In Animal Farm, why do the hens rebel and what does Napoleon do to deal with the rebellion?
George Orwell wrote Animal Farm during the middle 1940's. He was a huge critic of Joseph Stalin and felt very hostile towards what he saw as a brutal dictatorship. The storied allegorizes the rise to power of Joseph Stalin.
Napoleon is starting to want all the power for himself now. He is becoming more and more greedy. He contracts to sell four hundred eggs a week. Old Major had originally complained about the focus of humans on the cruelty of egg selling, at least this is how the hens remember it. They refuse to lay eggs, and if they do, they lay them in rafters, so the will fall to the ground and be ruined. Napoleon responds with cruelty and cuts the rations of the hens entirely. He also threatens death to anyone who sneaks them food or tries to help them. The hens are starving and nine of them die. The others give in to what Napoleon wants. There is a big coup and one of Napoleon's dogs ends up killing many of the animals, including several of the hens.
I love the fact that just by reading the title of this book, one would think it is a funny fairy tale. Orwell cleverly tells how he feels about the rise of Stalin, in a story about animals taking over. His ideas are so imaginative and he brings them to life in this story. He shows how disgusted he is and how terrible things are, in the world of animals.