Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis
Though Boxer is injured from the Battle of the Windmill, he continues to push himself hard. Clover and Benjamin warn him to take it easy, but Boxer is determined that the windmill be well underway before his upcoming retirement. Though the animals seem to be working even harder and for less food, the pigs insist that rations have been readjusted rather than reduced. Squealer continues to announce how much the animals’ quality of life has improved since Mr. Jones ran the farm, and the animals are happy to believe it, especially since they now don’t remember the farm under Mr. Jones at all. Several piglets are born on the farm, and Napoleon orders the construction of a school in the garden. In the meantime, he educates the piglets himself and discourages them from associating with the other young animals. A new rule is passed that says any animal meeting a pig on a path must step aside and let the pig pass first. Rations continue to decrease, though the pigs seem to be gaining weight. To offset the increasing hardship, the pigs hold weekly “Spontaneous Demonstrations” in honor of Napoleon, which briefly allows the animals to focus on something other than their empty stomachs.
In the spring, Animal Farm is declared a republic, and Napoleon is unanimously elected president. The pigs report that new evidence shows that Snowball openly fought on Mr. Jones’s side during the Battle of Cowshed. The wounds on Snowball’s back were inflicted by Napoleon, they say. During the summer, the pigs allow Moses to return to the farm. Though they personally believe that his stories about Sugarcandy Mountain are lies, they give him food and allow him to stay even though he is not working. Most of the animals, comforted by the idea that they will someday go to a better world, believe Moses’s tales about Sugarcandy Mountain. Meanwhile, Boxer continues to work as hard as ever on the windmill, though he is beginning to show signs of aging.
One day, the animals hear that Boxer has collapsed while working independently on the windmill. The animals run out to meet him, and he says that he believes it is a problem with his lung. Knowing that he will no longer be able to work, Boxer comforts himself by saying that he only had one month left until his retirement anyway. After a short while, Squealer appears and announces that Napoleon has arranged for Boxer to be treated by a veterinarian. For the next few days, Boxer remains in good spirits and looks forward to his retirement. During the middle of the day, a van comes to pick Boxer up, and Benjamin—uncharacteristically excited—calls all the animals to come running. Watching Boxer being driven away in the van, all the animals begin to call out goodbyes—until Benjamin angrily tells them that the van reads “Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon.” Horrified, the animals race after the van, yelling at Boxer to try to escape. They hear Boxer attempting to kick in the door of the van, but in his weakened state, he is not able to manage it. Boxer never returns.
Three days later, the pigs announce that Boxer died at the animal hospital and that Napoleon spared no expense for his care. Squealer even claims to have been present at Boxer’s deathbed himself. Squealer dispels the rumor that Boxer was sent to the knackers by telling the animals that the veterinarian had just purchased the van from the knacker and had not yet repainted it. The animals are glad to hear this, as it allows them to believe that their good friend died happy. The pigs hold a memorial banquet in honor of Boxer, and the animals hear the sounds of their celebrations late into the night. The next day, word spreads that the pigs had somehow acquired enough money to buy themselves a case of whiskey.
As the animals’ memories of life under Mr. Jones grow faint, the pigs become bolder in their excesses. Convinced that the farm’s inhabitants are sufficiently indoctrinated, the pigs no longer work...
(The entire section is 1,302 words.)