Animal Farm

By: Payton LeBlanc

Novel Genres

Allegory: A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.


Satire: The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.


Fable: A short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.

Chapter Summary

Chapter 1:After Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, falls asleep in a drunken stupor, all of his animals meet in the big barn at the request of old Major, a 12-year-old pig. Major delivers a rousing political speech about the evils inflicted upon them by their human keepers and their need to rebel against the tyranny of Man.

Chapter 2: After the death of old Major, the animals spend their days secretly planning the rebellion, although they are unsure when it will occur. Because of their intelligence, the pigs are placed in charge of educating the animals about Animalism, the name they give to the philosophy expounded by Major in Chapter 1.

Chapter 3: Despite the initial difficulties inherent in using farming tools designed for humans, the animals cooperate to finish the harvest — and do so in less time than it had taken Jones and his men to do the same.Boxer distinguishes himself as a strong,

Chapter 4: We are introduced to Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick. Each owns one of the neighboring farms. In short, the animals are working on their public image.

  • But it's not really working. See, the neighboring humans are worried that their animals will rise up if they don't squash Animal Farm.
  • Snowball, a tactician extraordinaire, prepares the animals for the impending invasion of the humans.

Chapter 5:

  • Mollie has been cavorting with one of the men on the neighboring farms in return for frivolities like sugar and ribbons. (Hey, we get it.)
  • Then she abandons the farm altogether. Oops.
  • Snowball and Napoleon start fighting with each other like two bullies on a playground arguing about who's bigger and who should be captain of the dodge ball team.

Chapter 6:

  • The animals work "like slaves." Heavy irony ensues.
  • Napoleon's trading with the neighboring farms. But what about the rule against trade?
  • Yeah. The animals are wondering about that, too. It's cool, though: Squealer has an explanation.

Chapter 7:

  • The animals work "like slaves." Heavy irony ensues.
  • Napoleon's trading with the neighboring farms. But what about the rule against trade?
  • Yeah. The animals are wondering about that, too. It's cool, though: Squealer has an explanation.

Chapter 8:

  • The animals work "like slaves." Heavy irony ensues.
  • Napoleon's trading with the neighboring farms. But what about the rule against trade?
  • Yeah. The animals are wondering about that, too. It's cool, though: Squealer has an explanation.

Chapter 9: Wearily and weakly, the animals set about rebuilding the windmill. Though Boxer remains seriously injured, he shows no sign of being in pain and refuses to leave his work for even a day. Clover makes him a poultice for his hoof, and he eventually does seem to improve, but his coat doesn’t seem as shiny as before and his great strength seems slightly diminished.

Chapter 10: Years pass. Many animals age and die, and few recall the days before the Rebellion. The animals complete a new windmill, which is used not for generating electricity but for milling corn, a far more profitable endeavor. The farm seems to have grown richer, but only the many pigs and dogs live comfortable lives.

Character Symbolism

Napoleon - The pig who emerges as the leader of Animal Farm after the Rebellion.

Snowball - The pig who challenges Napoleon for control of Animal Farm after the Rebellion.

Boxer - The cart-horse whose incredible strength, dedication, and loyalty play a key role in the early prosperity of Animal Farm and the later completion of the windmill.

Squealer - The pig who spreads Napoleon’s propaganda among the other animals.

Old Major - The prize-winning boar whose vision of a socialist utopia serves as the inspiration for the Rebellion.

Clover - A good-hearted female cart-horse and Boxer’s close friend.

Moses - The tame raven who spreads stories of Sugarcandy Mountain, the paradise to which animals supposedly go when they die.

Mollie - The vain, flighty mare who pulls Mr. Jones’s carriage.

Benjamin - The long-lived donkey who refuses to feel inspired by the Rebellion.

Muriel - The white goat who reads the Seven Commandments to Clover whenever Clover suspects the pigs of violating their prohibitions.

Mr. Jones - The often drunk farmer who runs the Manor Farm before the animals stage their Rebellion and establish Animal Farm.

Mr. Frederick - The tough, shrewd operator of Pinchfield, a neighboring farm.

Mr. Pilkington - The easygoing gentleman farmer who runs Foxwood, a neighboring farm.

Mr. Whymper - The human solicitor whom Napoleon hires to represent Animal Farm in human society.

Jessie and Bluebell - Two dogs, each of whom gives birth early in the novel.

Minimus - The poet pig who writes verse about Napoleon and pens the banal patriotic song “Animal Farm, Animal Farm” to replace the earlier idealistic hymn “Beasts of England,” which Old Major passes on to the others.

Motifs

Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.

Themes

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.