Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Where did the pigs get the money to buy whiskey in the end of Animal Farm?  

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Chapter 9, Boxer is sold to a Horse Slaughterer. This is the last we see of Boxer, but we can assume that the Horse Slaughterer would have killed Boxer and then rendered his body into a variety of sellable products including glue, soap, tallow, and animal feed. It's likely that the pigs would have taken a payment from the Horse Slaughterer for Boxer, and that the Horse Slaughterer would have then made a profit by selling the aforementioned products.

At this point in the story, it makes good economic sense for the pigs to sell Boxer. He is injured because he has been working so hard, to complete the windmill, and because he is injured he is of no further use to the pigs. Ironically, this is more or less the same fate that Old Major predicted for Boxer at the beginning of the story. Old Major told Boxer that, "Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds." The only significant detail that Old Major got wrong was that it would be Jones, rather than the pigs, who would sell Boxer to the knacker.

At the end of Chapter 9, Orwell writes that "from somewhere or other the pigs had acquired the money to buy themselves another case of whiskey." The phrase, "from somewhere or other," is an example of the dramatic irony that characterizes much of the story's narration. The reader will likely understand where the money has come from, especially given that Boxer has just been taken away in a van marked "Horse Slaughterer." The animals, however, are unable to make the connection, and it is their perspective that we are exposed to when Orwell writes "from somewhere or other."

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In Chapter Nine of Animal Farm, the pigs have a crate of whiskey delivered to the farm. The other animals are uncertain where the funds to buy the crate have come from:

The word went round that from somewhere or other the pigs had acquired the money to buy themselves another case of whisky.

Arguably, the pigs were able to buy this crate as a result of Boxer's death, another key event in Chapter Nine. When Boxer is taken away in a van, for example, Squealer says that he is going to see a vet in nearby Willingdon but the writing on the van suggests otherwise:

Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal.

It appears, then, that the pigs have sold Boxer to a glue manufacturer and will profit from his death. When the animals express outrage over this, Squealer says that the writing on the van is a mistake; that the van was recently purchased by the vet who has not had time to change the writing. But Squealer and Napoleon have deliberately misled the others: the farm is doing so badly and food is so scarce that the money must have come from Boxer's death.

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