What is the significance of the different settings in Animal Farm?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most important settings in the novel would have to be the barn in which Old Major delivers his opening speech.  It is significant because it is the first time we see all the animals together, unified in one purpose.  The setting of the old barn after Jones has gone to sleep is also significant because small traits of each animal are gained, insight that will play large into their characterization as the novel continues.  The pigs sitting closest to the front, intently hearing Old Major, Clover and Boxer worrying about the smaller animals, and the animals singing "Beasts of England" at the end are all examples of how the setting of the barn plays a major role in the establishment of the characterizations of the animals.  I think that another example of a significant setting would be the ending of the novel.  The small room in which the pigs and the humans raise toasts to one another indicates how much life has changed and simultaneously how little life has changed for the animals.  I think that the most significant element of this setting has the pigs on the inside and the other animals on the outside, looking in at the pigs and humans, unable to tell the difference between the two.  The opening setting of all of the animals inside the barn, reveling in the power of Animalism, is fundamentally offset with the construction of the ending setting, where the animals are on the outside peering in to the world of power with the pigs and humans.