This is a story based on the Russian Revolution, the characters are different and it is written in another time, but there are many parallels between them.
Mr. Jones is the farmer on Manor Farm, he is not a very good farmer and he is mistreating his animals. Mr. Jones is drunk all the time and the animals are not being treated well. Major, an old, wise boar, is telling the other animals on Manor Farm about a rebellion, which will happen some day. All the animals are listening carefully to Major when he tells them about ‘animalism’, a society where every animal is equal and Major teaches the other animals a song called ‘The Beasts of England’, which is about England ruled by animals. A few days later Major dies in his sleep and the pigs, who are the smartest animals on the farm, are preparing the other animals for the big day of the rebellion. One day Mr. Jones had been out all day and forgot to feed the animals, this was what they had been waiting for and they took over the farm from Mr. Jones. The animals renamed the farm into ‘Animal Farm’. The pigs Snowball and Napoleon found themselves the best leaders so they took charge of everything. They forced every animal to work and they instructed the animals in the Seven Commandments of ‘animalism’. But the pigs took advantage of their positions and they immediately took the milk that the other animals were not allowed to drink.
The animals were looking forward to a new era, an era where animals were in charge of themselves and the humans where not. Mollie, who was a proud horse, had difficulties with the ‘animalism’, because she was not allowed to wear ribbons anymore. She felt worse by the day and one day she ran away to the human world, where she was happy again. The pigs forced every animal to work, even on Saturdays and after a while even on Sunday in the afternoon. The animals thought it was alright, because they were working for themselves and not for the humans anymore. Clover and Boxer were working the hardest, they were the carthorses, and Boxer thought he had to work especially hard because he was the strongest. Boxer’s motto became ‘I will work harder’ and he even woke up earlier than the other animals to do what he thought was right. Clover did not like this and kept saying Boxer was working too hard and he will overwork his self and die, however Boxer would not listen to her.
After the ‘Battle of the Cowshed’ Snowball and Napoleon were arguing like never before about every little detail. They thought it would be better to ask the other animals who the best leader would be. When Snowball was winning, Napoleon winked at few dogs, who immediately formed a bodyguard around Napoleon and chased after Snowball until he was off Animal Farm. Napoleon was the new leader of all the animals on Animal Farm. Napoleon strengthened his position because nobody dared to fight the dogs. He also used Squealer, another pig, to convince the other animals that every decision Napoleon made was good and it worked. Napoleon became a real dictator, he used the animals to do a lot of dirty work. Before Snowball was driven away, he was working on a plan of making a windmill, which Napoleon was against it in every way. Now Napoleon changed his mind and told the animals to work on the windmill. Boxer, who was working harder then ever before, was convinced that everything Napoleon said was right, so he got another motto- ‘Napoleon is always right’, which was an example for all the other animals, because they admired Boxer a lot because of his strength. Napoleon entered the farmhouse and slept in Mr. Jones’s bed, but that was against the Seven Commandments, so he changed the Seven Commandments and sent Squealer out to convince the animals he was doing the right thing. In a storm the windmill collapsed and they had to start all over. Napoleon told the animals that Snowball did it and they believed him. They saw Snowball as an enemy and forgot Snowball led them in the ‘Battle of the Cowshed’.
One day Napoleon said during his speech that every animal that had something to confess should step forward. The dogs of Napoleon’s bodyguard slaughtered all those animals and the animals that were not slaughtered became afraid of Napoleon. Squealer was sent out again to convince the animals that Napoleon was doing the right thing and that the slaughter had to happen. The animals believed him, but some had a feeling something was not completely right. Boxer just worked harder and harder, but he was also getting older and older. Clover told him to calm down, but Boxer did not listen to her.
After another couple of months Boxer was getting stones for the windmill on his own, when a few pigeons told the other animals that Boxer had fallen and he could not get up. Napoleon heard the news and told the other animals he would pay for the recovery of Boxer and that he would send him to a hospital. But when the car came to pick up Boxer Benjamin, an old Donkey who could read very well, told the other animals that the car was not from the hospital, but from the slaughter. They told Boxer, but he could not get up anymore and everybody was mourning over Boxer’s death. Napoleon heard it and sent Squealer out to tell the animals the car was from the slaughter before it became a hospital car and that they had not painted it yet. The animals believed him, but they never saw Boxer again.
The years past and the farm was doing better and better, the windmill was finally finished and in use, and the farm even expanded. However the animals were not getting more food, they were just working harder and harder. The pigs that were living in the farmhouse were just getting fatter and fatter. But the animals believed everything Napoleon and Squealer said, because they were just saying things were getting better and that the animals were getting more food than before.
The animals were shocked when they saw the pigs walking on their hind legs, which was the last of the Seven Commandments they changed. They became more and more human. After a while Napoleon had a lot of neighbouring farmers in the farmhouse to toast on a good relationship between Animal Farm and the other farms. Napoleon even renamed Animal Farm back to Manor Farm. When the other animals looked from pig to human and from human to pig, they could not tell the difference between them, they could not tell which was which.
The animals renamed the name of the farm from Manor Farm to Animal Farm after they had driven away Mr. Jones. Animal Farm is where the whole story takes place.
Old Major is the wise old boar who delivers a speech to every animal on the Manor Farm and tells them about the rebellion which would take place some time. He dies a few days after his speech, but set the rebellion in motion by informing the animals about it. His role is about the same role Karl Marx had in the Russian Revolution; his ideas set the Communist Revolution in motion.
Napoleon is silent boar, but when he wants something he will get it done. He gets his own way and does not like fellow leaders like Snowball. When he sees that he is losing to Snowball he tells his dogs to drive Snowball away, so he gets what he wants. He likes the power and likes the power over other animals. Like Napoleon Bonaparte or Stalin in the Russian Revolution. Napoleon is a real dictator.
Snowball is a great leader with a great tactical view. He can share his opinion by a convincing speech, like he did by choosing who would be the leader of Animal Farm. His idea of the windmill is good, but not necessary-he is thinking about the other animals. He is like Trotsky in a way, because of his tactical view.
Squealer is a brilliant talker, he convinces every animal every time even when it is not true. They even said that he could turn black into white. When Napoleon uses him to get more power and more luxury Squealer has to convince the other animals it was something completely necessary and that they will all be better with it. He also changes the Seven Commandments. He is the propaganda in the Russian Revolution.
Boxer saves the farm and helps the farm every time by working harder than anybody. He believes in Napoleon and in the Rebellion, he will work for it. When he collapses he is taken away and sold for glue. He is a loyal, hard working farm boy in the time of the Russian Revolution.
Clover is the one who takes care of everybody. She is also took care of Boxer when he collapsed. She is the one who asks herself every time if Napoleon is doing the right thing. She is a citizen who sees that the revolution is doing no good in the time of the Russian Revolution.
Mollie is someone who does not want to work for herself, she wants to be loved by the farmer and she wants sugar and ribbons. She is somebody from the higher class in society who flees the Russian Revolution.
Napoleon’s dogs are Napoleon’s bodyguards and they only listen to him, which gives Napoleon great power. They represent Stalin’s secret police in the Russian Revolution.
Moses is the raven who does not work. He just tells stories to the other animals of Sugar Candy Mountain, some kind of heaven for the animals. Moses represents the Orthodox Church.
The pigeons are the messengers of Napoleon, they are spreading the word of the rebellion to other farms. Like the communists did in the Russian Revolution.
Mr. Jones is the farmer who does no good. He represents Tsar Nicholas III, he declines though his own corruption and mismanagement.
Pilkington is a neighbour farmer, but he likes hunting and fishing more than farming. He represents the British and French allies.
Whymper is the only human that is allowed on the farm, he is buying and selling things for Napoleon. He represents a capitalist which has business which the Communism.
Fredrick is another neighbour farmer. He is representing Germany with Hitler, because the pigeons told the animals that Snowball, the enemy, was hiding at Fredrick’s.
Animal Farm is an animal fable, where the animals have the same characteristics of certain human beings. The story is comparable with the Russian Revolution-the rebellion and taking over the farm from Mr. Jones, the argument between Napoleon and Snowball where Napoleon is the most victorious. All the animals are told that they were doing fine and that everything is better than it has been before, but in fact it was not true at all. The pigs are taking advantage of all the other animals by lowering the rations of the animals and taking the profit.
The story is a psychological novel, because it is a story that had never happened and it is about a psychological subject. The story is about the animals and they are developing during the story and all the characters are developing themselves. That is why this story is a psychological novel.
Time and place
The story is taken place on the farm, which is first called Manor Farm, than Animal Farm, and at the end Manor Farm again. When the animals decided to take over the farm and when they had driven Mr. Jones away they changed the farm name into Animal Farm. At the end of the book the name was changed back to Manor Farm again by Napoleon. The story from the beginning until the end is about fifteen years, from spring until fall fifteen years later. The exact dates are not mentioned in the story, but I think the story takes place in 1945-1960, because it is written after the Russian Revolution.
Something about the author
George Orwell, which is a pseudonym for Eric Blair, was born in India in 1903. He studied in England an then served in the Indian Civil Police in Burma, where he learned to hate Colonialism. After seven years he returned to Europe. He was wounded in the Spanish Civil War and spent the rest of his life in England, where he died of tuberculosis in 1950. Orwell was a socialist but detested extreme political view-points. His most successful publications, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eightyfour, are meant to be warnings against totalitarian regimes and dictatorship.
I like the story, because it is something completely different from what I have read before. It looks like a child story, all the animals and they are going to be their own leader and drive out the farmer. But it is a much more complicated story, there is much more behind it. I did not realise that until I read the secondary literature, but when you are going to think about the story, it is right. The whole farm is like a country where every animal has its own position in the society. The pigs are the leaders, the horses are the hard working citizens, the chickens are the normal, not very hard working citizens, and the dogs are the soldiers. I think it is a good book to read when you have to write a book report about it, because then you really find out what the book is about and I like that. I really enjoyed reading it, it never bored me and it was not a very long story, so I read it in a few days each night before I went to sleep. I surely will recommend this book to everyone who has to write a book report for English, because it is fun to read and you will learn more than you think at the first place.