Why does Napoleon order that the hens' eggs be sold, and what happens when the hens rebel?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The reason that Napoleon wants the eggs to be sold is, of course, for money.  What Squealer announces is that the money will be used to buy grain and such to tide the animals over until it gets to be summer and they can get more food.

When the hens hear this, they protest and start to smash their eggs.  They end up getting killed.  They are starved to death.  Napoleon orders that anyone who gives them any food will be killed.  The dogs ensure that no one does help the hens and nine of them die.

missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It is important to note why Napoleon says the hens' eggs should be sold. He claims that the hens general make-up almost makes it impossible for them to contribute to the labor and construction of the windmill. But, they do have a commodity others value, and that could be their contribution: their eggs.

The hens stage a rebellion of their own which includes laying their eggs from the rafters so they break on the ground and are of no use. Napoleon responds by withholding their food. After five days, a few die. The rest decide its not worth it and give in to Napoleon's demands.

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