I have chosen this book because it was recommended by friends. They told me that Animal farm is an entertaining story. I often read non-fiction. So I thought it would be fun to read fiction for once. I never had heard about this book, but it seemed like a nice story. The book is also made into a movie, but I haven't seen the movie.
Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.
As soon as the light in the bedroom went out, the animals came together. Old Major, the oldest pig of the farm, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to the other animals. Old Major cleared his throat and began speaking.
He told the animals that their lives are miserable, laborious and short. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth. He said that nearly the whole of the produce of their labor is stolen from them by human beings:
''Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!''
Old Major says that all the habits of Man are evil.
Then he tells about his dream. He dreamed about a song that he had long forgotten. Many years ago there was a pig, the mother of Old Major and the other sows used to sing an old song of which they knew only the tune and the first three words. This song came back in his dream, and the words of the song came also back. Then Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. It was a song called Beast of England. Almost before Major had reached the end, the animals had begun singing it for themselves.
Three nights after Old Major had spoken to the animals, he died. Major's speech had given to the more intelligent animals on the farm a completely new outlook of life. The work of teaching and organizing the other fell naturally upon the pigs. Pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars, named Snowball and Napoleon. All the other male pigs on the farm were porkers. The best known among them was a small fat pig named Squealer.
These three had elaborated old Major's teaching into a complete system of thought, to which they gave the name of Animalism.
During the next weeks the animals held secret meetings and expounded the principles of Animalism to each other. Most of the animals didn't want to work on a rebellion. They asked things like: ''Why should we care what happens after we are dead?'' or ''If this rebellion is to happen anyway, what difference does it make whether we work for it or not?''.
The next few days Mr. Jones didn't feed the animals. The animals haven't received food for a couple days and they are starving. So one of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horns and all the animals began to help themselves from the bins. The next day Mr. Jones and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, lashing out in all directions. The animals became very mad and started kicking the men. The men had never seen animals behave like this before. After only a moment of two gave up trying to defend themselves and took to their heels. And so, almost before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through: Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs.
After Mr. Jones was expelled the animals burned everything what in the harness-room was. In a very little while the animals had destroy everything that reminded them of Jones.
Snowball had changed the name of the farm in Animal Farm. Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer explained to the other animals that there are Seven Commandments:
1.Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy
2.Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3.No animal shall wear clothes
4.No animal shall sleep in a bed
5.No animal shall drink alcohol
6.No animal shall kill any other animal
7.All animals are equal
The next weeks the animals were working on the farm. For every difficulty the clever pigs could think of a way round. They understood the business of mowing and raking far better than Jones and his men had ever done. Every animal worked hard and helped each other. The animals were happy as they had never conceived it possible to be. It was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master.
But the animals needed to think about the future. Most of the time the pigs made the resolutions. They wanted that the animals of other farms did the same. But those animals loved their farmer and didn't believe in such a thing as animalism.
Snowball thought that education was necessary. So he teach the other animals. He held committees and told he animals what he wanted to do for them. Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that te education of the young was more important than anything that could be done for those who were already grown up. He took nine puppies of their mother and took them up into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness-room. The rest of the farm forgot their existence.
The news of what happened on Animal Farm had spread across half the country. Every day Snowball and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose instructions were to mingle with the animals on neighboring farms, tell them the story of the Rebellion, and teach them the tune of 'Beast of England'
Most of the time Mr. Jones had spent sitting in the taproom of the Red Lion at Willingdon, complaining to anyone what happened. Two farmers Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington were both frightened by the rebellion on Animal Farm, and very anxious to prevent their own animals from learning too much about it.
Early in October Jones and all his men 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. They had planned to take the farm back. But this is had long been expected, and all the preparations had been made. All the animals were at their spots. As the human beings approached the farm buildings, the animals started attack them. There was a big fight between the men and the animals. The animals were much stronger, and the men hared away. But there was one sheep killed. Snowball made a little speech, emphasizing the need for all animals to be ready to die for Animal farm if need be.
In January there came hard weather. Nothing could be done in the fields. Snowball and Napoleon disagreed at every point were disagreement was possible. Snowball came with the idea to build 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. Napoleon said that it wasn't possible and that if they wasted time on the windmill they would all starve to death. The animals formed themselves into two factions, one agreed with Snowball and the other agreed with Napoleon.
At the end of the week there was a meeting. The animals talked about their ideas. Suddenly Napoleon came with nine enormous dogs. The dogs ran to Snowball to attack him. Snowball escaped and ran faster than ever. The dogs couldn't catch him. The dogs came back, and Snowball is never seen again.
No one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon solved: they were puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. Napoleon told the animals that Snowball was a trigger and was planning to bring back Jones. He also says that there are no more meetings, Napoleon is going to make all the decisions on Animal Farm. The next week Napoleon had made the decision to build the windmill after all.
All the animals, except the pigs, worked like slaves for Napoleon. It was very hard to build a windmill. But they found some tactics to make the work a little bit easier. But it was a slow, exhausting process.
There was need of paraffin oil, nails, string, dog biscuits and some other things. But no one was able to imagine how these products could be procured. Napoleon came with the idea to work with other farms. But the other animals thought it was a strange plan to bargain with human beings. Napoleon told them: ''There would be no need for any of the animals to come in contact with human beings, which would clearly be most undesirable.''
He intended to take the whole burden upon his own shoulders. A Mr. Whymper, solicitor living in Willingdon, had agreed to act as intermediary between Animal farm and the outside world, and would visit the farm every Monday to receive his instructions. (Page 40)
Every Monday Mr. Willingdon came to the farm as had been arranged. The animals avoided him as much as possible.
Suddenly the pigs moved into the farmhouse and lived there. The other animals remembered the Seven Commandments and they found this not correct. But Squealer was able to convince them that it wasn't wrong what they did. He said it was necessary that the pigs, who were the brains of the farm, should have a quiet place to work. The pigs also slept in a bed.
One of the horses tried to read to Seven Commandments:
Clover who thought she remembered a definite ruling against beds, went to the end of the barn and tried to puzzle out the Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding herself unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel. ''Muriel, she said, ''read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not sat something about never sleeping in a bed?''
With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out. ''It says, ''No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets'', she announced finally. Curiously enough, Colver had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so. (Page 42)
By the autumn the windmill was half built. Everyone was very enthusiastic about the windmill.
November came and the animals had to stop building because it was to wet.
One morning all the animals and they had all dreamed of hearing a gun go off in the distance. The animals came out of their stalls. Shocked they saw that the windmill was ruined! Napoleon said it was Snowball who did this. And he promises a reward for the one who founds Snowball.
All the animals were shocked to learn that even Snowball could be guilty of such an action. Napoleon wants that the animals start rebuilding the windmill.
The animals carried on as best they could with the rebuilding of the windmill.
The human beings didn't believe that it was Snowball who had destroyed the windmill. They taught it had fallen down because the walls were too thin.
There was not a lot of food. It became obvious that it would be necessary to produce some more grain from somewhere.
One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens must surrender their eggs. Napoleon had accepted, through Whymper, a contract for enough grain and meal to keep the farm going till summer came on and conditions were easier. The hens were not happy with this. So the hens rebelled. They fly up to the rafters and lay there their eggs, which smashed to pieces on the floor.
For five days the hens held out, then they went back to their nesting boxes.
When the pigs and dogs saw this, they kilt them.
Whenever anything went wrong on the farm, it became usual to attribute it to Snowball.
A few days later some of the animals remembered that the Sixth Commandment worded: 'No animal shall kill any other animal.' They were reading the Commandment from the wall: ' No animal shall kill any other animal without cause.' But the animals thought nothing about it.
Napoleon was now never spoken simply as 'Napoleon''. He was always called 'our Leader, Comrade Napoleon.' The animals accepted this, and also did everything what he wanted.
In the autumn the windmill was finished. Tired but proud, the animals walked round and round their masterpiece. The windmill was named: Napoleon Mill.
Even he didn't worked for it.
A few days later the farmers attacked the animals. They didn't want this anymore, a farm must be their farm, and not the farm of the animals.
This time the animals had not the easy victory like they had before. There were fifteen men, with guns, and they began to shoot on the animals. A number of the animals were wounded. But there was another problem, the farmers were going to knock the windmill down:
''Impossible!'' cried Napoleon. ''We have built the walls far too thick for that. They could not knock the windmill down. Courage, comrades! (Page 64)
Terrified the animals waited. The farmers were drilling a hole near the windmill and were going to pack blasting powder into the hole! And suddenly the Napoleon Mill was gone. A huge cloud of black smoke was hanging were the windmill had been.
It was a bitter battle. A cow, three sheep and two geese were killed, and nearly everyone was wounded. But the animals have won the battle. The enemy was running for their life.
The animals stood at the place where the windmill had once stood. Yes, it was gone. Everything was destroyed.
And the animals heard, from the direction of the farm buildings, somebody was shooting with a gun.
''What is that gun firing for?' said Boxer.
''To celebrate our victory!' cried Squealer.
''What victory?'' said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost a shoe ans spit his hoof and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves in his hind leg.
''What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our soil- the scared soil of Animal Farm?'
''But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it for two years!''
''What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade, the mighty thing that we have done. The enemy was now- thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon- we have won every inch of it back again!'
''Then we have won back what we had before,'' said Boxer.
''That is our victory,'' said Squealer. (Page 66)
It did seem them to after all they had won a great victory!
One night there was a loud crash in the yard, and the animals rushed out of their stalls. At the food of the end wall of the big barn, were the Seven Commandments were written, they lay a ladder broken into two pieces. And Squealer lied beside it. And beside him there was a paint-brush, and an overturned pot of white paint. He had changed the Fifth Commandment into: ''No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.''
Boxer's split hoof was a long time healing, they had started the rebuilding of the windmill the day after the victory celebrations were ended.
Meanwhile life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one had been, and food was even shorter. But Napoleon proved the animals that they had more oats, more hay, and more turnips, than they had had Jones' day. That they worked shorter hours, which their drinking water was better of quality, and other good things. The animals believed every word of it.
The pigs started wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays. And this time too they didn't work for the windmill. The pigs seemed very comfortable.
After his hoof had healed up, Boxer worked harder than ever. All the animals worked hard, like slaves. Apart from the regular work of the farm, and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was the schoolhouse for the young pigs, which was started in March.
Late at one evening, there was a big stone fallen on Boxer. He wasn't dead, but he was very injured and didn't wake up for a while. Napoleon was already making arrangement to send Boxer to be treated in the hospital to Willingdon. The animals felt a little uneasy at this. But Squealer convinced them that this was much better for Boxer.
At one day the animals were working. But suddenly Benjamin (the donkey) saw a car by the farm buildings. He rushed with the other animals to the farm. But it was too late, they took Boxer. Boxer was taken in the car. Which was from a Horse slaughterer! And Boxer was never seen again.
The animals were very mad and upset. But Squealer told them that the van
had previously been the property of the knacker, and had been bought by the veterinary surgeon, who had not yet painted the old name out. That was how the mistake had arisen. The animals were very relieved to hear this.
Years passed. Most of the animals died, except Clover the horse, Benjamin the donkey, Moses the raven, Squealer, Napoleon and some other pigs.
Jones was also dead.
The farm was more prosperous now, and better organized. The windmill had been completed. The animals were now hard at work to build another windmill. Somehow it seemed the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer. Except the pigs and the dogs of course. For the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had always been. They were gene rely hungry, they slept on straw and drank from the pool.
The pigs were walking on their hind legs. It was though the world had been turned upside-down. There were no more Commandments, except one:
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal.
The pigs could work well with human beings and they became good friends.
At the end there was no difference between the pigs and the human beings.
I liked the book. It was a nice thought story. I have seen on the internet that it has to do with Stalinism from the second war, and that makes the story even more enjoyable. I found it an interesting book. I never thought it would be like this. I would recommend this book to anyone else. It is an ease book to read,
although there are difficult words.