the pigs begin claiming the privileges of an elite ruling class. They eat better than the other animals, they work less, and they claim more political privileges in making major decisions. The outcome of the power struggle between Snowball and Napoleon is that Napoleon and his trained dogs drive Snowball into hiding. Snowball becomes in exile a sort of political scapegoat, a precursor to Emmanuel Goldstein in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Napoleon, now the totalitarian ruler of Animal Farm, rewrites history, convincing the other animals that Snowball was really the cause of all their problems and that he, Napoleon, is the solution to them.

Under Napoleon’s rule, Animal Farm declines steadily. As the pigs break the commandments, they rewrite them to conform to the new order. The sheep bleat foolish slogans on Napoleon’s behalf. Napoleon’s emissary, Squealer, a persuasive political speaker, convinces the increasingly oppressed animals that nothing has changed, that the commandments are as they always were, that history remains as it always was, that they are not doing more work and reaping fewer benefits. Squealer, in his distortion of history and his abuse of language for political purposes, is a precursor of Winston Smith and the other employees in the Ministry of Truth in Nineteen Eighty-Four who spend their days rewriting history and stripping the English language of its meaning. Ironically, all the animals pour their energy into creating a system that leads to their oppression.

The final decay of Animal Farm results from the pigs’ engaging in all the human evils about which old Major had forewarned them. The pigs become psychologically and even physically indistinguishable from the humans. The pigs wear clothing, sleep in beds, drink alcohol, walk on two legs, wage wars, engage in trade, and destroy their own kind. Ultimately, despite old Major’s vision, nothing has changed. The pigs and their dogs have become bureaucrats and tyrants: “neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour.”

Though Animal Farm is antitotalitarian, it cannot really be called prodemocratic Socialism, except in the sense of a warning, because the animals have no choice; the course of their fate appears inevitable. Even if they had been given a choice, little in the novel indicates that it would have mattered. The final image in the novel is of the oppressed “creatures” outside the house looking through the window at the pigs and men fighting over a card game. They “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.”

Animal Farm Summary (Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Old Major calls a meeting as soon as Mr. Jones goes to sleep. Jones, who is cruel to his animals, is drinking excessively of late. When all the animals are gathered, Major begins to speak. He had a dream in which he remembers the song Beasts of England from his distant past. He teaches it to the others and tells them they should rise up to defeat Jones and do their work for themselves, for their own benefit. He says that all men are evil and that all animals are good and equal.

Three days after telling his dream, Major dies. Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer develop Major’s teachings into a system called Animalism. The rebellion comes quickly and suddenly after Jones was drinking in town. When he returns home, the animals run him and the other humans off the farm. The animals can hardly believe their good fortune. Napoleon leads them back to the barn, where everyone is served extra food to celebrate.

In preparation for the rebellion, the pigs learned to read and write. One day, the pigs write the seven commandments of Animalism on the wall of the barn. It is realized that, since the rebellion, the cows have not been milked. The pigs manage to do it, but the five buckets of milk vanish while the other animals are out working.

The animals set forth to harvest the hay crop. They do this faster than it was ever done, but the pigs do not do any actual work, they hold a supervisory position. Boxer, the cart horse, is the hardest worker and the quickest to follow the rules set up by the pigs. “I will work harder” is his maxim and his motto; under any difficult circumstance, he always repeats it. Benjamin, the donkey, is the only animal that is unchanged since the rebellion. He works in the same obstinate way that he always has, doing his share and no more. Napoleon and Snowball oppose each other at every juncture at which decisions are made. Snowball begins committees for the adults while Napoleon takes puppies away from their parents, to educate them and to keep them in a special loft of the barn where no one else is allowed to go.

Jones and other humans attempt to take back Animal Farm but they are unsuccessful. In the battle, Snowball leads the forces and is wounded by a shotgun. Snowball manages to rid Jones of his gun, and Boxer kicks a boy. This is named the “Battle of the Cowshed” and is a success for the animals.

The winter draws near and at the meetings held every Sunday, Napoleon and Snowball still oppose each other. No matter what is in question, they always hold different views. Snowball is a brilliant speaker at the meetings and wins support through his eloquent speeches, while Napoleon is better at drumming up support for himself in sly conversations between the meetings. Napoleon trains the sheep to bleat “Four legs good, two legs bad” at crucial moments in Snowball’s speeches, which serves to negate anything of relevance that Snowball might say.

The worst argument is the one over the windmill. Snowball wants the animals to build a windmill because with it, and the electricity it would provide, the animals will only have to work three days a week. Napoleon is against it, saying they should spend their time producing more food. Benjamin is the only one who does not side with either Snowball or Napoleon. Windmill or no windmill, he says, life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly. At the meeting at which the question of the windmill will be decided, Snowball gives an eloquent speech and Napoleon says nothing. Snowball looks sure to win. Then Napoleon’s puppies come forth, now as large and treacherous dogs, and they drive Snowball off the farm.

Napoleon establishes himself as leader, with the pack of dogs reinforcing his position. He says there will be no more meetings and no more debates. He and other pigs will decide everything. Three weeks later, Napoleon uses Snowball’s plans for the windmill and issues the order that work on the windmill is to begin.

To get necessary supplies, Napoleon begins dealing with people. The other animals feel uneasy about it but can do nothing as Napoleon seems above reproach and his guard dogs assure his position completely. The pigs move into Jones’s house and begin sleeping in the beds. This is in direct opposition to one of the seven commandments, so the pigs begin changing the commandments in order to fit their increasing status as masters of the farm. The windmill becomes the top priority, and whenever problems arise, they are always blamed on Snowball, who is supposedly lurking near the farm and causing every problem that exists. Food grows scarce. Napoleon tells the animals that he will begin selling eggs to humans again, and the hens are required to lay eggs for this purpose. The hens believe this is murder of their chicks and refuse, but Napoleon stops their food rations until they comply with his demands. Soon after the hens’ attempted refusal to comply with Napoleon, there is a mass murder, in which Napoleon’s dogs kill every animal that ever spoke against him. Squealer upholds the actions of Napoleon and convinces all the remaining animals that their lives are much better than they ever have been.

The seven commandments are abolished and the only slogan left is this: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The pigs discover alcohol and clothes and invite humans over to inspect the farm. The people find it in excellent running order. The pigs look and act like people and treat the animals more horribly than Jones had.

Animal Farm Summary (Critical Guide to British Fiction)

Because Animal Farm is a thoroughgoing allegory, either specifically of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath or, more generally, of the dangers of any political revolution, it is two stories at once: the surface plot story of the events leading up to and following the revolt of a group of farm animals against their human oppressor, and the underlying conceptual story of political revolution for which the surface story stands.

The surface story begins almost immediately with the beast fable convention that animals can think, talk, and feel, as the animals gather together to hear the dream of revolution by the old pig, Major. After Major reminds the animals of their oppressed life, he incites them to revolution by telling them that all the evils they experience spring from man, the only creature that consumes without producing. Shortly after laying down the rules of what he proposes to be a new order, old Major dies peacefully in his sleep.

The pigs, the cleverest of the animals on the farm, develop Major’s teachings into a coherent system which they call Animalism and which they secretly teach to the rest of the animals in preparation for the revolution which the Major has foretold. Rather than as the result of a conscious and prearranged effort, the rebellion, when it comes a few months later, develops as a result of hunger and neglect caused by Mr. Jones. The animals break into the food shed and drive the farmer and his wife off the land. Immediately thereafter, in a series of acts of comradeship, the animals change the name of the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm and list Seven Commandments on the barn wall, which the pigs have developed from the teachings of old Major. Basically, the Commandments suggest that whatever is human is an enemy, that whatever is animal is a friend, and that all animals are equal. The first indication that all are not equal, however, occurs when the pigs set themselves up as the leaders and take for themselves the milk usually mixed with the animals’ mash.

The rest of the novel is structured around the positive action of the animals’ attempt to be self-sufficient and the negative action of the gradual attainment of preferential power by the pigs. Initially, because the animals work harder for themselves than they had for the farmer, their harvest is a great success. Snowball is at first the leader in organizing them into various committees and in attempting to educate them, while Squealer is the mouthpiece who, by means of fancy doubletalk, convinces the animals that the pigs deserve certain special privileges.

When Mr. Jones and some of his friends attempt a recapture of Animal Farm, the animals rebuff their enemies, decorate Snowball as “Animal Hero, First Class,” and commemorate the event as the Battle of the Cowshed. Soon afterward, Snowball develops his most ambitious plan: the building of a windmill so that the animals can have electrical power. It is the issue of the windmill which leads Napoleon to mount a coup, with the help of several fierce dogs he has trained in secret, against Snowball. When Snowball is expelled, Napoleon begins his takeover as absolute dictator, beginning with the banning of debate and continuing with the increasing assumption of special privileges for the pigs.

The most insidious part of Napoleon’s campaign for gaining complete power is his manipulation of the past. With the help of the rhetoric of Squealer and the fierceness of the dogs, he convinces the animals that past events are not as they remember them—for example, that Snowball’s part in the Battle of the Cowshed was exaggerated, that Napoleon had never really opposed the windmill, and that in fact Snowball was a traitor. Furthermore, under Napoleon’s regime, the original Seven Commandments are gradually altered and reduced to suit the specific desires of the ruling pigs.

Soon Napoleon enters into agreements with humans for trade on the farm; works the animals endlessly to build the windmill; engages in the same kinds of vices, such as drinking and greed, of which Mr. Jones was guilty; and in general rules the animals even more harshly than did their oppressor before the revolution. Snowball, even though he is never seen again, is used as a scapegoat who is responsible for all animal hardships. Any attempt to disobey Napoleon is met with violent retaliation; some animals, in an act of mass hallucination, even admit that they are responsible for working with the phantom Snowball and are promptly slaughtered by Napoleon’s fierce dogs. At the end of the novel, the original Seven Commandments have been reduced to one, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” and when the pigs meet with several human farmers to work out a trade agreement, the other animals who look in at their meeting cannot really tell the difference between the men and the pigs.

Animal Farm Summary

Chapter I
As Animal Farm opens, Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, is drunkenly heading to bed. The animals gather in...

(The entire section is 1236 words.)

Animal Farm Summary and Analysis

Chapter I Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Mr. Jones: the owner and operator of the Manor Farm

Old Major: prize Middle White boar and founder of Animalism
Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher: farm dogs

Boxer: a horse who is the hardest worker on the farm

Clover: a stout motherly mare

Muriel: a white goat

Benjamin: an ill-tempered, taciturn donkey who is the oldest animal on the farm

Mollie: foolish white mare who pulled Jones’s cart

Moses: the tame raven, Mr. Jones’s special pet and spy

Summary
After Mr. Jones locks the henhouse for the night and goes to bed, the animals of the Manor farm meet in the barn to hear what Old Major, the...

(The entire section is 802 words.)

Chapter II Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Napoleon: one of the pig leaders, a fierce-looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker, but with a reputation of getting his own way

Snowball: another pig leader, vivacious and inventive

Squealer: a fat pig who is a persuasive talker

Summary
Three nights after giving his speech, Old Major dies in his sleep. The work of organizing the animals falls to the pigs, the cleverest of the animals. Preeminent among the pigs are Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer, who have formed Old Major’s teachings into a system of thought called Animalism. Among the difficulties they face is a sense of loyalty some of the animals feel for Mr. Jones. Other animals are apathetic...

(The entire section is 926 words.)

Chapter III Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Sheep: unintelligent animals who follow the leader

Summary
The days after the Rebellion are good for the animals. All of the animals work hard to bring in the harvest, except the pigs, who direct and supervise. The harvest is a bigger success than Jones and his men had ever had. The animals are happy, and the food they eat is their own. Boxer is the hardest worker. His answer to any problem is, “I will work harder!”, which he adopts as his personal motto. The others work according to their abilities, with a few exceptions. Mollie gets up late and leaves early, and the cat has a way of disappearing. Benjamin is the only animal who seems unchanged, slow and...

(The entire section is 1073 words.)

Chapter IV Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Mr. Pilkington: neighbor of Animal Farm and owner of Foxwood Farm

Mr. Frederick: neighbor of Animal Farm and owner of Pinchfield Farm

Summary
As the news of the Rebellion on Animal Farm spreads across the countryside, the animals on neighboring farms become unmanageable. The stories unnerve the neighboring farmers, Mr. Pilkington, the owner of Foxwood Farm, and Mr. Frederick of Pinchfield Farm. Although Pilkington and Frederick are on permanently bad terms with each other, they are sufficiently frightened by the recent events to overcome their differences long enough to join forces with Mr. Jones in an attempt to help him retake the Manor Farm (as they insist on...

(The entire section is 659 words.)

Chapter V Summary and Analysis

New Character:
Minimus: pig with a remarkable ability for composing songs and poems

Summary
After the Battle of the Cowshed, Animal Farm is safe from human attack for the time being, due in a large part to Snowball’s military genius. However, there remain other problems. Mollie has become more troublesome, working less and becoming more concerned with thoughts of ribbons and sugar. After she is confronted by Clover, Mollie disappears from the farm. Later she is seen by the pigeons when she is pulling a human’s cart on the other side of Willingdon. She is never mentioned again. The weather also presents a problem. The winter is bitterly cold, and the pigs make plans for spring planting....

(The entire section is 1451 words.)

Chapter VI Summary and Analysis

New Character:
Mr. Whymper: human solicitor (lawyer) from Willingdon who acts as intermediary between Animal Farm and the outside world

Summary
Life for the animals begins to get worse. They work harder and longer, 60 hours a week, including Sundays. Boxer is the key to finishing the windmill. He gets up three-quarters of an hour earlier every morning to haul a load of stones from the quarry. Even Benjamin, yolked together with Muriel the goat, does his share. But the routine work on the farm is neglected and shortages develop. One Sunday morning as the animals are waiting to get their orders from the pigs, Napoleon announces that he will begin trade with neighboring farms in order to get money...

(The entire section is 1076 words.)

Chapter VII Summary and Analysis

Summary
It is bitter winter and the food is in short supply. Corn rations are cut and much of the potato crop is spoiled by the frost. Starvation stares animals in the face. To conceal their hardships from the outside world, Napoleon tricks Whymper on his weekly visits to the farm into believing the farm is prospering. In Whymper’s hearing, the sheep talk about an increase in their rations. Empty food bins are filled with sand and topped with meal to give him the impression that there is an abundance of food.

During this time Napoleon is rarely seen by the animals, even on Sunday mornings, and when he does come out of the farmhouse, he is surrounded by six fierce dogs.

In January, with...

(The entire section is 1096 words.)

Chapter VIII Summary and Analysis

Summary
After the terror of the executions dies down, Clover, recalling that the Sixth Commandment forbade killing, asks Muriel to read what is written on the barn. The Commandment clearly states, “No animal shall kill another animal without cause.”

Work on the second windmill goes on, along with the regular work of the farm. To the animals it seems as if they are working harder and being fed less than when they worked for Jones. Every Sunday Squealer reads from a long list of figures that prove how production is increasing, but the animals would prefer fewer figures and more food.

Napoleon appears in public less and less often, and when he does, it is always with his dogs. A black...

(The entire section is 1504 words.)

Chapter IX Summary and Analysis

Summary
Work begins on rebuilding the windmill. Boxer, injured in the Battle of the Windmill, refuses to take even a day off from work. Clover and Benjamin are concerned about his failing health. Boxer’s hope is that he can see the windmill well under way before his retirement. Although when the Rebellion first occurred there were plans to retire the animals, as yet, no animal had actually retired. The pasture, originally set aside for this purpose, is now being used to grow barley for the pigs.

Winter is severe and the rations are reduced, except for the pigs and the dogs. Squealer calls it a “readjustment.” He tells the hungry animals that reducing everyone’s rations would be against the...

(The entire section is 1058 words.)

Chapter X Summary and Analysis

Summary
Years pass and most of the old animals who fought in the Rebellion are gone. Muriel, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher are dead, and so is Mr. Jones. Snowball is forgotten, and Boxer is forgotten. Only Benjamin is much the same, only older, sadder, and more quiet. The young animals possess none of the ideals that inspired the Rebellion. They accept everything that they are told about the Rebellion and the principles of Animalism without question. The farm is more prosperous, enlarged by two fields bought from Mr. Pilkington. Mr. Whymper has made a handsome profit from his work as Napoleon’s agent. The completed windmill has never provided the luxuries promised by Snowball. It is used instead for milling...

(The entire section is 1078 words.)