Please provide a quotation with details about the setting in Animal Farm. I have looked through the book, and I cannot find a decent quote referring to the setting. All I have is Old Major's speech on page 5 when he mentions England. But I need a quote referring to the time period, the physical setting (England), and something that mentions that they live on a farm. It can only be one passage/paragraph, though.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In my view one is somewhat missing the point of Animal Farmin looking for a concrete, specific setting in which the story occurs. It is, as Orwell regarded it, a "fairy story," or fairy-tale that serves as a parable of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union. So we...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In my view one is somewhat missing the point of Animal Farm in looking for a concrete, specific setting in which the story occurs. It is, as Orwell regarded it, a "fairy story," or fairy-tale that serves as a parable of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union. So we have, essentially, two settings, a literal one which functions as a metaphor, and the real, implied one, the "target domain" which is a dramatized version of recent Russian history.

Regarding the 'literal" setting and story, the atmosphere and style are those of myth and legend, or even science fiction. The setting is like an alternative universe, or an earth-like planet that has developed "in parallel" with earth, except that on this one animals can talk, think and act approximately like human beings.

Nevertheless the story seems to take place in the British Isles, based on Old Major's address to the "beasts of England, beasts of Ireland." (Somehow he leaves out Scotland and Wales.) The owner of the "Manor Farm" is Mr. Jones. So the setting is obviously an English one, and also one that is recent in time, from incidental allusions like one about Mr. Jones falling asleep with a copy of the News of the World over his face.

The real setting and events symbolized by the story, however, are the 1917 Russian Revolution and the subsequent history of the Soviet Union. Orwell's audience were politically oriented intellectuals such as himself who could not have misunderstood the meaning of allegory that Animal Farm is.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution, it does not itself take place in any specific time period.  The Russian Revolution occurred in 1917.  You are correct that the farm is in England.  We know this mainly because Old Major directly mentions England.  In fact, the closest statement about England is this one from chapter 1.

The soil of England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it.

It sounds like this is indeed the specific quote you are looking for.  It mentions England and it mentions that the animals are on a farm.  Here is the rest of it.

This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep--and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining.

We also know from the beginning of chapter 2 that Old Major died in early March.  At the end of Chapter 4 we learn that the  Battle of the Cowshed took place on October 12, which corresponds closely to the Russian October Revolution.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team