Essential Passages by Character: Napoleon
Essential Passage 1: Chapter 5
Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the raised portion of the floor where Major had previously stood to deliver his speech. He announced that from now on the Sunday-morning Meetings would come to an end. They were unnecessary, he said, and wasted time. In future all questions relating to the working of the farm would be settled by a special committee of pigs, presided over by himself. These would meet in private and afterwards communicate their decisions to the others. The animals would still assemble on Sunday mornings to salute the flag, sing “Beast of England,” and receive their orders for the week; but there would be no more debates.
Napoleon, assisted by Snowball, had led the animals in revolution against humans, gaining control of the farm. Based on the equality of all animals, the leadership has, however, been retained by the pigs, most notably Napoleon. Though Snowball has fought valiantly and supplied much of the plans for the success of Animal Farm, Napoleon has seized complete control, driving Snowball from the farm, and has begun the process of villainizing him. While the animals have held Snowball to be a hero, Napoleon (through Squealer) begins to paint him as a traitor. Flanked by his specially trained guard dogs, Napoleon presents the new order of things to the other animals. There will be no more meetings in which all animals have a voice. Decisions will be formed by a committee, ruled over by Napoleon. These meetings will be held in secret, with the decisions presented to the animals by Squealer, the voice of the revolution. Only the minimal, superficial rites of the rebellion are kept in place for the moment.
Essential Passage 2: Chapter 8
All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once in a fortnight. When he did appear, he was attended not only by his retinue of dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front of him and acted as a kind of trumpeter, letting out a loud “cock-a-doodle-doo” before Napoleon spoke. Even in the farmhouse, it was said, Napoleon inhabited separate apartments from the others. He took his meals alone, with two dogs to wait upon him, and always ate from the Crown Derby dinner service which had been in the...
(The entire section is 1511 words.)
Essential Passages by Theme: Propaganda
Essential Passage 1: Chapter 1
“Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.”
Old Major, the oldest boar on Manor Farm, has called all the animals together after Mr. Jones once again neglected their welfare due to his love of drinking. As the disparate group of animals gathers in the barn, Old Major stands upon the platform to address them. Speaking of his dream of liberty for animals, Old Major endeavors to inspire his fellow creatures to fight for their freedom from humans. The land is good, they are all excellent workers, and all conditions are ripe for fruitfulness and happiness. But because of the tyranny and neglect of humans, animals must suffer. Old Major points out the blunt facts of their existence. Though they receive sustenance, it is only enough for survival. They are worked to the point of death, and when they are no longer able to give anything more, they are put to death.
Essential Passage 2: Chapter 9
Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he [Squealer] proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones’s day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas. The animals believed every word of it. Truth to tell, Jones and all he stood for had almost faded out of their memories. They knew that life nowadays was harsh and bare, that they were often hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working when they were not asleep. But doubtless it had been worse in the old days. They were glad to believe it so. Besides, in those days they had been slaves and now they were free, and that made...
(The entire section is 1419 words.)