Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis
The years pass and many of the animals grow old and die. No one remembers the time before the revolution except Clover, Benjamin, the pigs, and Moses. Several animals have been added to the farm, though they are rather dumb and do not seem to understand the principles of Animalism. Over the years, the farm has grown larger and more prosperous, but the animals no longer dream of living in comfort or luxury. After the completion of the windmill, Napoleon makes it clear that the idyllic, electricity-powered life Snowball once spoke of is contrary to “the spirit of Animalism,” which promotes frugal living and hard work. Indeed, as time passes, Snowball is forgotten, as is Boxer. The pigs insist that they are working hard supervising the farm and, as proof, show the animals sheets of paper covered in writing. The papers are burned as soon as they are produced. No animals can remember whether life was better or worse under Mr. Jones, except Benjamin, who, as usual, cynically says that life is as bad as it has always been.
Despite their difficult lives, the animals still take pride in their farm and dream of a day when England will be ruled by animals. The animals derive comfort from the knowledge that if they are working hard, it is at least for their own benefit rather than for the enrichment of a tyrannical human. During the summer, Squealer takes a group of sheep aside for several days to teach them a new song. Soon after, the animals are shocked and terrified to see the pigs walking around on two legs, led by Napoleon, who carries a whip. Despite everything they have endured, the animals are so disturbed that they are inclined to protest. Before the animals can utter a word of complaint, however, the sheep loudly bleat “Four legs good, two legs BETTER” until the moment for protest has passed. Returning to the barn, Benjamin and Clover realize that the wall with the Seven Commandments has been painted over and now simply reads: “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.” In the days that follow, the pigs walk on two legs, carry whips, take out magazine subscriptions, and even begin to wear Mr. Jones’s old clothes.
A week later, several human visitors—including Mr. Pilkington—come to visit the farm. Later, the animals sneak over to the farmhouse, curious as to what the pigs and humans are doing inside. They see all of them sitting together at the table, drinking and playing cards. Mr. Pilkington then stands up and makes a toast, saying that while Animal Farm had initially made the humans uneasy, they are pleased to see that it is run so efficiently. He commends the pigs for making the animals work so many hours on such little food and announces that the humans intend to introduce such a system on their own farms. He makes it clear that the pigs and humans have a lot in common, joking that while the pigs must contend with the “lower animals,” the humans must contend with the “lower classes.” After Mr. Pilkington’s speech, Napoleon gets up and says that it has never been true that Animal Farm intended to stir up rebellion among animals on neighboring farms and that he is glad their misunderstanding is at an end. He further announces that the animals are now forbidden from calling one another “comrade,” and the hoof and horn icons on the flag of Animal Farm have been removed. Finally, Napoleon announces that Animal Farm will officially be reverting to its original and “correct” name, Manor Farm.
As Clover and the other animals watch through the window, they begin to feel that something has altered in the faces of the pigs. Walking back to the barn, they are halted by an eruption of noise from the farmhouse. On rushing back to the window, the animals see that a big argument has broken out because Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington both played an ace of spades. As they watch the quarrel play out, the animals realize that they can no longer tell who is a human and who is a pig.
(The entire section is 1,363 words.)