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Animal Farm Chapter 1 Summary

Soon after the meeting, something unusual happened at Manor Farm. Old Major died peacefully in his sleep, three days after the meeting took place. The animals buried him in the farm’s orchard. In the three months that followed, the most intelligent of the animals began meeting regularly. Even though they didn’t know when the Rebellion would happen, yet, they organized for it. The work of organizing and teaching fell upon the pigs, who were considered to be the cleverest of all animals.

The two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, took the responsibility upon themselves. Snowball was a vivacious pig, whereas Napoleon was a large, rather fierce pig who was not much of a talker. Another pig named Squealer, joined Napoleon and Snowball, as he was well known for his powers of speech and persuasion. The three pigs worked together to formalize old Major’s ideas into a system of ideas called ‘Animalism’. They held several secret meetings to expound the principles of Animalism to others.

The pigs faced difficulty to convince other animals about the need for Rebellion. Some wondered why they should work for the Rebellion that might not happen in their lifetimes. Among them was Moses, the raven, who promised them that they would go to a land of plenty called ‘Sugarcandy Mountain’, when they died. Boxer and Clover proved helpful in winning the animals over to the cause because the animals believed the horses to be trustworthy.

Soon the animals got the opportunity to rebel against Mr. Jones who had lately fallen into evil ways. He lost a lawsuit and therefore, continued to neglect the farm and drank too much. His men were dishonest who also neglected the farm and, thus the farm kept deteriorating and the animals were kept underfed.

One Saturday night, Mr. Jones got drunk in the Red Lion and forgot to feed the animals. The cows broke in the door of the storage shed and, thus all animals helped themselves to food. When Mr Jones tried to stop and whip the animals, they fought back. Jones, his family, and his men ran out of the farm.

The animals, seeing what they had accomplished and realizing that they were free, destroyed the farmer’s tools and the symbols of their bondage, such as bits, nose rings, and halters. They burned everything that reminded them of their oppressor. After that, they all sang ‘Beasts of England’ seven times before they could go to sleep.

The next morning the animals hurled themselves into the air with leaps of excitement and gazed around in the morning light. They all agreed on the point that no animal must ever live there. In the meantime, the pigs had taught themselves to read and write and renamed Manor Farm as Animal Farm.

On the bam wall they wrote the basic tenets of Animalism as Seven Commandments :

  • Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  • Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  • No animal shall wear clothes.
  • No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  • No animal shall drink alcohol.
  • No animal shall kill any other animal.
  • All animals are equal.

All animals agreed to them. just before the animals moved out to the hayfield to harvest, they realized that the cows needed milking, so the pigs decided to do the job. When the animals wondered about what would be done with the buckets of milk, Napoleon told them not to worry. Soon after when the animals returned from the hayfield, they noticed that the milk in the buckets had disappeared.

Animal Farm Chapter 1 Summary Word Meanings:

1. Dissentient – Refusing to attend service of the church in England
2. Resolution – A decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner
3. Tyrant – A cruel and oppressive dictator
4. Tyranny – Government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator
5. Tread – Put down or press the foot, place the foot
6. Rebellion – Organized opposition to authority
7. Tidings – Information about recent and important events
8. Knacker – Someone who buys up old horse for slaughter
9. Cynical – Believing the worst of human nature and motives
10. Majestic – Having or displaying great dignity or nobility
11. Lurch – Walk as if unable to control one’s movements
12. Confinement – The state of being enclosed

Animal Farm Chapter 1 Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
” your resolution must never falter. No argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that man and the animals have a common interest we must not come to resemble him No animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade.”
(i) Who is the speaker of the above lines? Where is the speaker at this moment and why?
(ii) Name the animals who attended the meeting.
(iii) How does the rebellion finally happen?
(iv) According to the speaker, how are animals different from men?
(v) What are the Seven Commandments of the Animal Farm?
(i) The above lines were spoken by the Old Major, a boar. The speaker was at the big barn when he spoke these lines. He was standing on a raised platform. He was addressing a gathering of animals and was telling them the ill ways of man and about his dream.

(ii) All the animals of the farm had gathered for the meeting. The pigs- Snowball, Napoleon etc., Boxer the horse, Clover the mare, Muriel the goat, Benjamin the donkey. Only Moses the raven was absent from the meeting.

(iii) Major had incited all the animals that the rebellion must happen. The drunkard owner of the farm, Mr Jones, forgot to feed the animals one day. Overtaken by starvation and years of exploitation, the animals broke through their stalls. They then chased away Jones and his men.

(iv) According to Old Major, man was very different from the animals. The animals produced their own food and were hardworking. However, the man was selfish and he exploited the animals to get food and other things.

(v) The Seven Commandments of the Animal Farm were :

  • Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  • Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  • No animal shall wear clothes.
  • No animal shall sleep in bed.
  • No animal shall drink alcohol.
  • No animal shall kill an other animal.
  • All animals are equal.

Question 2.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
‘Comardes’, he said,’here is a point that must be settled.’
The wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits- are they our friends or our enemies?
Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the meeting: “Are rats comrades ?”
(i) Name the speaker. What makes the speaker say the above words?
(ii) What is done immediately after this extract? What is found out?
(iii) What advice does the speaker give to the comrades?
(iv) The speaker talks about his dream later. What does he say about his dream?
(v) What is the effect of the song that is sung later? How do the comrades sing the song? How is the song interrupted?
(i) The speaker of these lines is the Old Major, a prize-winning boar. The gathering was disturbed by the entry of the rats. The cats and dogs did not like them and they were a threat to the farm. However, the Old Major thought that all animals were equal in the rebellion and they had just one enemy and that was man.

(ii) Immediately after this, a vote was taken to ascertain whether the animals should consider rats as comrades or not. There was an overwhelming majority to support this. Only the dogs had opposed the motion while the cats had voted on both sides.

(iii) Old Major told the animals that they had only one common enemy and that was man. He advised them not to follow his ways ever in their lives. Instead, they should remain hostile to him and all animals must rebel against his tyranny.

(iv) Old Major talked about the dream that he had the previous night. In his dream, all men had vanished from Earth. It also reminded him of a song, “Beasts of England”, that he had long forgotten. The song was sung by his mother and other sons.

(v) The Old Major started singing a song, “Beasts of England”. Everybody picked up the tune and the lyrics of the song sooner or later. The song threw them into the wildest excitement. Even the stupidest of them were singing it. The uproar awoke Mr Jones and he, fearing that a fox had entered the farm, fired his gun. The bang of the gun scared all the animals and they ran to their respective sheds.

Question 3.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tiding Of the golden future time.
(i) Who sings these lines and why?
(ii) What is the significance of these lines?
(iii) Is the Old Major responsible for Rebellion?
(iv) Explain how does the Rebellion come about?
(v) What happens after the Rebellion is over?
(i) These lines constitute the first verse of the song that Old Major hears in his dream, and which he teaches to the rest of the animals during the fateful meeting in the barn. All the animals sing these lines at the end of the meeting called by Old Major.

(ii) As it spreads rapidly across the other farms, the song gives the beasts both courage and solace on many occasions. The lofty optimism of the words “golden future time,” which appear in the last verse as well, serves to keep the animals focused on the Rebellion’s goals so that they will ignore the suffering along the way.

(iii) Yes, the Old Major is responsible for the Rebellion. It’s he who sows the seed of Rebellion in the minds of the animals. Even though he dies after a few nights after planting the ideas but he’s the one who brings about a revolution on the Animal Farm.

(iv) After the death of Old Major, Napoleon and Snowball, the more intelligent of the animals, developed Major’s ideas into a complete system of thought-Animalism. They went about instigating the other animals with those principles. Soon they got an opportunity to put them to use and when Jones started neglecting the animals they openly attacked him and his men which led to the expulsion of Jones from Animal Farm.

(v) After the Rebellion is over and Napoleon acquires control over the farm, The song’s revolutionary nature becomes dangerous. Squealer discourages animals from singing it, noting that the song was the song of the Rebellion. Now that the Rebellion is over and a new regime has gained power, Squealer fears the power of such idealistic, future-directed lyrics. Wanting to discourage the animals’ capacities for hope and vision, he orders Minimus to write a replacement for “Beasts of England” that praises Napoleon and emphasizes loyalty to the state.

Question 4.
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
“All men are enemies. All animals arficomrades. Whatever goes upon two legs in an enemy”.
(i) Who is the speaker of these lines? To whom are these lines addressed?
(ii) What are the reasons for these lines to be said?
(iii) What are the basic values which the speaker of these lines dreams about?
(iv) What does he warn the listeners about?
(v) Do you think the listeners are able to achieve the dreams and aspirations of the speaker?
(i) The speaker of these lines is Old Major. These lines are addressed to all the animals who are present in the meeting called by Old Major.

(ii) The reason he says all these lines to the animals is, because he had dreamt of a world where all the animals are free and liberated. He calls a meeting to convey his message to all the animals on the farm.

(iii) The basic values that the Old Major dreams about are

  • a world in which all the animals are free and equal,
  • where they don’t have to serve any human beings and
  • lead a life free of misery and slavery.

(iv) The Old Major warns his listeners about Man, a species which consumes without producing. He informs the animals that all habits of “Man” are evil. He is selfish and can never treat animals equally so they should stay away from Man as far as possible.

(v) The listeners are able to gain independence and freedom for a short period of time till some other animals i.e., pigs gain ascendancy and leadership and started ruling over the other animals.