Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Why was Mr Jones drunk on the day of the animals' rebellion, and why didn't he care about the animals in Animal Farm?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 2, Orwell writes that Mr. Jones had recently fallen on hard times and began to drink steadily throughout the day. Mr. Jones had recently lost a lawsuit, which made him depressed enough to sit on his Windsor chair all day and drink alcohol. In addition to Mr. Jones's alcoholism, his men were idle, and they neglected to take care of the farm and adequately feed the animals. On Manor Farm, the fields were full of weeds, the buildings were dilapidated, and the animals were dramatically unfed. On Midsummer's Eve, Mr. Jones got so drunk at the Red Lion that he did not come back to the farm until the following day and immediately went to bed when he returned home. Mr. Jones was so depressed about his lawsuit and consumed in his alcohol that he completely forgot to take care of the animals. The animals had gone unfed for two consecutive days and had finally had enough of being neglected by their human master. The animals then rebelled and successfully expelled Mr. Jones and his men from Manor Farm.

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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We learn that Mr. Jones started drinking because he was depressed after losing money in a lawsuit. The heavy drinking led him to neglect the animals on his farm. He would "lounge in his Windsor chair" in the kitchen for whole days, reading newspapers and guzzling alcohol. His farm began falling to rack and ruin from neglect, and the animals often went hungry.

On the eve of rebellion, Mr. Jones, apparently still upset over his lawsuit, had gotten so drunk at the Red Lion pub that he stayed out all night and didn't return until the middle of the next day. His farm hands failed to feed the hungry animals, and when Mr. Jones got home, he went to sleep on the sofa rather than check on the animals' welfare. By evening, the animals were still unfed. When the hungry beasts couldn't stand it any longer, they broke into the grain bins and started to eat. Mr. Jones and his men arrived with whips, but the animals rebelled. They butted and kicked, frightening the men, who fled the farm.

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