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Animal Farm Questions and Answers
With reference to George Orwell’s “The Animal Farm”, answer the following questions:
(i) What are some of the problems that the animals faced during the winter? Why did animals wish to conceal their suffering?
(ii) Why did the Hens rebel against Napoleon? What was the result of their rebellion?
(iii) Do you think life was better or worse for animals on Animal Farm since the revolution? Use examples from the text to support your answer.
(i) The winters were harsh because not enough food had been planted. The Windmill also falls down in a storm. After the windmill falls, the animals need to build it again, this time better. They had to work really hard getting all the extra stone for the thicker walls. It was really very hard to work as they were cold and hungry. In January, the corn ration gets cut in half.
The animals are supposed to get more potatoes, but the potatoes have frozen and are therefore spoiled, so now the animals have very little to eat. The hens too refuses to give their eggs to be sold. Thus lack of food, the extra work and the failure of executions were some of the problems the animals faced during the winter. The animals wish to conceal their suffering from the human farmers around them, lest Animal Farm be perceived to be failing.
(ii) Napoleon had contracted to sell the hens’ eggs to local humans, 400 of them a month. This was always a sore . spot with the hens, as they don’t like the humans chowing down on their unborn young. Napolean had decided to do this as a way to earn money to ostensibly buy feed for the animals. The hens rebel by laying their eggs up in the rafters and letting them fall to the ground and smash.
Napoleon acted swiftly and ruthlessly. He ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death. For five days the hens held out, then they surrendered and went back to their nesting boxes. Nine hens had died in the meantime.
(iii) Indeed it is quite apparent that the lives of the animals have not been better, as Napoleon becomes dictatorial. The following examples support this :
(a) In the beginning when everyone works together to get the hay in, their efforts are profitable. However, after a time the animals realize that the pigs enjoy the cow’s milk in their mash, and the ‘windfalls’ such as the ripening apples are not shared, but brought to the harness room for the pigs.
(b) The animals had to engage in the “Battle of Cowshed” against the humans and some of the sheep are killed.
(c) Napoleon expels Snowball from the farm, followed by squealer telling the animals to work harder and being very loyal and obcttient. This was the beginning of instilling fear in them.
(d) The animals worked like slaves, sixty hours a week, with a control on them, to build the windmill but the windmill is destroyed by the raging winds in the winter.
(e) There is shortage of food. The hens are told to surrender all their eggs to buy grain but they rebel and some of them die. Napoleon curbed mild uprisings, make the animals confess and then got them killed. This terrorised the animals. He starts drinking and sleeping in the house. No animal has yet been allowed to retire and draw a pension.
(g) Labouring so hard, Boxer’s lung collapses and he cannot get up. Cunningly, Napoleon sends Boxer to the slaughterer instead of the veterinarian. Thus years pass, young animals born on Animal Farm are brain washed and turn out to be ‘very stupid’.
Give a brief account of the Battle of the Cowshed and Snowball’s role in it.
The animals of the ‘Manor Farm’ are ill-treated, starved to death by their owner Mr. Jones, and they start a rebel against him. Finally, they drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones, from the farm, renaming it as ‘Animal Farm’.Later, Jones combined some forces and tried to recapture the farm. The animals were expecting it and were ready to face the attack.
Jones and all his men, with half a dozen others from Foxwood and Pinchfield, had entered the five-barred gate and were coming up the cart-track that led to the farm. All except Jones, carried sticks, who was marching ahead with a gun. As the humans approached the farm buildings, Snowball launched his first attack.
All thirty five pigeons flew over the mens head and muted upon them from mid-air; and while the men were struggling with this, the geese who were hiding behind the hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the calves of their legs. However, this was only a light distraction, the men easily drove away the geese with their sticks.
Snowball now launched the second attack, Muriel, Benjamin and the sheep, headed by Snowball rushed forward, prodding the men from all sides, while Benjamin lashed at them with his small hoofs. But the animals had to retreat as the men proved stronger with their sticks and their hobnailed boots. On Snowball’s squeal, the animals fled through the gateway into the yard.
The men with a feeling of triumph, rushed after them, as Snowball expected. As soon as they were well inside the yard, the three horses, the three cows, and the rest of the pigs, who had been lying in ambush in the cowshed, suddenly emerged in the rear, cutting them off. On Snowball’s signal, they dashed straight for Jones. On seeing them coming, he raised his gun and fired. The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowball’s back, and a sheep dropped dead without halting for a second, Snowball flung his fifteen stones against Jones’ legs. Jones was hurled into a pile of dung and his gun flew out of his hands. Most amazingly, Boxer, reared up on his hind legs and struck out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion.
With his first blow, he hit on the skull of a stable-lad from Foxwood who fell lifeless in the mud. At the sight, several men dropped their sticks and tried to run. Panic overtook them, and soon all the animals started chasing them round and round the yard. They were kicked, bitten and trampled on. Every animal took the opportunity to take vengeance on them in his own way. At a moment when the opening was clear, the men were glad enough to rush out of the yard and make a bolt for the main road.
And this was named as “The Battle of the Cowshed.” Snowball who was Napoleon’s rival and original head of the farm after Jones, was overthrown. He was a clever pig, who won the loyalty of the other animals by his decisions for the betterment of the farm.He played an eminent role in the battle. He studied an old book of Julius Caesar and had a strategy in place for the expected war. He headed the attacks during the battle very courageously.
Show how Boxer was one of the most hard-working animals on the farm, and describe what happened to him in the end.
Boxer was a devoted worker of the farm. However, he was too naive to understand the trickeries of the pigs and met a sorry end. Elaborate.
Boxer had always been the most devoted worker of the farm. It was his dream to see the windmill completed before his retirement. However, he had been hurt in the Battle of the Windmill and was nursing a split hoof. After the rebuilding of the windmill began, Boxer refused to take even a day off work and did not show his troubles.
But later in the evening, he told Clover that the hoof indeed troubled him. Clover and Benjamin asked him not to „ stress himself that much. But he would not listen. He wanted to see the windmill completed before his retirement i.e., when he would be twelve years old. Different animals had different retiring age and were also entitled to have pensions.
After Boxer’s hoof healed, he worked harder than ever. All animals worked like slaves that year. He was famished and a bit old now but never faltered. He was getting weak day after day but only his will kept him going. He did not pay heed to Clover and Benjamin’s warnings and one day his lungs gave away. He was lying near the quarry unable to get up. At once, the pigs were informed but Squealer came about a quarter of an hour later.
He informed them that Napoleon had decided that Boxer would be treated in Willingdon by the humans. The animals were 1 against it but they were assured that he would get the best treatment possible.For the next two days, Boxer remained in his stall. Clover and Benjamin could only see him after work. In the middle of the day, a van came. Benjamin came running to the other animals. It was the first time that they had seen him excited and galloping. He shouted that Boxer was being taken away. Everybody ran towards the van,saying goodbye to Boxer. However, Benjamin soon read that the van was of slaughter house.
Clover ran to Boxer and told him to get out. But he was too weak to break through. They even pleaded to the horses not to take their k own brother to his death but they were stupid brutes. Three days later Boxer’s death was announced. Squealer informed everybody that he was with him at his death bed. He also rubbished the rumour that Boxer was taken to a slaughter house.
He told them that the veterinarian ; had bought the van from a slaughter house and did not paint it. The animals were enormously relieved to hear this. Napoleon praised Boxer’s contribution and said that he was not able to bring his remains back. He further told other animals to adopt his ways. Then one night, there were strange sounds from the farmhouse and no one t stirred out of it before noon the following day. It was learnt that the pigs had acquired money to buy themselves
Boxer lived his life in patient and unquestioning service. How far is this statement true ? Throw light on Boxer’s character.
Horses are all around prized for their quality, and Boxer is no exception. Standing jiist about six-feet tall, Boxer is a given resident of the homantead whose unbelievable quality is an extraordinary resource for the resistance and the ranch. When he finds out about Animalism, Boxer devotes himself completely to the insubordinations cause.
At the Battle of the Cowshed, Boxer turns out to be an important trooper, thumping a steady kid oblivious with his powerful foot. (Take note of that Boxer, nonetheless, is not homicidal and feels incredible regret when he supposes he has murdered the kid.) His rising right on time to take a shot at the ranch and his own saying: “I will work harder”: uncover his dedication to the creatures’ cause. He additionally ends up being the most profitable individual from the windmill-building group.
Boxer’s extraordinary quality, in any case, is coordinated by his similarly shocking blamelessness and innocence. He is not a wise creature (review his powerlessness to take in any of the letters in order past the letter D) and in this manner can just think in straightforward mottos, the second (“Napoleon is constantly right”) uncovers his untainted reliance on an infinitely knowledgeable pioneer. Notwithstanding when he crumples while remaking the windmill, his first contemplations are not of himself but rather of the work : “It is my lung … It doesn’t make a difference. I think you will have the capacity to complete the windmill without me.”
His expectations of resigning with Benjamin after his crumples show the degree of his blamelessness, since the peruser realizes that Napoleon has no aim of accommodating an old, sick stallion. Notwithstanding when he is being directed to this demise at the knacker’s, Boxer should be recounted of his horrible destiny by Benjamin and Clover. He winds up noticeably shrewd to Napoleon’s ways past the point of no return, and his demise is another case of Napoleon’s oppression.
Give an account of how Napoleon and his companions were unjust and cruel in their behaviour towards the other animals.
As soon as Jessie and Bluebell gave birth to puppies, Napoleon took them away saying that he will take care of their education. The milk and the apples were consumed only by the pigs. Other animals did not get a share in it. Squealer explained to the animals that milk and apple were necessary for the well being of the pigs since they were brain workers. If the pigs failed in their duty Jones would come back. Hence, milk and apples were reserved for the pigs alone. Napoleon’s trained dogs chased Snowball out of the farm. Now Napoleon became the sole leader of Animal Farm.
He formed a special committee of pigs. He told the pigs that they would receive their orders every Sunday morning and there would be no more debates. Some of the pigs squealed in disapproval but fell silent when the dogs growled at them. Squealer convinced the animals that Snowball had been a dangerous criminal. The animals worked like slaves to build the windmill. Any animal who was absent had his rations reduced by half. Napoleon declared that eggs of the hens would be sold to obtain materials which were necessary. The pigs moved into the farmhouse and started sleeping in the beds.
The following winter was very difficult for the animals. The windmill had fallen because its walls were too thin and they had to build it again. The animals were always cold and hungry. The com ration was reduced. Starvation seemed inevitable for the animals.Four hundred eggs a week were to be sold to procure grain and to keep the farm going. The hens rebelled by smashing their eggs. Napoleon punished the hens by stopping their rations. Nine of the hens died.
Napoleon called a meeting where his dogs seized four of the pigs and dragged them to Napoleon’s feet. Napoleon asked them to confess their crimes. The pigs were forced to make a false confession after which the dogs tore their throats out and killed them. Then three hens also confessed and were slaughtered. A goose, three sheep, were all slained on the spot. That tale of confessions and executions went on until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet.
When Boxer, who was the most hardworking animal on the farm, grew old and sick, he was sold to a horse slaughterer. It was announced that he had died in a hospital at Willingdon and had received proper medical care. The money that came from selling Boxer was used to buy a crate of whisky for the pigs.Years passed and the lives of the animals grew tougher than before. They were always hungry and cold. Only the pigs and the dogs grew richer. The animals gave up their demand of retiring the older animals. No animal ever retired.
Give an account of how lies were spread against Snowball after his expulsion, in order to paint him as a traitor.
Squealer declared that Snowball was no better than a criminal. Snowball’s part in the Battle of the Cowshed was exaggerated. Building the windmill was Napoleon’s idea. The plan which Snowball had drawn on the floor had actually been stolen from among Napoleon’s papers.Snowball had caused the windmill to fall in sheer malignity to avenge himself for his expulsion. The traitor had crept there under the cover of night and destroyed the windmill. Snowball had come from the direction of the Foxwood Farm.
It was declared that Snowball was secretly visiting the farm. Every night it was said, he visited the farm under cover of darkness and performed all kinds of mischief. He stole the corn, he upset the milk pails, he broke the eggs, he trampled the seed-beds, he gnawed the bark off the fruit trees. Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.
If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and done it, and when the key of the stores-shed was lost the whole farm was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously enough they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was found under a sack of corn meal. The cows declared that Snowball crept into their sheds and milked them in their sleep. The rats were said to be in league with Snowball. Napoleon snuffed the ground and said he could smell traces of Snowball almost everywhere.
Squealer called them together and reported a terrible thing. Snowball had sold himself to Frederick of Pinchfield Farm, and was plotting to attack the animals. Snowball was in league with Jones from the start! He was Jones’ secret agent all the time. During the Battle of the Cowshed, Jones’ bullet had only grazed him. The plot was for Snowball, at the critical moment, to give the signal for flight, and leave the field to the enemy. Four pigs who confessed to keeping in touch with Snowball were executed by the dogs. The hens who said Snowball had told them to rebel, were also killed.
How did Frederick trick the animals ? Give a detailed account of the Battle of the Windmill which was fought between the animals and Frederick and his men.
Describe the Battle of the Windmill in your own words.
Frederick was the owner of Pinchfield and a businessman too who resorted to cruel means to gain power. After the completion of the windmill, he offered to buy a load of timber from Napoleon but when the time for payment came, he said he would pay in cheque. Napoleon insisted on paying in cash and later discovered through Whymper that the notes were fake. In this way, Frederick tricked the animals.
After Napoleon declared that Frederick would be punished and sentenced to death, Frederick and fourteen of his men attacked the Animal Farm in an attempt to seize it. They used half a dozen guns and fired at the animals. The animals were wounded and tried to save themselves. Frederick and his men advanced towards the windmill and with the help of a sledge hammer and a crowbar, they drilled a hole in the base of the windmill, used some gunpowder and blasted it. Though Frederick and his men were initially successful and blew up the windmill, it drove the animals in rage and they finally drove the humans out of the farm.
Every one was injured. Two cows, three sheep and two geese were killed but the animals also gave a tough fight. Boxer managed to break the heads of three men and the cow pierced a man’s belly with his horn. Jesse and Bluebell tore a man’s trousers. In spite of being terrifically wounded they had ultimately won the war. The animals who had lost their lives in the battle were honoured with a grand funeral process and a two day celebration. To mourn the loss of these comrades, the Green flag was unfurled and the gun was shot. Napoleon also congratulated the animals in his speech. After the animals were victorious, this was came to be known as the ‘Battle of Windmill’.
In the aftermath of the rebellion against Mr. Jones, Snowball and Napoleon emerge as the prominent characters, yet it is Napoleon who eventually consolidates and assumes power as an unquestioned leader. In the light of the above statement, discuss the character of Napoleon in the novel ‘Animal Farm’.
Is Napoleon a Dictator? Give reasons.
‘Animal Farm’, by George Orwell is an interesting take on power politics seen all over the world. People may rebel for power but it is only a few who are endowed with leadership qualities emerge as winners. These leaders may prove good for the State in the long run or may turn out to be the wrong choices. This is what the author is trying to bring out through the characters of Snowball and Napoleon. Though both seem equally good and powerful in the beginning, it is Napoleon, who, with his cunning moves and strategies, consolidates and assumes power and proves to be the unquestioned leader.
After the animals drive out Mr.Jones and his men, they name it ‘Animal Farm’. All the animals work enthusiastically but the pigs, cleverest of all assume the administration. Napoleon and Snowball emerge as the cleverest of the boars. Orwell describes Napoleon as ’not much of a talker’ but with the reputation of getting his own way’. Much of the ‘depth’ of his character is unfolded as the plot of the novel advances.
The difference in the character of the two boars come into display soon after the rebellion. Snowball gets immediately into the tasks relating to social benefits, writing the Seven Commandments and organizing the harvest while waiting for the right opportunity and takes charge of the milk at the end. Napoleon’s greed and self-interest is thus made apparent.The two compete for leadership, but they work together to beat off Jones when he tries to recapture power. Snowball shines as the hero in this battle of Cowshed. The rivalry between the two boars widens after this. Snowball’s idea of bringing better life to animals by building a windmill is opposed by Napoleon who ultimately drives out his opponent with the help of his specially trained body guards, the dogs.
Napoleon uses cunning and brute force. Understanding the value of Squealer, he uses him for propaganda, not minding the lies and distortion of facts used by the latter. Napoleon uses Squealer cleverly to indoctrinate the animals into thinking in his favour. Squealer tells them that obedience and loyalty are the fundamental principles to be followed. He also painted Snowball as a traitor working for Jones.
His arguments comprise-Snowball was not wounded severely, that was an excuse to flee the battlefield. Seeing him run away, the other animals panicked. It was at that time Napoleon sprang forward with a cry, ‘Death to humanity’. Napoleon’s sacrifice makes him the true leader. He is the only one who believes that all animals are equal.
When, with the ever widening appetite of the non-productive pigs and dogs, the living conditions of other animals are adversely affected. When the work on the windmill proves an uphill task, Napoleon blames the banished Snowball for every misfortune. After the banishment of Snowball, Napoleon takes over the control of the Animal Farm, abolishing the democratic ‘ rights of the animals. He also withdraws from others and creates a mega image for himself. He assumes the figures of the great leader, the historic Napoleon. “Napoleon can do no wrong” is the propaganda now being heard in the farm.
He is called the fountain of happiness. He is given the credit for larger production of eggs and for purifying the water. But the truth is that all the new regulations imposed by the wild leader, are increasing the hardships of the animals. The sixty hour week and the Sunday work are actually breaking the backs of the animals. On top of it, Napoleon is harsh on the animals who dare to question his authority.As days pass by, Napoleon assumes a mysterious, terrifying and powerful image. He is feared but not hated. Animals obey him implicitly; He arouses a mixture of love, awe and fear, a typical father figure that leads to dictatorship.
Napoleon distances himself from the rest of the animals. He takes private apartment for himself, much like Mr. Jones. He makes a rule; the other animals should make way for him, as he passes. His murderous cruelty comes into limelight in the executions, and when he starves the chickens, and when he sends Boxer into the slaughter house. His hypocrisy is revealed when he misguides the animals into believing that Boxer is leading a happy life and also he makes changes in the Commandments.
The ultimate change happens when Napoleon changes from animal to human. The purpose of the rebellion is negated as what they wanted to establish was totally different from what they finally resulted in. Napoleon becomes the symbol of capitalistic oppression. He exemplifies the commandment, “all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other”. Perhaps, in the light of the rising power of Napoleon, it’ll be more appropriate to add that it is one animal that holds supreme power. Napoleon is the best example for the saying, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
What Orwell wants to establish through these characters is that physical power is more potent than intelligence and ingenuity. When Snowball fails in spite of his imaginative and idealistic schemes, it is Napoleon with his single minded selfishness and cruel streak who assumes power. Snowball is later used as a scapegoat to prove that Napoleon can make no mistake.
Of course, Napoleon is largely a stand-in for Stalin, who lived a lavish lifestyle at the same time when famines were raging through the Russian countryside. It’s clear that Napoleon has made a mockery of Old Major’s ideas in the same way that Stalin made a mockery of Karl Marx’s ideas. Snowball stands for Leon Trotsky, who really did a lot of good for society. But ultimately, it is the diabolic Stalin who rules. It is the triumph of political manipulations that reign supreme in power politics.
How do the pigs, under the leadership of Napoleon, cleverly deceive the other animals of ‘Animal Farm’ and slowly but surely, take over its ownership, living royally and luxuriously, while the others sweat it out. Give examples from the text to substantiate your answer.
It was the Old Major who had dreamt of a human free world where the animals ruled themselves. He had the vision of an equal world away from tyranny and filled with harmony. He was the one who incited the feelings of the Rebellion. However, he died after that. From that very day, the pigs started to show their superiority. They were considered to be the cleverest and, hence, the thinking and planning was their main work. No doubt, Snowball was one of the most patriotic of them and he did and planned many things for the betterment of the Animal Farm.
However, even he was seen greedy when all the milk and the windfall apples went to the pigs and even agreed that they needed them the most. Then he was overthrown by his own comrade, Napoleon. He had a force of nine ferocious dogs and no one dared to protest his will. Moreover, he had Squealer on his side to spread his lies and deceit. Then the pigs began to exploit the residents of the farm.
They made them work more for their own selfish benefits. Squealer continued to demean Snowball so that he could gain more support for Napoleon. The animals of the Animal Farm were either too foolish or too gullible to see through their trickery. Then the Seven Commandments began to change according to the wishes of the pigs. When they moved to the farmhouse, the Commandment changed in their favour.
It was also seen that Napoleon did not care much for the animals of the farm as he starved many hens to death just because they denied parting away with the eggs. He broke another resolution and got in trade arrangements with the humans. Again the animals were told that it was required in order to complete the windmill and they believed.
Then there was bloodshed at the farm. The murdered animals were made to utter lies and thus, they died to spread more lies of Napoleon. Arfbther Commandment was changed. They also sold Boxer to the slaughterhouse and told others that he had died a peaceful death. Boxer was the most faithful worker but as he was at his prime, he was of no use to the pigs. They bought whisky from the money they had got. They got drunk every night. They were making merry while the other animals of the farm suffered.
Many a times the rations were cut down and the other animals were made to work for longer hours. While others starved, the pigs got fatter and fatter. At last, Napoleon was seen having friendship with the humans. In that party, the pigs and humans said humiliating things for the workers of the farm.It was easy to understand from their talk that the pigs considered the animals only as workers and nothing else. There was no equality now. Thus, the pigs, under the leadership of Napoleon, cleverly deceived the other animals of Animal Farm and slowly but surely, took over its ownership, living royally and luxuriously, while others sweated it out.
Describe in your own words ‘The Battle of the Cowshed’.
Early in October, Jones combined some forces and tried to recapture the farm. This had long been expected and all preparation had been made. Snowball had studied an old book of Julius Caesar and had a strategy in place. Jones and all his men, with half a dozen others from Foxwood and Pinchfield, had entered the five-barred gate and were coming up the cart-track that led to the farm. They were all carrying sticks, except Jones, who was marching ahead with a gun in his hands. As the human beings approached the farm buildings, Snowball launched his first attack.
All the pigeons, to the number of thirty-five, flew to and fro over the men’s heads and muted ‘ upon them from mid-air; and while the men were dealing with this, the geese, who had been hiding behind the hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the calves of their legs. However, this was only a light skirmishing manoeuvre, intended to create a little disorder, and the men easily drove the geese off with their sticks.
Snowball now launched his second line of attack. Muriel, Benjamin and all the sheep, with Snowball at the head of them, rushed forward and prodded and butted the men from every side, while Benjamin turned around and lashed at them with his small hoofs. But once again the men, with their sticks and their hobnailed boots, were too strong for them; and suddenly, at a squeal from Snowball, which was the signal for retreat, all the animals turned and fled through the gateway into the yard.
Seeing the animals flee, the men rushed after them in a sort of a triumph failing to maintain order. This was just what Snowball had intended. As soon as they were well inside the yard, the three horses, the three cows, and the rest of the pigs, who had been lying in ambush in the cowshed, suddenly emerged in their rear, cutting them off. Snowball now gave the signal for the charge. He himself dashed straight for Jones.
Jones saw him coming, raised his gun and fired. The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowball’s back, and a sheep dropped dead. Without halting for an instant, Snowball flung his fifteen stones against Jones’s legs. Jones was hurled into a pile of dung and his gun flew out of his hands. But the most terrifying spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion. His very first blow took a stable-lad from Foxwood on the skull and stretched him lifeless in the mud.
At the sight, several men dropped their sticks and tried to run. Panic overtook them, and the next moment all the animals together were chasing them round and round the yard. They were gored, kicked, bitten and trampled on. There was not an animal on the farm that did not take vengeance on them after his own fashion. Even the cat suddenly leapt off a roof onto a cowman’s shoulders and sank her claws in his neck, at which he yelled horribly. At a moment when the opening was clear, the men were glad enough to rush out of the yard and make a bolt for the main road. And this was named as “The Battle of the Cowshed.”
Old Major inspired all the animals on the Farm by singing the song ‘Beasts of England”. What is the significance of the song ? Did it really motivate them in their rebel ?
Old Major inspired all the animals by singing the song “Beasts of England” which he had long forgotten. Yes, this song had really motivated them in their rebel against Mr. Jones at Manor Farm and outside farm. This song has helped animals in different situations, because the song is both, a battle cry for the rebellion on Manor Farm and an Anthem, that helps the animals keep their spirit of rebellion alive in their hearts.
When Manor Farm changed into Animal Farm, the feeling among the animals was that things would be better as they were ruling themselves. They were no longer under the rule of the humans who had taken them for granted.The “Beasts of England” song is important because animals had successfully defended the farm against the humans in the Battle of Cowshed. Also, it is the song which unites the animals in the beginning of the book. It is a symbol of change for the animals. The verses that inspired them was, “Bright will shine the fields of England, purer shall its water be sweeter yet shall blow breezes on the day that sets us free.”
The animals sang the song of freedom, and expected their desire to leave the dictatorship of Mr. Jones and start a democracy. The fact that the animals sung the song after the battle of the cowshed is an example of how it was a symbol of freedom because they were finally free from human rule. They also sang this song before throwing the pigs out. The animals first fought against Mr. Jones but later they had to fight against three cunning and dominating pigs to attain freedom.
What was the idea obtained by Old Major after the Rebellion ?
The pioneer behind the rebel in Animal Farm was the Old Major who had a fore-sighted vision behind the revolution. It was Old Majors’ dreams and views that inspired the animals to actually rebel against the farmer Mr. Jones and his men. Old Major believed that the ideal situation for animals would be if they could get rid of themselves of their dealings with man. In principle, these were the ideals behind the Seven Commandments and according to him animals were self-sufficient and that man alone is the only creature who takes without contributing.
In a speech, he gives outlines to the animals about the future of the farm without man, how the animals should live together happily.After the Rebellion, and out of Old Majors’ speech, the animals develop the belief system known as “Animalism and the Seven Commandments” that were painted on a sign that represented the foundational principles that was to govern their behaviour after the Rebellion.
Seven Commandments 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 a bed.
- No animal shall drink alcohol.
- No animal shall kill any other animal.
- All animals are equal.
Who was the Old Major ? What vision did he have in his mind ? Did his dream come true ?
The Old Major was a prized Middle White Boar. One day he announced that he had a dream and wanted to share it with other animals of the Manor Farm. The meeting had thus, been decided and he had such an influence on the animals that everybody was more than willing to listen to what he had to say even though they would get an hour less sleep.
After the Old Major was ascertained that all the animals of the farm had gathered, he began addressing them. He told them that he would talk about his dream later on but before that he would like to pass on to them the wisdom that he had acquired. He told them that their lives were miserable, laborious and short. They were starved and also over-strained. He said that no animal in England was happy or free.
However, he also thought that nature had provided them with ample resources to keep themselves in good spirits. Then why were they suffering ? They were suffering due to their sole enemy that was, Man. Man did not produce anything and exploited the other animals for his selfish needs. Moreover, Man was so brutal that after the animals were of no use, he slaughtered them or killed them.
He asked his comrades if it was not clear that all the evils of their lives were due to the tyranny of human beings. He had vision in his mind. He wanted all the animals to be free from the exploitation of Man. He wanted the animals to govern themselves, live in harmony and peace, and prosper. He asked his comrades to get rid of the Man and told them that rebellion was the only answer to their woes. He wanted the animals to pass on this message to their future generations as well. He said that all men were their enemies. Also, once they achieved their freedom, animals must not adopt any of the vices of Man.
Then the 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.No, the Old Major’s dream never came true. Though the animals of the Animal Farm gained their freedom, they failed to see that they had actually fallen into the hands of a tyrannical region from another. They are still being exploited, deceived, cheated and slaughtered but now under new pretexts of three cunning pigs.
What were the principles of Animalism given in the Animal Farm and what were the modifications that the pigs brought in them ?
Animalism is an allegory in the form of an animal fable to mirror the hypocrisy of the Soviet Union.It is invented by the highly respected pig, Old Major. The pigs, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer, adapt Old Major’s ideas into an actual philosophy, which they formally named Animalism. Soon after, Napoleon and Squealer being indulging in the vices of humans (drinking alcohol, sleeping in beds, trading), Squealer is employed to alter the Seven Commandments to account for his justifiable ways.
The Seven Commandments are a list of rules or laws that are supposed to keep order and ensure elementary Animalism within Animal Farm. Since not all of the animals can remember them, they are boiled down into one basic statement: “Four legs good, two legs bad !” (with wings counting as legs for this purpose, Snowball arguing that wings count as legs as they are objects of propulsion rather than manipulation), which the sheep constantly repeat, distracting the crowd from the lies of the pigs.
The Seven Commandments are :
- 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.
Later on, Napoleon and his pigs were corrupted by the absolute power they held over the farm. To maintain their popularity with the other animals, Squealer secretly painted additions to some Commandments to make it benefit the pigs while keeping them free of accusation of breaking the laws.
The laws are eventually completely removed, and replaced with “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than other”, and “Four legs good, two legs better!”, as the pigs become more human.Old Major warned never to handle money, engage in trade, or have any dealings with human beings, but Napoleon has now decided to do this.
He has little choice : the farm needs iron, lamp oil, nails and string, etc. which it cannot produce. However, the pigs do not admit that they are going against anything Old Major said. They claim there was never any resolution against these things.Squealer begins to refer to Napoleon as ‘the leader’.
When the pigs move into the farmhouse and begin sleeping in the beds, the Fourth Commandment turns out to have mysteriously changed. It now reads ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.’Napoleon’s dogs slaughtered a large number of the animals.
This is the first time anyone has broken the rule that ‘ no animal shall kill another animal-up to now not even a rat has been killed.The change of ‘Beasts of England1 to the song ‘Animal Farm’ is part of the change from Old Major’s original ideas of freedom to the pigs’ own agenda. After Napoleon has several of the animal executed, the Sixth Commandment has mysteriously changed and now reads “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.”The term ‘Comrade’, originally meant to remind everyone that all the animals are equal, becomes completely meaningless when used in connection with the general hero-worship of Napoleon.
After the pigs get drunk on whisky from the farmhouse cellar, Napoleon orders whimper to buy some booklets on brewing and distilling, and arranges to plant barley. The Fifth Commandment is then found to have been changed to read ‘No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.
Finally, the pigs disobey even the ‘essence’ of Animalism: four legs good, two legs bad. In the end, the Seven Commandments of Animalism are obliterated and replaced with One Commandment which is the opposite of the originals : “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Right after this, the pigs order a telephone and newspaper subscriptions and start wearing clothes, carrying whips and smoking pipes.
Why did the rebellion that the Major had dreamt of came earlier ? What was its consequence ? How did the Manor Farm change after that ?
Nobody knew when the rebellion would actually happen. But inspired by the words of the Old Major, every animal on the farm was waiting for that long cherished day. However, the rebellion happened more quickly than expected. Mr. Jones had been a good farmer once but lately he had fallen on evil ways. He did not care much for the farm and the animals. The farm kept deteriorating and the animals were underfed.
One night, Mr Jones got drunk in the Red Lion and forgot to feed the animals. The animals were hungry and famished. They were unable to bear the hunger any longer. One of the cows broke into the store shed and all the other animals also started to help themselves.
When Jones and four of his farmhands started whipping the animals to get them under control, they turned and butted and kicked, driving Jones off his farm. His wife packed her bags quickly and followed. Mr Jones had been expelled and the farm belonged to the animals. The rebellion had been successful.
The animals could hardly believe their luck. They searched the farm to ascertain if any of the humans were hiding there. Then they raced back to the farm buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’ hated reign.
They burned everything that reminded them of their oppressor. After they had destroyed everything, they had their fill. Then they sang ‘Beasts of England’ seven times and slept as they had never slept before. The merry making continued even on the next day. However, they were cautious while entering the farmhouse. It awed them. They agreed on the point that no animal must ever live there.
The pigs were considered as the cleverest and the work of teaching and organising others fell naturally upon them-particularly Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer. The three pigs elaborated Old Major’s teachings into a complete system of thought and called the system Animalism. Animalism found a place in the heart of the residents of the farm and they began to follow it with all respect.
The pigs also revealed that during the past three months they had taught themselves to read and write. Snowball took a brush and renamed the Manor Farm as Animal Farm. They further explained that they had reduced the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments. These would become an unalterable law by which all the animals on the Animals Farm must live ever after.
They ran thus:
- Whatever goes upon two legs in 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.
Describe, in your own words, the new working system of the residents of the Animal Farm.
After the Rebellion had been achieved, the pigs decided that they must tend to the harvest, for they needed food for their bellies. They toiled and seated to get the hay in! But their efforts were rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success than they had hoped. Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing on his hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could think of a way around every difficulty. As for the horses, they knew every inch of the field, and in fact, understood the business of moving and raking far better that Jones and his men had ever done.
The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge, it was natural that they should assume the leadership. They also motivated and cheered the others.Every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all day in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the end they finished the harvest in less than two days time than it had usually taken Jones and his men.
Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever, the hens and ducks with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very stalk. And not an animal on the farm had stolen so much as a mouthful.All through that summer the work of the farm went clockwise. They met with many difficulties-for instance, later in the year, when they harvested the corn, they had to tread it out in the ancient style and blow away the chaff with their breath, since the farm possessed no threshing machine-but the pigs with their cleverness and Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them through.
Everyone worked according to their capacity. The hens and ducks, for instance, saved five bushels of com at the harvest by gathering up the stray grains. Mollie was not good at getting up in the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that there was a stone in her hoof. It was soon noticed that when there was work to be done, the cat could never be found. Old Benjamin, the donkey, seemed quite unchanged since the Rebellion. He did his work in the same slow obstinate way as he had done it in Jones’s time, never shirking and never volunteering for extra work either.
Describe the different experiences of different animals in reading and writing classes of Snowball. Were all the animals able to read and write ?
The reading and writing classes of Snowball, however, were a great success. By the autumn almost every animal on the farm was literate to some degree. As for the pigs, they could already read and write perfectly. The dogs learned to read fairly well, but were not interested in reading, anything except the Seven Commandments.
Muriel, the goat, could read somewhat better than the dogs, and sometimes used to read to the others in the evenings from scraps of newspaper which she found on the rubbish heap. Benjamin, the donkey, could read as well as any pig, but never exercised his faculty.
So far as he knew, he said, there was nothing worth reading. Clover learnt the whole alphabet, but could not put words together. Boxer could not get beyond the letter D. He would trace out A, B, C, D in the dust with his great hoof, and then would stand staring at the letters with his ears back, sometimes shaking his forelock, trying with all his might to remember what same next and never succeeding. On several occasions, indeed, he did learn E, F, G, H, but by the time he knew them, it was always discovered that he had forgotten A, B, C and D.
Finally, hedecided to be content with the first four letters, and used to write them out once or twice everyday to refresh his ‘ memory. Mollie refused to learn any but the six letters which spelt her own name. She would form these very neatly out of pieces of twig, and would then decorate them with a flower or two and walk round them admiring them.
None of the other animals on the farm could get further than the letter ‘A’. It was also found that the stupider animals, such as the sheep, hens and ducks, were unable to learn the Seven Commandments by heart.After much thought Snowball declared that the Seven Commandments could in effect be reduced to a single maxim, namely : “Four legs good, two legs bad.” This, he said, contained the essential principle of Animalism whoever had thoroughly grasped it, would be safe from human influences.
Examine the role of the Snowball in the Battle of the Cowshed.
Early in October, when the corn was cut and stacked and some of it was already thrashed, a flight of pigeons came whirling through the air and alighted in the yard of Animal Farm in the wildest excitement. Jones and all his men, with half a dozen others from Foxwood and Pinchfield, had entered the five-barred gate and were coming up the cart-track that led to the farm. They were all carrying sticks, except Jones, who was marching ahead with a gun in his hands, obviously they were going to attempt to recapture the farm.
This had been long expected, and all the preparations had been made. Snowball, who had studied an old book of Julius Caesar’s campaigns which he had found in the farmhouse. Snowball was in charge of the defensive operations. Fie gave his orders quickly, and in a couple of minutes every animal was at his post.
As the human beings approached the farm buildings, Snowball launched his first attack. About thirty-five pigeons, flew to and fro over the men’s heads and muted upon them from mid-air; and while the men were dealing with this, the geese, who had been hiding behind the hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the cloves of their legs. This was intended to create a little disorder, and the men easily drove the grease off with their sticks.
Snowball now launched his second line of attack. Muriel, Benjamin, and all the sheep, with Snowball as the head of them, rushed forward and produced and butted the men from every side, while Benjamin turned around and lashed at them with his small hoofs. But once again the men, with their sticks and their hobnailed boots, were too strong for them; and suddenly, at a squeal from Snowball, which was the signal for retreat, all the animals turned and fled through the gateway into the yard. The men gave a shout of triumph. They saw, as they imagined, their enemies in flight, and they rushed after them in disorder.
This was just what Snowball had intended. As soon as they were well inside the yard, the three horses, the three cows, and the rest of the pigs, who had been lying in ambush in the cowshed, suddenly emerged in the rear, cutting them off. Snowball now gave the signal for the charge. He himself dashed straight for Jones. Jones saw him coming, raised his gun and fired.
The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowballs back, and a sheep dropped dead. Without halting for an instant, Snowball flung his fifteen stone against Jones’ legs. Jones was hurled into a pile of dung and his gun flew out of his hands. But the most terrifying spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shot hoofs like a stallion.
His very first blow took a stable-lad from Foxwood on the skull and stretched him lifeless in the mud. At the sight, several men dropped their sticks and tried to run. Panic overtook them, and the next moment all the animals together were chasing them round and round a yard. They were gored, kicked, bitten, trampled on. There was not an animal on the farm who didn’t fight.
In this way according to Snowball’s strategy the animals become successful in driving out Jones and his men far from the farm. For all this Snowball was awarded “Animal Hero, first Class”. It consisted of brass metal to be worn on Sundays and holidays. At the funeral of sheep, at the grave, Snowball made a little speech, emphasizing the need for all animals to be ready to die for Animal Farm, if need be.
Napoleon comes about as the ultimate shrewd opportunist. How did he overthrow Snowball ? Why didn’t the other animals protest ?
January bought bitter cold weather. The pigs decided all the matters of the farm policy. However, Snowball and Napoleon never agreed on anything and were at constant altercations. They both had their followers. Snowball declared that they needed a windmill and proposed the plans.
In the long pasture, not far from the farm buildings, there was a small knoll which was the highest point on the farm. After surveying the ground, Snowball declared that this was just the place for a windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the farm with electrical power.
This would light the stalls and warm them in winter, and would also run a circular saw, a chaff cutter, a mangel-slicer, and an electric milking machine. He painted a perfect picture of how electricity would change their lives.But like always, Napoleon was averse to this idea. He expressed his dislike by urinating over the plans. Then there was a difference of opinion relating to defence of the farm.
Snowball wanted to spread the Rebellion and Napoleon wanted to procure firearms and train themselves. The day of voting for the windmill came. When the animals had assembled in the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though occasionally interrupted by bleating from the sheep, set forth his reasons for advocating the building of the windmill.
Then Napoleon stood up to reply. He said very quietly that the windmill was nonsense and that he advises nobody to vote for it, and promptly sat down again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed almost indifferent as to the effect he produced. At this, Snowball sprang to his feet, and gave an eloquent speech. All animals were diverted in his favour. By the time he had finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go.
But just at this moment, Napoleon stood up and casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before. At one time there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball. The dogs were the same puppies that Napoleon had taken on the pretext of teaching them.
They chased Snowball out of the farm.The animals were shocked. They wanted to protest. But the menacing dogs led out such growls that everybody was scared to say something. Then suddenly the sheep started bleating out ‘Four legs good, two legs bad1 and all possibilities of discussions were killed.
Snowball, no doubt, was a visionary. The only thing he wanted was the betterment of the farm. However, he was not able to recognise Napoleon’s true self. In the light of this statement, draw a pen-portrait of Snowball.
Snowball has been introduced as “a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character”. Snowball emerged as a fervent ideologue who threw his heart and soul into the attempt to spread Animalism worldwide and to improve Animal Farm’s infrastructure.
Like Old Major, Snowball was a kind of a dreamer : he imagined greater technical achievements on the farm and a revolution that could spread all the way across England. Snowball wanted the Rebellion to spread; he wanted to send out “more and more pigeons to stir up rebellion among the animals on other farms” and then there was his dream project of the windmill.
He painted a fairyland world in front of the farm animals to gain support and tell them how their lives would be more comfortable when the windmill would become functional. However, this was the time when we encountered some faults in his planning. He did not know for how long they would have to work or how they would procure the different materials required for the windmill.
We also learn that Snowball was a much better public speaker, and that he “often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times.” His idealism, however, led to his downfall. Relying only on the force of his own logic and rhetorical skill to gain his influence, he proved no match for Napoleon’s show of brute force.
Although, Orwell has depicted Snowball in a relatively appealing light, he refrained from idealising his character, making sure to endow him with certain moral flaws. For example, Snowball basically accepted the superiority of the pigs over the rest of the animals. Plus, when the other animals weren’t too happy that the pigs took all the milk, Snowball insisted that they need it for all their brain work.
Then he again doesn’t show his concern when the other animals of the farm were robbed off the windfall apples and they all went into the pigs’ hands. Moreover, his fervent, single-minded enthusiasm for grand projects such as the windmill, might have erupted into full-blown megalomaniac deception had he not been chased from Animal Farm.
The animals worked like slaves to complete the windmill. However, they had to meet utter disappointment. What had happened to the windmill ? What was its effect on the animals?
On the third Sunday after Snowball’s expulsion, the animals were somewhat surprised to hear Napoleon announce that the windmill was to be built after all. He did not give any reason for having changed his mind, but merely warned the animals that this extra task would mean very hard work. It might even be necessary to reduce their rations. All that year, the animals worked like slaves.
But they were happy with their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.
The windmill presented unexpected difficulties. There was a good quarry of limestone on the farm, and plenty of sand and cement had been found in one of the outhouses, so that all the materials for building were at hand. But the problem the animals could not at first solve was how to break up the stone into pieces of suitable size.Only after weeks of vain effort did the right idea occur to somebody : namely, to utilise the force of gravity. Huge boulders, far too big to be used as they were lying all over the bed of the quarry.
The animals lashed ropes around these, and then all together, cows, horse, sheep, any animal that could lay hold of the rope- even the pigs sometimes joined in at critical moments. They dragged them with desperate slowness up the slope to the top of the quarry, where they were toppled over the edge, to shatter to pieces below. Transporting the stone when it was once broken was comparatively simple.
By late summer a sufficient store of stone had accumulated, and then the building began, under the superintendence of the pigs. But it was a slow, laborious process. Frequently, it took a whole day of exhausting effort to drag a single boulder to the top of the quarry, and sometimes when it was pushed over the edge it failed to break. November came, with raging South-West winds.
Building had to stop because it was now too wet to mix the cement. Finally, there came a night when the gale was so violent that the farm building rocked on their foundations and several tiles were blown off the roof of the barn. There was a loud bang. In the morning, the animals met a horror sight. The windmill had been destroyed.
Napoleon claimed that Snowball was after this. They even found a pig’s footprint. Napoleon announced that whoever would capture Snowball would be conferred with a military honour and half a bushel of apples. He also announced that they would build the windmill again and show Snowball that he cannot deter them from their • path. All the animals agreed.
How did the bloodshed at the Animal Farm affect its residents ?
It was heard that Snowball was hiding in one of the adjoining farms. There was a pile of timber and Mr Pilkington and Mr Frederick were interested in it. However, whenever the deal took shape, Snowball was noticed to be in that particular farm. Then the farm grew more timid about him.Everything bad that happened in the farm was put on Snowball’s head. Even broken windows and blocked drains were put his name. Napoleon was livid and investigated the whole farm. He supposedly found traces of Snowball all over the farm.
One day, in the late afternoon, Napoleon ordered all the animals to assemble in the yard. When they were all gathered together, Napoleon emerged from the farmhouse with his nine huge dogs frisking round him and uttering growls that sent shivers down all the animals’ spines. They all cowered silently in their places, seeming to know in advance that some terrible thing was about to happen.
Napoleon stood sternly surveying his audience; then he uttered a high-pitched whimper. Immediately the dogs bounded forward, seized four of the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squealing with pain and terror, to Napoleon’s feet. The pigs’ ears were bleeding, the dogs had tasted blood, and for a few moments they appeared to go quite mad. To the amazement of everybody, three of them flung themselves upon Boxer.
But they were no match for his agility and strength. The pigs confessed that they had been secretly in touch with Snowball ever since his expulsion, that they had collaborated with him in destroying the windmill, and that they had entered into an agreement with him to hand over Animal Farm to Mr Frederick. They added that Snowball had privately admitted to them that he had been Jones’s secret agent for past years. When they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess.
Then the three hens, a goose, a sheep, were all slain on the spot for their crimes. The other animals were totally shaken and miserable. Since Jones had left, no animal had killed another animal. But now, the air was heavy with the smell of blood. The animals were clearly very depressed. They returned to the knoll and for some time nobody spoke. The whole farm was in front of their eyes. It belonged to them.
But the scenes of slaughter that they had just witnessed disturbed them. Clover’s eyes were filled with tears. They had not aimed for this. They had not looked forward to this when they had been first stirred to Rebellion. Every thing has changed Nobody dared to speak his mind and fierce dogs roamed everywhere, tearing apart their comrades. However, they were still doing better than in the days of Jones.
Trace the elements of satire, fable and allegory in the Animal Farm.
Animal Farm is a combination of all three elements, that is, satire, fable and allegory, all in one. A fable has animal characters who have the physical characteristics of animals but the ability to think, feel and speak like humans. To that extent, this is a fable. It’s hard to claim, Orwell wrote this as a disconnected story without any relevance to actual historical event The fact that no one wanted to risk publishing it at first speaks of the power of this short little fable.
With characters such as Napoleon, who represents Stalin, and Snowball, who represents Lenin, Orwell’s narrative is an allegory of the Communist Soviet Union. In this allegory, Orwell examines and , satirizes the subversion and manipulation of meaning of words that Communist Russia promulgated.
Squealer who “could turn black into white”, is the propagandist. The “fairy tale” is really a masquerade for the biting political satire of the Communist regime. Animal farm, is a satire. Although it may be political allegory, it is more closely linked with techniques related with a satire for instance and verisimilitude.
Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is full of symbolism. Comment.
Tracing the emergence and development of Soviet Communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of dictator, Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor, Mr. Jones, by a democratic coalition of animals, quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. Much like the Soviet intelligentsia, the pigs establish themselves as the ruling class in the new society. Animal Farm is a critique of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution.
The struggle for power between Leon Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs:Snowball and Napoleon. The idealistic but politically less powerful figure (Trotsky/Snowball) is expelled from the revolutionary state by the conniving and aggressive usurper of power (Stalin/Napoleon).
The false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill parallels the trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies. Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual abandonment of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviours, the trappings of their original oppressors.
The novel also illustrates how, classes that are initially unified in the face of a common enemy, as the animals are against the humans, may become internally divided when that enemy is eliminated. The expulsion of Mr. Jones creates a power vacuum, and it is only so long before the next oppressor assumes totalitarian control. The natural division between intellectual and physical labour quickly comes to express itself as a new set of class division, with the “brain workers” (as the pigs claim to be) using their superior intelligence to manipulate society to their own benefit.
When presented with a dilemma, Boxer prefers not to puzzle out the implications of various possible actions but instead to repeat to himself, “Napoleon is always right.” Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class’ oppression. Orwell’s novel creates its most powerful ironies in the moments in which Orwell shows the corruption of Animalist ideals by those in power. The slow disintegration and misuse of the Seven Commandments illustrates this hypocrisy as do Squealer’s elaborate justifications, for the pigs’ unprincipled actions.
Explain the role of pigs in the Animal Farm.
Major, a prize Middle White boar, is the inspiration that brings about the Rebellion in the book. He is 12 years old. According to one interpretation, he could be based upon both Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. He teaches the other animals the song of freedom “Beasts of England”, and dies soon after. Napoleon was large, rather fierce-looking Ber lire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own Napoleon is the main tyrant and villain of Animal Farm.
He is based upon Joseph Stalin. He begins to gradually build up his power, using puppies he took from their parents, the dogs, Jessie and Bluebell. He raises them to be vicious dogs, as his secret police. After driving Snowball off the farm, Napoleon acquires complete control using false propaganda from Squealer and threats and intimidation from the dogs to force the other animals to follow his leadership.
Among other things, he gradually changes the Commandments for his benefit. By the end of the book, Napoleon and his fellow pigs have learned to walk upright and started to behave similarly with the humans against whom they originally revolted. Snowball is Napoleon’s rival and original head of the farm after Jones is thrown out. He is probably based on Leon Trotsky.
He is able to win over most animals’ trust by leading a very successful first harvest, but is forcefully driven out of the farm by Napoleon. Snowball genuinely works for the good of the farm and the animals and devises plans tohelp the animals achieve their vision of a free farm for animals, but Napoleon and his dogs chase him from the farm. Napoleon also spreads rumours to make him seem evil and corrupt and that he had secretly destroyed the animals’ efforts to improve the farm.
Squealer is a small fat porker who serves as Napoleon’s right hand pig and minister of propaganda. Squealer manipulates the language to excuse and justify Napoleon’s actions. In all of his work, George Orwell made it a point to show how politicians used language to suit their convenience. Squealer discourages debate by complicating the issues and makes false claims that the pigs need the extra apples and milk in order to function properly.
He usually uses the threat of the return of Mr. Jones, the former owner of the farm, to justify the pigs’ privileges. Squealer uses statistics to convince the animals that life is getting better and better. Most of the animals have only dim memories of life before the Revolution; therefore, they are convinced.Minimums is a pig who writes the second and third National anthems of Animal Farm after the singing of “Beasts of England” is banned.
Do the humans in Animal Farm symbolize greed ? Comment.
In the beginning of the novel, Old Major describes all the evils that humans force on the animals due to greed. He warns the animals that humans are selfish and act only in their own interests. They are the only ones to consume without producing anything and steal everything the animals produce.
Throughout the novel, it is shown how pigs start using the Seven Commandments according to their own . convenience and start behaving like humans, completely changing the principles of Animalism. In the end, it is said that the faces of pigs and humans became so alike that one could not make out which was which. The following are examples of human like behaviour which the pigs display.Even though the pigs take all the apples and milk for themselves, they do not acknowledge that they are being greedy, but say that they are taking the apples and milk for the good of the other animals, because it is important that they remain in good health to manage the farm.
Napoleon isn’t satisfied with the fact that the pigs, of whom he is a leader, now run the farm. He wants more power, he wants personal power, and he doesn’t want to share his power with Snowball, so he develops a scheme to run Snowball off the farm.The pigs are not satisfied with living in their sty, but move into the farmhouse. They take their meals in the kitchen, use the drawing-room as a recreation room and sleep in the beds. They also start getting up an hour later than the other animals do.
Napoleon is still hungry for more power and more status. He issues all his orders through Squealer or one of the other pigs, and avoids going out in public more often than once every two weeks. When he does appear he is attended by his dogs and a black cockerel. In the farmhouse, he moves into separate apartments from the others, takes his meals alone with two dogs waiting on him, and eats from the special Crown Derby china dinner service. The gun is now fired on his birthday as well as at the other two anniversaries every year. The pigs make up titles for him like ‘Father of All Animals’, ‘Terror of Mankind’ and ‘Protector of the Sheep-fold.’
Napoleon refuses to take a check for the timber and demands to be paid in cash. He then holds a special meeting to display the bank-notes-he lies on a bed of straw on the platform, wearing both the military decorations he has awarded himself, with the money next to him piled on china dish from the farmhouse kitchen. The animals are allowed to file past one by one and look at the money for as long as they want to.This backfires on Napoleon-it turns out that the notes were forged and Frederick got the timber for nothing. Napoleon buys sugar for himself, but doesn’t allow the other pigs to eat it.
He fathers thirty-one piglets, impregnating all four of the sows on the farm at about the same time. The pigs are hungry for yet more status-they make a rule that if a pig and another animal meet on a path, the other animals must stand aside. They also make a rule that all pigs, of whatever degree, will be allowed to wear a green ribbon on their tails on Sundays as a mark of privilege.The pigs cook up the barley and instead of using it to feed the hungry animals, use it to brew beer. They give each pig an allowance of a pint of bear a day, with half a gallon for Napoleon, which is served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen.
The pigs sell Boxer to the knacker to be slaughtered because he is past work-even though, with proper care, he could have been expected to live another three years, they wanted the money to buy themselves whisky. After many years, Napoleon becomes a mature boar weighing twenty-four stone, while Squealer becomes so fat that it is difficult for him to see out of his eyes. Clearly, the human farmers are just as keen to make a profit and care as little about their animals as the pigs do. The humans compliment the pigs on their methods.
What is the significance of the title ‘Animal Farm’ ?
The title of the book and the changed name of the farm (Jones’ Manor Farm) is that, the farm was actually run by animals. A farm for animals, by animals, is the premise under which the pigs work when they encourage the rebellion in their secret meeting. The animals, of course, are an allegory for men since the pigs who take over the running of things morph to look more and more like men-especially after they move into the house, begin sleeping in beds, drinking alcohol just as they had seen their human masters do before the take over.
At first, the name change signifies a unity among animals and is the crown of their success as a team. Then as the pigs become more like despots and the animals realize they are worse off under the rule of pigs than they were under the rule of man, it becomes more of a joke. It is not really a farm which signifies equality among all animals because, “Some animals are more equal than others.”