Animal Farm is an excellent selection for junior and
senior high students to study. Although on one level
the novel is an
allegory of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the story
is just as applicable to the latest rebellion against
dictators around the
world. Young people should be able to recognize
similarities between the animal leaders and
Mr. Jones, the proprietor and overseer of the Manor Farm, just stumbled drunkenly to bed after
forgetting to secure his farm buildings properly. As soon as his bedroom light goes out, all of the farm
animals except Moses, Mr. Jones’s tame raven, meeting in the big barn to hear a speech by Old Major,
a prize boar and pillar of the animal community. Sensing that his long life is about to come to an end,
Major wishes to impart to the rest of the farm animals a distillation of the wisdom that he has
acquired during his lifetime.
Animals are born into the world as slaves,
worked incessantly from the time they can
walk, fed only enough to keep breath in
their bodies. He blames the animals’
suffering solely on their human oppressors.
Mr. Jones and his ilk have been exploiting
animals for ages, Major says, taking all of the
products of their labor—eggs, milk, dung,
foals—for themselves and producing
nothing of value to offer the animals in
Old Major relates a dream that he had the previous night, of a world
in which animals live without the tyranny of men: they are free,
happy, well fed, and treated with dignity. He urges the animals to do
everything they can to make this dream a reality and exhorts them
to overthrow the humans who purport to own them. He teaches the
animals a song called “Beasts of England,” .
Three nights later, Old Major dies in his sleep, and for
three months the animals make secret preparations to
carry out the old pig’s dying wish of wresting control
of the farm from Mr. Jones.
The work of teaching and organizing falls to two pigs
named Napoleon and Snowball. They both formulated
the philosophy called Animalism, the fundamentals of
which they spread among the other animals.
Every Sunday, the animals hold a flag-raising ceremony. Mr.
Jones becomes too drunk to feed or care for the animals, and
hired hands forget them as well. The animals break into the grain
bins. When Mr. Jones and the hired hands appear, the
animals attack and drive them off the farm. The animals are now
in control of Manor Farm. They change its name to
Animal Farm and establish their own rules for behavior which
are painted on the wall of the barn.
The farm animals, supervised by the pigs,
harvest the crops with better results than
ever before. Sundays are established as
days of rest, for meetings, and for singing
“Beasts of England.” Having already taught
themselves to read and write, the pigs
attempt to teach these skills to other
animals. Committees such as the Clean
Tails League for the cows are set up, but
none are successful.
Since most of the animals cannot learn to read or to memorize the seven
commandments, the commandments are reduced to one simple maxim:
“Four legs good, two legs bad.” Napoleon takes nine puppies for private
instruction, and the pigs are now the only ones allowed to eat the apples
and drink the milk produced on the farm . The pigs force the other animals
to accept this by reminding them of the threat of Mr. Jones’s return.
By the late summer the news of what had happened on animal farm had
spread across half the country. Almost every neigbhouring farm was aware
about the rebellion that happened at the animal farm . The were Also told
about “THE BEASTS OF ENGLAND” . When Mr. Jones told other farmers
about his story they didn’t show much concern but they were serious on this
matter , they were thinking to turn Mr. Jones misfortune to his advantage . So
they tried to talk to the owners of the neigbhouring farm , but they couldn’t
come to any type of agreement , but as they thought about the fierceness of
animals turning over there owners had put them into a state of uniting together
. It was early October and the corn was cut and stacked suddenly some
pigeons came whirling in and shouted that they have seen Mr. Jones with a
dozen of men coming towards the animal farm .
They claimed to see all the mens carrying sticks except Jones who was
marching ahead carrying a gun in his hands . This was long expected by
snowball and he had already made plans for this day . As they approached
close snowball Launched his first wave of pigeons who reached above them
and muted upon them from mid-air , the geese ambushed them from
behind and pecked them viciously this was done just to create a diversion
for Muriel , Benjamin and other sheeps with snowball on there head
attacked them but the men easily resisted with there sticks then they
charged the animals into the yard where they were again attacked by the
horses and cows , boxer was so angry that he shoved his hove in the face of
one lad leaving him lifeless on ground , suddenly a gunshot was heard and a
sheep was dead snowball turned around and leapt on Jones throwing him
on the ground and all of the men ran away for there lives . Boxer exclaimed
that he had no intentions of killing him . But snowball said that what is
done is done and we should not feel sorrowful , someone shouted where is
Mollie? , Mollie was lying in cowshed , when she heard the gunshot she had
run off and hid her head In the hay stack . That day two positions were
awarded to snowball and boxer and the lad which was knocked off by boxer
had taken off and that battle was declared as “THE BATTLE OF COWSHED” .
• As winter drew on Mollie began to trouble a lot , she tried
to skip her work and sat by the drinking pool and watched
her reflection foolishly. Then a time came when she had
been missing for weeks , the some pigeons reported that
they saw Mollie in a stall and she was being loved by a fat
man . Then none of the animals mentioned Mollie again .
When January came the weather was so hard that nothing
could be grown on the field . At every meeting new issues
were highlighted and napoleon argued with all the ideas of
snowball , it was like just another argument when snowball
proposed of making a windmill for which plans he had
written on the floor of Jones house , he described the
advantages of it that it could produce electricity , ploughing
, slicing , grinding etc. after his speech there was no doubt
for voting in favor of snowball , suddenly napolean shouted.
• Suddenly a group of nine aggressive dogs came howling in
the barn , they dashed for snowball and ran after him , but
snowball slipped in hole made in a hedge . The animals were
gathered again and then napoleon was seen leading dogs ,
he stood at the place where major gave speeches , they
soon realized that the dogs were reared privately by
napoleon . Then napoleon gave order that from now Sunday
meetings would come to an end , he described in his speech
that snowball was going to make a big mistake by leading
them to make the windmill , if they constructed it and if it
wouldn’t perform good then there all hardwork will go
down in drain . Squealer was given the job to take rounds in
the farm , each animal knew that whatever napoleon has
done is wrong but no one could oppose him .
• All that year animals worked like slaves in order to achieve better
outcomes . In august napoleon announced that there would be work
done on every Sunday afternoons and it will be compulsory for every
animal or there rations will be cut down to half . Pigs were started to
be considered above all because they could do better in thinking than
any other . Napoleon also announced that the work of constructing
windmill is there only chance to cop up with the ploughing and other
things , besides he told it will lessen the labor . No one asked any
question . So they worked the whole year and sold some of there
produce to other farms in order to meet there requirements in
different parts .
• They worked almost sixteen hours a day . Some animals
found out that napoleon slept on Jones bed , they read the
fourth commandment out loud it said “No Animal Shall
Sleep In A Bed With Sheets” they asked squealer as he was
passing by , squeler told them the animals could not sleep
on bed with sheets on as it was considered a human
invention . By autumn animals were tired but happy to see
the building , boxer would even come at nights and work
atleast an hour . The building was almost completed it was
just like any other rainy night , the clouds thundered , it
sounded like a gunshot but when animals came next
morning they saw the whole building had come down to its
level . Everyone was shocked to see . Then napoleon came
and said that it was done by snowball , after searching
around they found the footprints of snowball and gave
orders that if any one brings him back alive he will get a sack
full of apples .
• In the bitter cold of winter, the animals struggle to rebuild the windmill. In January, they fall short
of food, a fact that they work to conceal from the human farmers around them, lest Animal Farm
be perceived to be failing. The humans refuse to believe that Snowball caused the destruction of
the windmill, saying that the windmill’s walls simply weren’t thick enough. The animals deem this
explanation false, but they nevertheless decide to build the walls twice as thick this time.
Squealer gives ennobling speeches on the glory of sacrifice, but the other animals acquire their
real inspiration from the example of Boxer, who works harder than ever. In order to feed the
animals, Napoleon contracts to sell four hundred eggs a week. The other animals react with
shock—one of Old Major’s original complaints about humans focused on the cruelty of egg
selling, or so they remember. The hens rebel, and Napoleon responds by cutting their rations
entirely. Nine hens die before the others give in to Napoleon’s demands.
• Soon afterward, the animals hear, to their extreme dismay, that Snowball has been visiting the
farm at night, in secret, and sabotaging the animals’ efforts. Napoleon says that he can detect
Snowball’s presence everywhere, and whenever something appears to go wrong by chance,
Snowball receives the blame. One day, Squealer announces that Snowball has sold himself to Mr.
Frederick’s farm, Pinchfield, and that the treacherous pig has been in league with Mr. Jones from
the start. He recalls Snowball’s attempts at the Battle of the Cowshed to have the animals
defeated. The animals hear these words in stupefied astonishment.
• They remember Snowball’s heroism and recall that he received a medal. Boxer, in
particular, is completely baffled. But Napoleon and Squealer convince the others that
Snowball’s apparent bravery simply constituted part of his treacherous plot. They also
work to convince the animals of Napoleon’s superior bravery during that battle. So vividly
does Squealer describe Napoleon’s alleged heroic actions that the animals are almost
able to remember them.
• Four days later, Napoleon convenes all of the animals in the yard. With his nine huge
dogs ringed about him and growling, he stages an inquisition and a purge: he forces
certain animals to confess to their participation in a conspiracy with Snowball and then
has the dogs tear out these supposed traitors’ throats. The dogs, apparently without
orders, even attack Boxer, who effortlessly knocks them away with his huge hooves. But
four pigs and numerous other animals meet their deaths, including the hens who
rebelled at the proposal to sell their eggs. The terrible bloodshed leaves the animals
deeply shaken and confused. After Napoleon leaves, Boxer says that he would never
have believed that such a thing could happen on Animal Farm. He adds that the tragedy
must owe to some fault in the animals themselves; thus, he commits to working even
harder. Clover looks out over the farm, wondering how such a glorious rebellion as theirs
could have come to its current state. Some of the animals begin to sing “Beasts of
England,” but Squealer appears and explains that “Beasts of England” may no longer be
sung. It applied only to the Rebellion, he says, and now there is no more need for
rebellion. Squealer gives the animals a replacement song, written by Minimus, the poet
pig. The new song expresses profound patriotism and glorifies Animal Farm, but it does
not inspire the animals as “Beasts of England” once did.
• A few days after the bloody executions, the animals discover that the commandment
reading “No animal shall kill any other animal” now reads: “No animal shall kill any other
animal without cause.” As with the previous revisions of commandments, the animals
blame the apparent change on their faulty memories—they must have forgotten the
final two words. The animals work even harder throughout the year to rebuild the
windmill. Though they often suffer from hunger and the cold, Squealer reads
continuously from a list of statistics proving that conditions remain far superior to
anything the animals knew under Mr. Jones and that they only continue to improve.
• Napoleon has now taken the title of “Leader” and has dozens of other complimentary
titles as well. Minimus has written a poem in praise of the Napoleon and inscribed it on
the barn wall. A pile of timber lies unused on the farm, left over from the days of Mr.
Jones, and Napoleon engages in complicated negotiations for the sale of it to either Mr.
Frederick or Mr. Pilkington. When negotiations favor Mr. Frederick, the pigs teach the
animals to hate Mr. Pilkington. When Mr. Pilkington then appears ready to buy the
timber, the pigs teach the animals to hate Mr. Frederick with equal ferocity. Whichever
farm is currently out of favor is said to be the hiding place of Snowball
• Following a slew of propaganda against Mr. Frederick (during which Napoleon adopts the
maxim “Death to Frederick!”), the animals are shocked to learn that Mr. Frederick
eventually comes through as the buyer of the timber. The pigs talk endlessly about
Napoleon’s cleverness, for, rather than accept a check for the timber, he insists on
receiving cash. The five-pound notes are now in his possession.
• Soon the animals complete the construction of the windmill. But before they can put it
to use, Napoleon discovers to his great outrage that the money Mr. Frederick gave him
for the timber is simply a stack of forgeries. He warns the animals to prepare for the
worst, and, indeed, Mr. Frederick soon attacks Animal Farm with a large group of armed
men. The animals cower as Mr. Frederick’s men plant dynamite at the base of the
windmill and blow the whole structure up. Enraged, the animals attack the men, driving
them away, but at a heavy cost: several of the animals are killed, and Boxer sustains a
serious injury. The animals are disheartened, but a patriotic flag-raising ceremony cheers
them up and restores their faith somewhat.
• Not long afterward, the pigs discover a crate of whisky in the farmhouse
basement. That night, the animals hear singing and revelry from within,
followed by the sound of a terrible quarrel. The next morning the pigs look
bleary-eyed and sick, and the animals hear whisperings that Comrade
Napoleon may be dying. By evening, however, he has recovered. The next
night, some of the animals find Squealer near the barn, holding a
paintbrush; he has fallen from a ladder leaned up against the spot where
the Seven Commandments are painted on the barn. The animals fail to put
two and two together, however, and when they discover that the
commandment that they recall as stating “No animal shall drink alcohol”
actually reads “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess,” they once again
blame their memories for being faulty.
• Rebuilding of the windmill begins immediately after the celebrations. Boxer works harder than ever, despite
carrying an injury from the battle. His thoughts are now turning to retirement, for which, under the laws of
Animal farm, he is due the next year. In the meantime, another cold winter with little food must be endured.
Squealer bamboozles the animals with productivity figures which prove how much better off they are than
when they were under Jones, although many have by now forgotten life under Jones. The strain of the
resources of the farms grows, not least due to the birth of thirty-one piglets the previous autumn. Napoleon
declares that a new schoolroom must be built for the piglets, who are instructed to remain aloof from the
other animals. The schoolroom is in addition to the requirement to rebuild the windmill and the need to
keep the farm supplied with various other requirements. Potatoes are sold, and practically every egg laid by
the hens is sold to earn the money required for these supplies. All the while, the animals’ rations are being
reduced, while the pigs make beer from the barley they sowed earlier in the year.
• Napoleon now introduces a weekly event called the Spontaneous Demonstration, where every animal
would leave their work to march in military procession around the farm, so as to instil pride in the animals in
the achievements of the farm since the rebellion. It comforts the animals to know that, no matter how hard
their lives, at least they have the benefit of being their own masters. Another consolation around this time is
the reappearance of Moses and his tales of SugarCandy Mountain. Many of the animals like to believe that
they will go to a better place after their deaths, and the pigs now seem to tolerate Moses, giving him an
allowance of beer every day.
• Three days later, Squealer announces that Boxer died in the hospital. He
makes a moving speech in praise of Boxer. He explains the sign on the van
by saying that the veterinary surgeon bought the van from the horse-
slaughterer, and had not yet replaced the sign. The animals are very
relieved to hear this, and are greatly consoled by Squealer’s further
descriptions of the wonderful care and treatment that Boxer received in his
Napoleon pays his respects to Boxer at the meeting on the following
Sunday. He tells them that it was not possible to return Boxer’s remains for
burial on the farm, but that he will be commemorated with a wreath
instead. Napoleon announces a memorial banquet for Boxer, which takes
place in the farmhouse shortly afterwards, attended only by the pigs.
• The building work around the farm continues through the summer, heavily dependent on
the extraordinary efforts of Boxer. He is showing some signs at this stage that his
strength is failing. He himself is hoping to get as much done as he possibly can before he
retires. Then, one summer evening, he collapses. All the animals rush to his side, unable
to bear the thought that anything might happen to him. He barely has the strength to get
back to his feet and to struggle back to his stall. Squealer promises to send him to the
town so that the veterinary surgeon can treat him. Clover and Benjamin spend as much
time as they can over the next few days nursing him. Then, while the animals are all at
work, the van comes to take Boxer away. They would not have noticed, except that
Benjamin gallops across the farm to tell them that Boxer is being taken away. No one has
ever seen Benjamin gallop before. The animals rush to the yard in time to see the van
begin to pull away. They start to wave goodbye to Boxer, but Benjamin is very agitated,
and tells them to read the letters on the van. Muriel reads out the sign on the van, which
describes the van as belonging to the local horse-slaughterer. The animals try to warn
Boxer, who tries to kick his way out of the van, but he has no strength, and the kicking
from the van soon dies away.
• Years have passed, and many of the animals are dead. Only Clover, Benjamin, Moses and
some of the pigs remember the days before the rebellion. Clover is by now very old, well
past retirement age, except that no animal has actually managed to retire yet.
The windmill has finally been completed. It is used for milling corn, rather than for
generating electricity, and brings a good profit to the farm. Another windmill is now
being built to generate electricity. There is no more talk of the three-day week, or any of
the other luxuries that Snowball originally promised would accrue from the windmill.
The farm is growing richer, but the animals themselves do not seem to benefit much
from it. There are many pigs and dogs on the farm now. The pigs are all involved in the
bureaucracy of running the farm, and are not available to do any actual work, though
Squealer makes it clear to the others that what the pigs do is of vital importance to the
farm. Squealer continues to impress everyone with detailed figures of how everything
has improved on the farm, but deep down the animals are unable to reconcile this with
the lack of improvement in their own conditions. Nonetheless, Animal Farm remains the
only farm in England to be owned by the animals, and the animals remain enormously
proud of this.
• Summer arrives. Squealer is seen to take all the sheep of the farm aside, and no-one sees them for a week.
The sheep eventually return. That evening, as the animals are returning to the yard from work, Clover is
heard neighing excitedly from the yard. The animals rush forward to see what is happening. They stop dead
when they all see what has startled Clover. It is the sight of Squealer walking upright, on his hind legs. At this
moment, all of the pigs leave the farmhouse in single file, all upright on two legs. Finally, Napoleon emerges
from the farmhouse, upright and carrying a whip.
It is the most shocking thing the animals have ever seen. It goes against everything that they have been
taught up to then. Just as it seems that someone might object, the sheep break into a deafening chorus of
“Four legs good, two legs better.” They went on for five minutes, during which the pigs walked briefly around
and then returned to the farmhouse. The chance to protest is gone. Clover goes to the gable wall and brings
Benjamin with her. She asks Benjamin to read for her what is on the gable wall. All the commandments are
gone, and all that is written there now is “All animals are equal, But some animals are more equal than
• After this, the pigs and their sows start wearing clothes and carrying whips. They begin to have more direct
dealings with the neighbouring farmers. One day, the pigs invite a number of the local farmers to inspect the
farm. After the inspection, the pigs and the farmers return to the farmhouse for a celebration. After a time,
loud noises of laughter and singing are heard through the windows. The other animals are overcome with
curiosity, and they approach the farmhouse to see what is going on. They look through the windows to see
the pigs and farmers seated around the living room table, playing cards, making speeches and congratulating
• Mr Pilkington makes a speech telling the pigs how impressed he is with Animal
Farm, especially with the hard work and poor rations of the farm animals.
Napoleon makes a speech in return, expressing his happiness that the mistrust
between Animal Farm and the others is now at an end. He furthermore
announces that the animals will cease to address each other as “Comrade,” and
that “Animal Farm” will now revert to being called “Manor Farm.” As Napoleon
finishes his speech to great applause, the animals outside seem to notice
something changing in the features of the pigs, but what?
• As the applause dies down and the card game is resumed, the animals creep
away from the window. However, they hurry back when they hear a furious
argument break out. The argument is because Mr. Pilkington and Napoleon have
both played an Ace of Spades at the same time. But as the animals look from
Napoleon to Pilkington, from man to pig and from pig back to man, they find that
they are unable to tell the difference.