Is it true that in the novel Animal Farm the animals become more concerned with building a windmill than harvesting the crops?

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shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the George Orwell novel Animal Farm the windmill represents the idea of industrial development. The idea of the windmill is originally introduced by the pig Snowball, who promotes it as a way to make the animals lives easier. Snowball, as always, is committed to the success of Animal Farm and the welfare of the animals.

But after Snowball is run off the farm by Napoleon, the windmill idea is manipulated for the pigs’ benefit. At first, the animals are inspired by the idea of building the windmill. Eventually, it becomes a burden that all of the animals feel. Their workload is increased and their rations are decreased. Their political rights are curtailed.

It is true that the animals continue to work on the windmill, but that is more out of a sense of fear of Napoleon than a belief in the value of the windmill. Eventually, when the windmill is finally completed, it is not used to modernize the farm and create electricity for the comfort of the animals, but to mill corn for commercial purposes.

So, it is true that the pigs put more emphasis on the windmill than on crops. The other animals, however, suffer because of this and would most likely prefer to focus on farming, which would lead to increased rations and a little more leisure time.