Essay Chapter Summaries of George Orwell's Animal Farm

Essay Chapter Summaries of George Orwell's Animal Farm

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Chapter Summaries of George Orwell's Animal Farm

In the opening chapter of the book, Mr. Jones of Manor Farm is shown as a
careless, irresponsible farm owner who cares more for a glass of beer than for
his animals and the farm. He is often drunk, and his ensuing negligence causes
the farm animals to protest and rebel against him.

One night, Old Major, the prize Middle White Boar, wishes to share a strange
dream with all the animals. Since the two-year old boar is greatly respected by
all, the animals are willing to forego an hour's sleep to listen to Old Major's
tale. Before the animals assemble, the stout, majestic Old Major makes
himself comfortable on his bed of straw. As the animals enter the barn, each is
described. First to come are the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and Picher. Then
the pigs arrive and settle down in front of the platform. Clover, the stout,
motherly mare, who is nearing middle age, finds her place. Benjamin, the
cynical donkey, who is the oldest animal and the worst tempered, grumps as
he settles down. Boxer, who is an enormous and optimistic horse, Mollie, who
is the foolish, pretty white mare, Moses, who is the tame raven, and the cat are
all present. The hens perch on the windowsills, and the pigeons flutter up to
the rafters.

Major's intentions are noble. He shows concern for the welfare and destiny of
the animals and inspires them to rebel against the human beings for their own
good. Without ever telling his dream, he diverts the animals' attention to his
song, 'Beasts of England'. He encourages them to gather in perfect unity and
warns them to avoid the habits of men.


The second chapter commences with the peaceful death of Old Major.
Although he is no longer physically present, Major's inspiring speech has
brought about a changed outlook on life among the animals. They are
convinced that an animal rebellion will take place in the unknown future and
prepare for it psychologically. The work of organizing and teaching naturally
falls upon the most intelligent of the animals, the Pigs. Pre-eminent among
them are two young boars called Snowball and Napoleon. Napoleon, a fierce
looking Berkshire, is not much of a talker but has a reputation for getting his
own way. Snowball, a young boar, is high-spirited, quick in speech, very
intelligent, and invent...

... middle of paper ...

nothing; they have given up the habit of criticizing, complaining, or protesting
long ago.

The farm is now better organized, more prosperous, and enlarged. The
windmill, though not used for electricity, has brought in a profit. The common
animals, however, do not share in the prosperity. They live a life of difficulty
and deprivation. They are hungry, sleep on straw, labor long hours, and are
troubled by cold in winter and flies in summer. But they are still convinced
that they are "free" since animals rather than humans run the farm. Because of
the constant propaganda, they do not realize that their plight is the same under
Napoleon that it was under Farmer Jones. Only Benjamin realizes that
"nothing has changed for better or worse."

One day, while weeding turnips, the animals hear singing. Napoleon is in the
farmhouse celebrating with human beings. He then announces that he has
made peace with his human neighbors. Although still called Animal Farm, it
is really Manor Farm all over again. The animal dictatorship has degenerated
into human corruption, and at the end of the novel, pig and man are
indistinguishable. The circle is complete.

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