How do the animals in "Animal Farm" break up the large stone into smaller stones for use in building the windmill?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To answer this question, take a look at chapter 6. Although the farm has a large supply of limestone, the animals initially find it impossible to break the up the stone into smaller, more manageable sizes because they do they cannot stand on their hind legs to use a pick or crowbar.

After a few weeks, however, one of the animals realizes that this task can be achieved if they use the power of gravity. To do this, the animals dragged a boulder to the top of the quarry and let it fall off so that it would smash on impact into lots of smaller pieces.

Although this solution seems simple, the animal struggled to drag the large stones to the top of the quarry. In fact, it could take all day to drag a single one. As the narrator says, it was a "slow and laborious process."

Despite the difficulties involved, the animals did not give up. In this scene, Boxer shows himself to be the most determined and hardest worker of all, refusing to stop even when he was in danger of overstraining himself.

lit24 | Student

In Ch.6 we learn of the resourcefulness of the animals in solving the problem of breaking up the stone in the limestone quarry into suitable sizes to construct the windmill. Since the animals could not stand on their hind legs and use crowbars and pickaxes to break up the limestone into suitable sizes, they decided to use the force of gravity to accomplish this difficult task:

"Only after weeks of vain effort did the right idea occur to somebody-namely, to utilise the force of gravity. Huge boulders, far too big to be used as they were, were lying all over the bed of the quarry. The animals lashed ropes round these, and then all together, cows, horses, sheep, any animal that could lay hold of the rope--even the pigs sometimes joined in at critical moments--they dragged them with desperate slowness up the slope to the top of the quarry,where they were toppled over the edge, to shatter to pieces below."

Once the stones were broken into smaller sizes suitable for construction the animals transported them to the place of construction:

"Transporting the stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple. The horses carried it off in cart-loads, the sheep dragged single blocks, even Muriel and Benjamin yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their
share."

implala570 | Student

they break it