Can you please help me with finding quotes from the book Animal Farm by George Orwell about the symbolism of the windmill?

Expert Answers
Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely!  Although a bit hidden, there are a few really important quotes about the building of the windmill.

First, let's discuss why the windmill project is important in Orwell's Animal Farm.  The windmill was originally proposed by Snowball as a really wonderful method to make the animals' work easier.  In this way, more work could be done with less effort, allowing the animals to have more free time and leisure activity.  Originally, Napoleon is against the project and is upset when the other animals are about to take a "vote" in favor of building the windmill. At this point, Napoleon unleashes his dogs in order to chase Snowball off the farm; however, Napoleon then suddenly is in favor of the windmill and proceeds with the plan for building it.  Of course, after the windmill is built, Napoleon simply uses it to increase production so that he, as the main dictator, can reap the spoils of the profits.  What was originally Snowball's idea to give the animals leisure time now has become a simple tool to make the animals work longer and harder.

Now look at three important quotes:

No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be? Suppose you had decided to follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills ‒ Snowball, who, as we now know, was no better than a criminal?

Here we have the explanation as to why Snowball was kicked off the farm by the dogs that were secretly Napoleon's weapon.  Note the wording of "moonshine of windmills," showing that it is against Napoleon's wishes for this machine to alter their states and give the animals a bit of pleasure.  No.  It would be the "wrong decision" to make the windmill for any other reason than to further the dictator's plan.  This is a perfect example of enticing propaganda.

Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on--that is, badly.

Such is one of the truest quotations in the book.  When the dictator, Napoleon, is in charge, life cannot be anything but bad.  Even though the windmill was designed to lighten the work load, under the dictatorship of Napoleon it would be used for profit and not for help.

Even when the windmill is completed, it is destroyed by the humans.  Now let's look at the battle cry from the "Battle of the Windmill":

‘But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it for two years!’

‘What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade, the mighty thing that we have done. The enemy was in occupation of this very ground that we stand upon. And now — thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon — we have won every inch of it back again!’

Suddenly, what was Snowball's idea has become Napoelon's battle cry!  Napoleon has this power to gather everyone together.  Unfortunately, the windmill isn't used for Snowball's original purpose: to create power and gain the animals leisure time.  Instead, it's used to grind corn for the pigs for their profit. 

The windmill is simply another way Napoleon and his cronies control all of the animals.