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- Mr Jones, who is drunk, locks the hen-houses; goes to bed
- Old Major, had a strange dream last night, wishes to communicate it to the other animals
- The animals arrive in the big barn: the three dogs, the pigs, the hens, the pigeons, the sheep, the cows, the three horses, the white goat, the donkey, the ducks, the cat
- Old Major makes his speech; while Major is speaking four large rats has crept out of their holes and are sitting on their hindquarters listening to him; the animals put it to the vote and decide that all wild creatures are comrades, too
- All animals begin to singing the song, even the stupidest of them has already pick up the tune and a few words, and as for the clever ones has the entire song by heart within a few minutes; the whole farm burst out into ‘Beasts of England’ in tremendous unison
- Unfortunately Mr Jones awakes, he seizes the gun and lets fly a pellets into the darkness
- The animals flee to his own sleeping place
Old Major: Pig the prize Middle White boar; his name under he was exhibited is Willingdon Beauty; highly regarded on the farm; majestic-looking pig, with wise and benevolent appearance
Boxer: Horse an enormous beast; nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together; a white stripe down his nose gives him a somewhat stupid appearance; he’s not of first-rate intelligence, hut he is universally respected for his steadiness of character and tremendous powers of work
Clover: Horse a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who had never quite got her figure after her fourth foal
Benjamin: Donkey the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered; he seldom talks, and when he does it is usually to make some cynical remark; he never laughs
Mollie: Horse the foolish, pretty white mare
Moses: T ame raven
Old Major’s speech
- He will not live many months longer, but he wants to disseminate his wisdom
- Animals’ lives are miserable, laborious, short and like slavery
- They are born, they are given just so much food as will keep the breath in their bodies, and those of them who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of their strength, at the end they are slaughtered with hideous cruelty
- Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever
- Man is the only creature that consumes without producing; yet he is lord of all the animals; he sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself; Man serves the interests of no creature except himself
- He gives examples for the misery and slavery in their lives
- Rebellion: get rid of Man. Work night and day for the overthrown of the human race
- All men are enemies. All Animals are comrades; whatever goes upon two legs, is an enemy, whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend; in fighting against Man, they must not come to resemble him; even when they have conquered him, do not adopt his vices; all the habits of Man are evil; all animals are equal
- The dream: of the earth as it will be when Man has vanished
- He sings them a song, which he had known in his infancy: Beasts of England
Old Major calls together all the animals to tell them his dream and to transmit them some of his wisdom before he dies.
He begins with the question how animals’ life is, he says that every animal in England must fulfill its duty as good as possible, for example the cows give milk, the hens lay eggs and so on, no animal is happy, not even for a moment. But this must needs not to be the order of nature, nature says that this is so, because Man oppresses. Man doesn’t produce anything, but consumes everything. He takes everything of the products from the animals, but he returns them only the minimum. Man takes away their children to make a profit of. Old Major describes the violence of the human beings, no animal can reach its natural-life-span. It is killed, when it is not longer useful. With his arguments Old Major wants to show that Man is the evil for the animals. If the animals wants to live a better life, they must get rid of Man. He requests for rebellion. He says that all animals must hold together and they are all equal - even the wild creatures like rats and rabbits. Old Major wants the animals to fight against Man and at last he warns them not to resemble their enemy, no animal must ever live in a house or sleep in a bed.
What does Old Major to achieve with his speech?
Old Major wants to achieve that the animals must do something. They have to defend themselves, because they are treated bad and Man takes away everything of their products, but he returns them only the minimum. Old Major demands of the animals a rebellion, they must work hard day and night, to prepare it. But it’s important that the animals always suppose that all animals are comrade and that Man is their enemy.
Why does Old Major deliver the speech at this moment?
Old Major delivers the speech at this moment, because it’s time to demand the rebellion. And because he wants to tell about his strange dream, a dream without Man, without famine and slavery.
How does Old Major manage to keep his audience’s attention?
Old Major, who is a majestic-looking boar, is very highly regarded on the farm, so the animals are prepared to sacrifice an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he has to say.
He told of a new life without problems and without Man, who steals things of them. He told of a new life as a conqueror.
- He starts various paragraphs with rhetorical questions (e.g. Now comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours?)
- He uses arguments that appeal to this audience (e.g. soil- not enough food, Man consumes without producing)
- He gives striking and impressive examples of the hardship and brevity of their lives
- He has invited the animals to listen to his dream, but first he delivers his speech and delays the telling of his dream until the end
What is the function of the song?
The song ‘Beasts of England’ is to encourage the animals to start a rebellion. The song is about freedom and happiness.
- Three days later Old Major dies peacefully in his sleep; his body is buried at the foot of the orchard.
- This was early in March. Old Major’s speech has given the others a completely new outlook on life. The next three months the animals work for the rebellion secretly, they don’t know, when it will start, but they consider it their duty to prepare it and to pass on the message of Old Major to those who come after them.
- The pigs who are the cleverest animals on the farm organize and elaborate the principles of Animalism. For this they use these wisdoms, which Old Major bequeathed. At night the animals assemble and the pigs try to explain them the principles, but firstly they meet with stupidity and apathy, but after they answer those questions like ‘Why should we care what happens after we are dead’, the animals understand more and more what the pigs say.
- Moses narrates about Sugarcandy Mountain, it is a mysterious country somewhere up in the sky, quite near the clouds, to which all animals go when they die. He tells that in Sugarcandy anybody must work and everybody can sleep and eat all the time, there is no Man, who treat them bad and they can live in freedom. The pigs have to argue very hard to persuade the animals that Sugarcandy Mountain doesn’t exist.
- June came. On Midsummer’s Eve Mr. Jones go into Willington, there he gets so drunk, that he returns not until Sunday noon. His men have milked the cows and go to chase rabbits, but they don’t feed the animals, late on Sunday afternoon, they are still unfed ➔ begin of the rebellion: one of the cows breaks in the door of the store-shed with her horns and all the animals begin to help themselves from the bins. In this moment Mr Jones wakes up, he and his four men run with their whips in the store-shed, lashing out in all directions. Suddenly and unplanned, the animals attack them. After only a moment the men give up and flee down the cart-track, chasing by the animals.
- the instruments which serve for torturing the animals, for example whips, halters, ribbons … are thrown on to the rubbish fire which was burning in the yard
- the animals admire Animal Farm from the top of a hill and they can’t believe that it is their prosperity, then they rummage through the farmhouse, they vote unanimous on using the house as museum
- during the last three months the pigs teach themselves to read and write, they elaborate the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments and they define that these Commandments form an unalterable law by which all the animals must live for ever after. Snowball, who’s best at writing, inscribes them on the wall in great white letters. And the pigs change the name ‘Manor Farm’ into ‘Animal Farm’
- the cows are still unmilked, after a short moment the pigs milk them and five buckets of frothing creamy milk are full
- Napoleon sends the animals to the harvest for diverting suspicion from the milk, but when the animals return the milk has disappeared
Napoleon: a large, rather-fierce looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm; not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way
Snowball: is a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive; but is not considered to have the same depth of character
Squealer: a small fat porker; with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements, a shrill voice; he’s a brilliant talker, and when he is arguing some difficult point he has a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which is somehow very persuasive; he can turn black into white
Moses: a especial pet of Mr Jones; is spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker
Boxer& Clover: they are a very great help for the pigs, because they believe in that what the pigs say and then they explain it to the other animals with simple arguments.
Mr Jones: has become much discouraged, because he has lost money in a lawsuit; the whole day he reads newspapers, drinks alcohol, feeds Moses
Animal Farm: the fields are full of weeds, the buildings must be repaired, the hedges are neglected, and the animals are underfed
7 Commandm.:1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend
3. No animal shall wear clothes
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed
5. No animal shall drink alcohol
6. No animal shall kill any other animal
7. All animals are equal
- the harvest: it is a greater harvest than in Jones’s time and the animals finish the harvest in two days’ less time than earlier Jones and his men needed. During the harvest every animal helps, even the ducks and hens turn, gather and carry the hay. Nevertheless there are drawbacks, for example the implements, they make it difficult, they are usually created for Man, but the pigs are so clever, after short moments they find solutions and supervise and direct the others. Little by little it becomes visible that the pigs assume the leadership.
- the Sunday meetings
- Autumn. The animals learn the alphabet and the Seven Commandments are reduced: ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’. This most essential principle is written on the end wall of the barn and all the animals learn it by heart
- The milk is mixed into the pigs’ mash and the windfalls ‘contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig’. Squealer turns black into white again and explains the animals that Jones comes back, when the pigs don’t get the windfalls, so the animals decide unanimously that the pigs get it (➔ with the leadership the pigs also assume the bucket of milk which is yielded by the cows, and the apples from the orchard)
Boxer: he was a hard worker even in Jones’s time, but now he seems more like three horses than one; in the mornings a cockerel calls him an hour earlier than anyone else, then he does some volunteer labour and from morning to night he’s pushing and pulling; his personal motto: ‘I will work harder’
Mollie: she doesn’t like the system, she shirks to work, every day she invents excuses
The cat: when there’s work to be done the cat can never be found, either she returns at meal-times or in the evening after work is over. But unexpectedly she shows an interest in the Committees of Snowball.
Old Benjamin: is the same like in Jones’s time, he never shirking and never volunteering for extra work
The pigs: in the evenings they study blacksmithing, carpentering, and other necessary arts from books which they have brought out of the farmhouse. Snowball creates Animal Committees, for example he forms the Egg Production Committee for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the cows…. Napoleon is not interested in Snowball’s Committees, in his opinion the education of the young is more important. Napoleon takes nine sturdy puppies, which Jessie and Bluebell has whelped, away from their mothers and keeps them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm soon forget their existence
Snowball: is the head of the movements; he is everywhere; he works without getting tired, he is the intellectual leader
Napoleon: is selfish; he is not interested in the Committees, ceremonies, etc. The harvest: is a great success, animals work harder
7 Commandm.:are reduced to a single maxim, namely: ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’. This is the essential principle of Animalism and everybody, who understand it, is saved from human influences
There’s no work and breakfast is an hour later than usual. After the green flag is hoisted, which Snowball found in the harness-room and painted on it a hoof and a horn, the animals assemble in the big barn, there they work put the plan of the coming week and they vote on the resolutions, which Napoleon and Snowball put to the vote - but it becomes visible that the two pigs are never in agreement. One Sunday there’s a stormy debate over the correct retiring age for each class of animal (➔ no classless society). The Meetings ended with the singing of ‘Beasts of England’ and the afternoon is given up to recreation.
The learning process:
The pigs: can already read and write
The dogs: learn to read well, but are not interested in reading anything except the Seven Commandments
Muriel: can read somewhat better than the dogs
Benjamin: can read as well as any pig, but never exercises his faculty
Clover: learns the hole alphabet, but can not put words together
Boxer: can not get beyond the letter D
Mollie: refuses to learn any but the six letters which spell her own name
The others: the sheep, hens, ducks can not get further than the letter A, they are not able to learn the Seven Commandments by heart
- by the late summer pigeons of Animal Farm, which are sent out by Snowball and Napoleon, are to tell the neighbouring animals the story of the Rebellion and teach them the tune of ‘Beasts of England’
- Mr Pilkington and Mr Frederick disseminate rumours against the animals of Animal Farm, firstly they tell that the animals fight against each other and that they don’t have enough to eat, so they must starve. After a time that it becomes clear that the animals don’t starve, the farmers say that there is cannibalism, hideous cruelty and a bad moral for example that they have their females in common
- However, these rumours are not given credence to. That year a wave of rebelliousness run through the countryside. All animals attack their possessor, for example the cows kick the pail over, sheep break down hedges… and the tune of ‘Beasts of England’ is known everywhere.
- The beginning of ‘the Battle of the Cowshed’ Early in October pigeons sow tumult, because Jones and his men come.
- The animals hoist the flag and they sing all together ‘Beasts of England’ several times. Then the sheep, who found its death during the fight, gets a solemn funeral. Snowball makes a speech, the animals introduce a military decoration (Animal Gero) and confer it to the brave animals and at last Mr Jones’s gun is fired.
Foxwood: is a large, neglected, old-fashioned farm, much overgrown by woodland; owner: Mr
Pilkington, he is an easy-going gentleman farmer who spends most of his time in fishing or hunting according to the season
Pinchfield: is smaller and better kept; owner: Mr Frederick, a tough, shrewd man, perpetually involved in lawsuits and with a name for driving hard bargains
They are afraid that the Rebellion might spread out and they think that the Rebellion is against the laws of nature.
The Battle of the Cowshed
The pigeons are the first attack, they fly over the heads of the men, then the geese come, they peck the farmers. At next Muriel, Benjamin, all the sheep and Snowball attack them all together from every side and bite them. Suddenly Snowball gives a signal for retreat, so all animals run away. But this is just a ruse, as soon as the farmers are inside the yard, the three horses, the three cows and the rest of the pigs surround them and hit them furiously. At the end the men takes to their heels by pursuing from the geese.
- Winter draw on, Mollie and Clover have a discussion, because Clover saw her talking with a man of Pilkington and he stroke her nose, but Mollie deny this. She doesn’t fit in the system of Communism, she wants to be nice and like a lady, not like a communistic girl, who is like a man, intelligent and political and having no leisure. But during the discussion she takes to her heels and galloped away into the field Three days later Mollie vanished. Some weeks later some pigeons tell that they saw her, she was well-treated and had a good job (that was what Mollie wanted) and it became visible that she was very content.
- in January there’s very hard weather, the animals assume in the big barn and the pigs elaborate the plan for the coming season, but the controversy between Snowball and Napoleon hinder the work. Therefore the animals spilt into two factions: most of the time Snowball wins the majority, because of his brilliant speeches and his three-day week, but Napoleon is better at canvassing support for himself in between times. Their dispute over the erection of the windmill is a question of political priority. The windmill, symbol of industrialization, is Snowball’s idea, and he fights for it with all his eloquence. Napoleon pretends to give preference to the immediate needs of the animals: the production of more food. According to him agriculture comes first, industrialization second. The controversy between Snowball and Napoleon also reveals their different characters: Snowball, the intelligent, learned man with a powerful gift of speech and Napoleon, who has no ideas of his own and who is a poor orator, yet has a great political instinct and the will to use even illegal means to secure his power.
- Not far from the farm buildings, there’s a hill and Snowball decides that the windmill will be build there, he explains that the farm supplies electricity power, light the stalls and warm them in winter. The animals don’t understand him, because they are an old-fashioned farm and they don’t know those machinery.
- Then Snowball’s plans are finished and at the next Sunday Meeting he tries to convince the animals of the erection of the windmill, but, of course, Napoleon’s opinion is, that it wastes time and that than the food production must reduce, so the animals must starve. Suddenly Snowball sees nine fierce-looking dogs, which run towards him, he springs from his place to escape their snapping jaws. The dogs, who are the puppies, which Napoleon reared privately, chase Snowball until the pig slips through a hole and is never seen more.
- Napoleon abolishes the Sunday Meetings, because they waste time and from now on a special committee of pigs decide resolutions, which concerned the farm. On Sunday morning the flag will be hoisted and ‘Beasts of England’ will be sung, but the animals will not be allowed to vote again.
- Four porkers protest, but when the dogs growl, they are silent again.
- Napoleon establishes a regime of iron discipline after Snowball’s expulsion. Napoleon has his own bodyguard, the puppies whom he has reared in seclusion and whom he has educated himself. They have grown up into fierce-looking dogs, loyal to their master. They wag their tails to Napoleon as the dogs used to do to Mr Jones in former times. There are no more Sunday meetings, no more debates and votes. Democracy has come to an end. There is only a committee of pigs who take all the decisions under Napoleon’s supervision.
The animals only receive their orders. Any argument from the other animals are suppressed at the sight of the dogs, and Squealer’s task is to reassure the animals and argue down any doubts.
- Boxer isn’t sure if it is all right since Snowball is expelled, but then he adopts the maxim, ‘Napoleon is always right’ in addition to his private motto of ‘I will work harder’
- In his speech Squealer explains to the stupefied animals why Napoleon ants to build the windmill in spite of his opposition to its erection before. This speech to the animals after Snowball’s expulsion is a masterpiece of his ability of turning black into white. He always knows what the animals vaguely think and feel, but are unable to express. He takes up these feelings only to show how the animals have misjudged the situation, and Napoleon’s motives for his actions are presented as merely pure and unselfish and meant only for the benefit of all animals on the farm. One of Squealer’s ways of using propaganda is the distortion of the truth, another one, as practiced in his speech, is threatening the animals so that in their fear of Jones coming back they willingly accept Napoleon as their leader and benefactor. There is a certain irony in the fact that at the very moment that Napoleon has become the absolute dictator on the farm Squealer refers to him as ‘Comrade Naopelon’ for the first time.
After Old Major’s speech on the rebellion the animals succeed in expelling Mr Jones from the Manor Farm. The animals want to establish their own society according to the principles of Animalism. From the very beginning, however, these principles are betrayed. The pigs assume the leadership and claim privileges for themselves. Snowball and Napoleon always have deputes, the worst about the erection of the windmill which Snowball plans to build. Napoleon, on seeing that he would lose if the erection of the windmill were put to the vote, chases Snowball from the farm with the help of nine fierce-looking dogs whom he has raised secretly. An attempt by the humans to recapture the farm is in vain. After Snowball’s expulsion, however, Napoleon, orders the windmill to be build after all, which means hard work and a great many difficulties for the animals. Chapter VI ends with the windmill destroyed by a gale and Napoleon using Snowball as a scapegoat
- by late summer a sufficient store of stone has accumulated, and then the building begins, under the superintendence of the pigs.
- One Sunday morning Napoleon announced that he has decided upon a new policy, from now onwards Animal Farm will engage in trade with the neighbouring farms to obtain certain materials which are urgently necessary
- A Mr Whymper will visit the farm every Monday morning to receive his instructions
- Then the pigs inhabit the farmhouse, they use it not only taking their meals in the kitchen and using the drawing-room as a recreation room but also sleeping in the beds. ➔ the fourth commandment ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed’ is changed into ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets’
- November comes, the windmill is destroyed at night and Napoleon maintain that Snowball has been there and has overthrown their windmill. He pronounced the death sentence upon Snowball and he decides that the animals begin at once to rebuilding the windmill (➔ Snowball is the scapegoat)
- the animals lose their faith in rebuilding the windmill, because it is a bitter winter and they are so hungry. Only Boxer and Clover never lose their hearts.
- In January food falls short, the corn ration is drastically reduced and the potatoes has been frosted, so they become soft and discoloured. The farmers put rumours about again, they say that they don’t have enough to eat, so they must starve. But Napoleon convinces them of the contrary with the help of Mr Whymper
- The hens must give their eggs to Napoleon, firstly they protest, but then Napoleon stops their food ration, after five days the hens give up and go back to their nesting boxes.
- Napoleon wants to sell the pile of timber, but he’s undecided if he is to sell it to Mr Frederick or to Mr Pilkington
- The animals use Snowball as a scapegoat, when a window is broken, or the key of the store-shed is lost, the animals are convinced that Snowball was there
Comment on the abolishment of ‘Beasts of England’
Clover starts to sing the song, because she’s longing for the society, which is described in it. The other animals join in, but after the third time Squealer comes and forbid them to sing it any longer. ‘Beasts of England’ was the song of the rebellion and has no loner any purpose, because the animals established the new society, therefore a new tune will to be sung furthermore. The official version for the abolishment of ‘Beasts of England’ is, that the song describes the version of a perfect society, but according to Napoleon, this society exists since their rebellion succeeded.
But another reason may be that the song remembers the animals of their ideals, when they began with the rebellion, the scene with Clover and her thoughts about their living is a good example for it.
In my opinion rebellion is definitely not completed, rebellion succeeded in so far that the human beings have been chased from the farm, but on the other hand it is not a society, where all animals are equal, which was the ideal of the rebellion. The pigs assume the leadership and rule with punishment and terror. And some of the animals, especially Clover, still feel the longing for exactly this society of justice. This is expressed by singing ‘Beasts of England’ ‘very tunefully, but slowly and mournfully, in a way they have never sung it before’.
Compare the following statements about Russian history with similar developments on Animal Farm that are recounted in chapter VII and find suitable headings for them
1. Success in industry was not matched by success in agriculture. The peasants who had so recently gained control of their own land were not at all willing to part with it. Under the new Economic Policy many former peasants had become prosperous and efficient farmers and simply rejected the invitation to join the new collective farms. … In 1929 the forcible development of collective farms began. … The human losses were colossal. At least five million peasants died in the process of collectivization and the resultant famine of 1932- 1933. The Soviet Union naturally endeavours to conceal the role of the secret police in its economy, but its statistics on over-all economic growth also reflect a series of international deception which make it very difficult to evaluate them.
➔ USSR: failure in agriculture because of the collectivization and resultant famine
➔ Animal Farm: miserable food situation, starvation/ famine
2. The peasants replied by burning their crops and slaughtering their livestock but they were no match for a determined and unscrupulous government. Thousands of peasants were rounded by the Red Army and shot, while whole village populations were transported to labour camps of the northern forests or forced to become miners or construction workers in Siberia or Central Asia. By 1939 Stalin could claim that virtually the entire farmlands of Russia had been collectivized. On these new state-owned farms former peasants worked as agricultural labourers tilling the soil they had so recently owned.
➔ USSR: Protest/ rebellion of farmers Red Army shoots the rebels
➔ Animal Farm: the hens’ rebellion
Napoleon has the rebellious animals executed
3. Following the defeat and exile of Trotsky Stalin made himself a more powerful dictator in Russia than any Tsar had ever been. His methods were similar to those used by Hitler in Germany. .. In the 1930s a vast campaign of terror removed thousands upon thousands of Russians to the isolated wasteland of Siberia. At the same time, within the party itself, a great purge took place of all who could possibly be considered by Stalin as opponents of his personal power. Except for a few demonstration trials staged for propaganda purposes, political prosecutions are secret. And many things are political: the alleged mismanagement of a factory, absenteeism or lateness, alleged misappropriation of funds in a collective, a reported criticism of the government in private conversation, or an attitude of mind which displeases the authorities.
➔ USSR: Trotsky’s exile
the great purge
the demonstration trials
➔ Animal Farm: Snowball’s expulsion the execution of the alleged traitors
The cult of leadership surrounding Napoleon
- The completed windmill is named: ‘Napoleon Mill’
- The animals invent titles, such as ‘Terror of Mankind’, ‘Father of all Animals’
- He must be addressed as ‘Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon’
- Minimus composes a poem about Napoleon
- He has bestowed decorations on himself
- Jones’s gun is fired on Napoleon’s birthday
- Napoleon’s speeches are introduced by a trumpeter
- He has got his own apartment allof (away) from the other animals
- He takes his meals alone
- A retinue of dogs follows him
- A cockerel announces Napoleon’s appearance
- A portrait of Napoleon is drawn above the poem
Which commandments are changed in this chapter?
- The fifth commandment:
➔ No animal shall drink alcohol to excess
- The sixth commandment:
➔ No animal shall kill any other animal without cause
Historical parallels to Frederick’s attack on Animal Farm and his destruction of the windmill
- Frederick or Fritz is a nickname for the Germans. Pinchfield: to pinch - that is a colloquial expression for to steal. Hitler tried to ‘pinch’ the whole of Eastern Europe
- Hitler’s attack on Russia in 1941 (in spite of Hitler’s non-aggression pact) can be compared to Frederick’s attack on Animal Farm
- The windmill is a symbol of Soviet industrialization. Russia had spared no efforts to industrialize the country. This industry was destroyed in the Second World War
- Selling the pile of timber to Frederick: Russia supplied Germany with lots of raw materials, oil and weapons
- The forged bank-notes: Allusion to Hitler’s breath of faith. Hitler never paid for the materials he had got from Stalin. Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact which proved as worthless as the counterfeit money. Thus Napoleon is outdone in his cunning ny Mr. Frederick.
The changing of the commandments
Changing the commandments is a process that totalitarian states have to use as soon as it becomes obvious that they do not live according to their former idealistic aims. It is a process called ‘Doublethink’ or ‘Reality Control’ by Orwell in his novel ‘1984’. The idea behind this Reality Control is that there is no such thing as an objective truth, the truth being only what the Party or the dictator claim it to be. The same is true for the rewriting of history that Squealer has practised so frequently with undeniable success (of the Battle of Cowshed and the role Snowball played in it).
Boxer is brought to the knacker’s and is slaughtered. A van fetches him at the farm and in the moment Benjamin sees what is written on the van’s doors - some animals try to stop the car, but they don’t manage to do that. Squealer tells them afterwards that Boxer is brought to the vet, who had bought the van from the knacker’s.
What is life on Animal Farm like now for the ordinary animals, not for the pigs?
The animals work all day. They are not like the pigs and they must step beside when pigs come their way. They are a little bit hungry but free. It is hard for them rebuilding the windmill.
How does Squealer make the animals believe that their situation has improved?
Squealer tells them that they have much more food than at Jones’s times. They are producing twice or more food than at that time and he tells it in such a voice that they believe him the things such as that they work less and live longer.
Give some examples of the pigs’ attempt to be better than the other animals The young pigs are not allowed to play with the other animals and they are taught by Napoleon himself. And it is laid as a rule that when a pig and another animal met, the other animal has to go out of the way. And of course the pigs are allowed to wear green ribbons on Sundays. They get all the barley and a pint of beer daily.
Which new ceremony helps the animals to feel better than in Jones’s time?
A ‘Spontaneous Demonstration’ is made once a week, which is celebrated with a march round the precincts. Afterwards they have recitations of poems composed in Napoleon’s honour and hear a speech of Squealer. Then after all the gun is fired.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Why do the animals like listening to Moses and his sugarcandy mountain again?
The animals like listening to Moses, because Sugarcandy Mountain is their last hope, they can believe in. The animals know that they never reach the aims of the rebellion, so the try to get to the new paradise.
Napoleon and Squealer are very happy that Moses is again on Animal Farm, because he takes the animals’ mind off slavery and famine on the Farm.
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Comment on Mr. Pilkington’s speech
Mr. Pilkington’s speech is about the congratulations to Napoleon on the success of Animal Farm. The farmers are astonished that the farm is run more efficiently and has become prosperous and they are amazed at these long working hours of the ordinary animals and that they get only low rations. The speech besides deals with the misunderstanding and mistrust among the neighbours. But Mr. Pilkington is sure that there subsist friendly feelings between animals and human beings and that there won’t be any clash of interests between them.
During the proceeding of the story it is spoken in very plain terms that the originally idealistic aims of Old Major are not realized. After Old Major’s death and after Mr. Jones’s expulsion, the pigs assume the leadership and claim privileges for themselves. The pigs (and dogs) have everything they need/ want, according to them, they are the brainworkers on the farm, but in reality they don’t work at all. In contrast to the ordinary animals, who are exploited and must work very hard. Their old Comrades treat them bad, for example, the pigs carry and use whips. Their lives are worse than in Jones’s times. Animals even expulse or kill other animals. At the end the leading animals are very similar to the human beings, it is not longer any difference between them.
It is an irony fable, animals are used instead of human beings. And it’s a ferocious idea, firstly all together want to realize their aims, but then one species assumes the leadership more and more and suddenly it determines all commandments. And above all the others praise it.
Old Major’s vision of the future
- working night and day for the overthrow of the human race
- not resembling Man during fighting
- not living in a house, not sleeping in a bed, not wearing clothes, not drinking alcohol, not smoking tobacco
- all the habits of Man are evil
- not ever killing any other animal
- all animals are equal
- classless society
Snowball’s plans for Animal Farm
- because of the windmill, so much labour would be saved that the animals would only need to work three days a week
- they must send out more and more pigeons and stir up rebellion among the animals on the other farms
- electricity could operate threshing machines, ploughs, harrows, rollers and reapers and binders, besides supplying every stall with its own electric light, hot and cold water and an electric heater
- Quote paper
- Jessica Schwiete (Author), 2002, Orwell, George - Animal Farm - Overview Chapters I-X, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/106011