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Jones: Orwell’s villain (before Napoleon) Once was a good master of the farm but let the farm fall into bad times. Represents the last of the czars, Czar Nicholas II, the leader before Stalin (Napoleon) and s represents the old government, the last of the Czars. Falls into drinking and becomes slack.In fact, he and his men had taken up the habit of drinking. Old Major reveals his feelings about Jones and his administration when he says, "Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough , he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving and the rest he keeps for himself." So Jones and the old government are successfully uprooted by the animals. Little do they know, history will repeat itself with Napoleon and the pigs. Old Major: Old Major is the first major character described by Orwell in Animal Farm. This "purebred" of pigs is the kind, grand fatherly philosopher of change— an obvious metaphor for Karl Marx. Old Major proposes a solution to the animals' desperate plight under the Jones "administration" when he inspires a rebellion of sorts among the animals. Of course the actual time of the revolt is unsaid. It could be the next day or several generations down the road. But old Major's philosophy is only an ideal. After his death, three days after the barn-yard speech, the socialism he professes is drastically altered when Napoleon and the other pigs begin to dominate. It's interesting that Orwell does not mention Napoleon or Snowball anytime during the great speech of old Major. This shows how distant and out-of-touch they really were; the ideals old Major proclaimed seemed to not even have been considered when they were establishing their new government after the successful revolt. It almost seemed as though the pigs fed off old Major's inspiration and then used it to benefit themselves (a interesting twist of capitalism) instead of
old Major becomes more and more a distant fragment of the past in the minds of the farm animals. first described as the "especial pet" of Mr. The pigs had a real hard time getting rid of Moses. He's also the only character who doesn't listen to Old Major's speech of rebellion. Jones first used Moses to keep the animals working. and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them that there was no such place. The pigs don't mind this time because the animals have already realized that the "equality" of the revolt is a farce. In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week. This could be Orwell's attempt to dig Stalin. After being away for several years.following through on the old Major's honest proposal. to which al animals went when they died. the Church is just used as a tool by dictatorships to keep the working class of people hopeful and productive. was a spy and a tale-bearer. Moses finds his place again. Orwell uses Moses to criticize Marx's belief that the Church will just go away after the rebellion. Jones's especial pet. and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges. Moses said. Orwell seems to offer a very cynical and harsh view of the Church. But as the pigs led by Napoleon become more and more like Mr. and the full-circle is complete. is the only animal who doesn't work. he suddenly returns and picks up right where he left off. So Napoleon feeds Moses with beer. since the lies about Heaven they thought would only lead the animals away from the equality of socialism. a little distance beyond the clouds. Jones. Moses: Moses is perhaps Orwell's most intriguing character in Animal Farm. Orwell narrates. and he was successful in many ways before the rebellion. Jones." Moses represents Orwell's view of the Church. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain. who was Mr. (More on this in the Napoleon section. but he was also a clever talker. the tame raven. It was situated somewhere up in the sky. This raven. who many consider to be someone who totally ignored Marx's political and social theory. clover was in season all the year round. The animals hated Moses because he told tales and did no work but some of them believed in Sugarcandy Mountain. and there is no way to escape the evil grasp of capitalism. Moses. Using old Major's seeming naivety. This proves that Animal Farm is not simply an anti- . "The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses. no pure socialist civilization can exist.) Unfortunately when Napoleon and Squealer take over. Orwell concludes that no society is perfect. To Orwell.
. Trotsky too. the arch-rival of Stalin in Russia. and feared that Trotsky supporters might try to assassinate him. where he spoke out against Stalin. "Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the debates. the Kremlin officials of today are trying to keep their people motivated." Soon the differences. but to Mexico. Both pigs wanted a leadership position in the "new" economic and political system (which is actually contradictory to the whole supposed system of equality).communist work meant to lead people into capitalism and Christianity. The parallels between Trotsky and Snowball are uncanny. was exiled. Snowball represents Trotsky. Napoleon: Napoleon is Orwell's chief villain in Animal Farm." Later. not from the farm. but in the "old-fashioned" hope of an after-life. for the fear of losing leadership was very great in the crazy man's mind. he took the puppies away from their mothers in efforts to establish a private police force. For example. but he thought he could run Russia better than Stalin. Really Orwell found loop-holes and much hypocrisy in both systems. Trotsky also believed in Communism. the NKVD-the pre-organization of the KGB. become too great to deal with. It's interesting that recently in Russia the government has begun to allow religion again. The dictator of Russia tried hard to kill Trotsky. Trotsky was murdered in Mexico by the Russian internal police. both eventually realize that one of them will have to step down. Trotsky was found with a pick axe in his head at his villa in Mexico. Stalin was very weary of Trotsky. but a careful look tells otherwise. Orwell makes the case stronger. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made. "These two disagreed at every point disagreement was possible. not in the ideology of communism. so Napoleon decides that Snowball must be eliminated. his arch-rival. It almost seems that like the pigs. the other could be counted to oppose it. Napoleon was setting the stage for his own domination long before he really began "dishing it out" to Snowball. like whether or not to build a windmill. Snowball: Orwell describes Snowball as a pig very similar to Napoleon— at least in the early stages. But as time goes on. Orwell says that the two were always arguing. It might seem that this was a spontaneous reaction. These dogs would later be used to eliminate Snowball.
since usually the lowest class has the lowest intelligence. Orwell believed that although socialism is good as an ideal. He even hires a pig to sample his food for him to make certain that no one is trying to poison him. leaving the original equality of socialism behind. By the end of the book. Comrade Napoleon. too. "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer--except. he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Napoleon doesn't even pretend to lead a socialist state. it can never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. the dictator of France. Stalin. much like the distorted Stalin view of socialism. Obviously a metaphor for Stalin. Comrade Napoleon represents the human frailties of any revolution. was a cruel dictator in Russia. It was this rebellion which signaled the beginning of communism in red China. giving himself all the power and living in luxury while the common peasant suffered. This lower class is naturally drawn to Stalin (Napoleon) because it seems as though they will benefit most from his new system. Boxer and Clover are used by Orwell to represent the proletariat. or unskilled labor class in Russian society. After suspecting many people in his empire to be supporters of Trotsky (Orwell's Snowball). Stalin systematically murders many. is really the central character on the farm. of course for the pigs and the dogs. Also. was thought by many to be the Anti-Christ. Of course Stalin did too in Russia. Orwell explains. After renaming it a Republic and instituting his own version of the commandments and the Beasts of England. the pig.The name Napoleon is very coincidental since Napoleon. Since Boxer and the other low animals are not accustomed to the "good life." they can't really compare Napoleon's government to the life they had before under the czars (Jones). while his national and international status blossomed. the welfare of Russia remained unchanged. it is not difficult to persuade them into . For example. Thus. is still present today in the oppressive social government in China." The true side of Napoleon becomes evident after he slaughters so many animals for plotting against him. although Napoleon seems as first to be a good leader. This communism. Napoleon. Boxer: The name Boxer is cleverly used by Orwell as a metaphor for the Boxer Rebellion in China in the early twentieth century. he quickly becomes more or less a dictator who of course has never even been elected by the animals.
but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers.thinking they are getting a good deal. He's first described as a manipulator and persuader. Soon Mollie is confronted by the "dedicated" animals. like . the importance of the proletariat is shown when Boxer suddenly falls and there is suddenly a drastic decrease in work productivity. Mollie is the animal who is most opposed to the new government under Napoleon. When Squealer masks an evil intention of the pigs. This would seem inconsistent with Orwell's satire. But still he is taken for granted by the pigs. Propaganda was a key to many publications. "Their most faithful disciples were the two carthorses. she just wants to tie her hair with ribbons and eat sugar." Later. but she represents something very important. who send him away in a glue truck. Those two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves. like the newspaper. things her social status won't allow. "He could turn black into white. Mollie characterizes the typical middle-class skilled worker who suffers from this new communism concept. Orwell supports this contention when he narrates. Squealer: Squealer is an intriguing character in Orwell's Animal Farm. Orwell narrates. who was the minister of propaganda for Germany. No longer will she get her sugar (nice salary) because she is now just as low as the other animals. The proletariat is also quite good at convincing each other that communism is a good idea." Many critics correlate Squealer with the Pravda. and since their was no television or radio. Mollie: Mollie is one of Orwell's minor characters. She doesn't care much about the politics of the whole situation. In Animal Farm. Squealer is also thought by some to represent Goebbels. however. which was suppose to metaphor characters in Russia. the intentions of the communists can be carried out with little resistance and without political disarray. and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments. Many animals consider her a trader when she is seen being petted by a human from a neighboring farm. the Russian newspaper of the 1930's. is the link between Napoleon and other animals. the newspaper was the primary source of media information. Truly Boxer is the biggest posterchild for gullibility. they absorbed everything that they were told. Squealer. Boxer and Clover. So the monopoly of the Pravda was seized by Stalin and his new Bolshevik regime. and she quietly leaves the farm.
when he tries to warn the others of Boxer's fate. so he said. never becoming too exited or too disappointed about anything that has passed. it makes sense that during any rebellion there or those who never totally embrace the revolution— those so cynical they no longer look to their leaders for help. He is not sucked in by Napoleon's propaganda like the others.Boxer and Clover. Benjamin is the only animal who doesn't seem to have expected anything positive from the revolution. although before he had been completely independent. It's almost as if the old donkey finally comes out of his shell. an elderly donkey. the critics of any new rebellion. Benjamin: Old Benjamin. And the animals do try to rescue Boxer. He is described as rather unchanged since the rebellion. "Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been. Benjamin explains. the unalterable law of life. This continues to dispel the believe Orwell hated that basically all animals act the same. There are always those resistant to change. Orwell uses Mollie to characterize the people after any rebellion who aren't too receptive to new leaders and new economics. "Donkeys live a long time. Benjamin still remembers everything. Orwell states. Really this old donkey is the only animal who seems as though he couldn't care less about Napoleon and Animal Farm. After the animals have forgotten Jones and their past lives. He still does his work the same way. It's almost as if he can see into the future. but it's too late. hardship. his perfectly fitted demeanor. He almost seems on a whole different maturity lever compared to the other animals. is one of Orwell's most elusive and intriguing characters on Animal Farm." Although there is no clear metaphoric relationship between Benjamin and Orwell's critique of communism. Benjamin symbolizes the older generation. and disappointment being. The only time he seems to care about the others at all is when Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. and will flop in the end. nor ever could be much better or much worse— hunger. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey. Benjamin seems to be finally confronting Napoleon and revealing his knowledge of the pigs' hypocrisy. knowing that the revolt is only a temporary change. The naivety of Marxism is criticized— socialism is not perfect and it doesn't work for everyone." Muriel: Muriel is a knowledgeable goat who reads the .
This contention is supported as Orwell describes Napoleon's early and suspicious removal of six puppies from their mother. Obviously George Orwell doesn't believe such a society can exist. Unfortunately for the other animals. Orwell almost speaks of the dogs as mindless robots. to represent the KGB or perhaps more accurately. the pigs and the dogs. the bodyguards of Stalin. unlike other animals. never to return again. the animals crept back into the barn.commandments for Clover. of course. they were huge dogs. but later is enlightened when Orwell describes the chase of Snowball. and as fierce-looking as wolves. "utopian" society. Orwell narrates. "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer— except. Though not yet full-grown. so dedicated to Napoleon that they can't really speak for themselves. Jones. Toward the end of the book. Pigs: Orwell uses the pigs to surround and support Napoleon. At first no one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from. who criticized Marx's oversimplified view of a socialist. Animal Farm." Dogs: Orwell uses the dogs in his book. The dogs are the arch-defenders of Napoleon and the pigs. forcing him to flee. and although they don't speak. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. before Snowball has a chance to stand up and give a counter-argument to Napoleon's disapproval of the windmill. They kept close to Napoleon. They symbolize the communist party loyalists and the friends of Stalin." . Muriel is not charismatic or inspired enough to take action and oppose Napoleon and his pigs. Orwell emphasizes. live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the society they help control. the dogs viciously attack the pig. they are definitely a force the other animals have to contend with. Napoleon uses his "secret dogs" for the first time here. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. Muriel represents the minority of working class people who are educated enough to decide things for themselves and find critical and hypocritical problems with their leaders. The pigs. but the problem was soon solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. The reader is left in the dark for a while. The inequality and true hypocrisy of communism is expressed here by Orwell. "Silent and terrified.
who makes many secret deals and treaties with him. During the world wide depression. These animals depend on their backs." which was strategically inspired by the pigs. Frederick. four legs good.The use of the dogs begins the evil use of force which helps Napoleon maintain power. the neighbor of Animal Farm. through the course of the book. Pilkington: Orwell uses Pilkington. This created many international problems. Like the Soviet Union before World War II. This is how Trotsky was killed." Really there are followers loyal to any politician or government leader. as a metaphor for the Allies of World War II (excluding. the country would trade. but Stalin in particular needed a special police force to eliminate his opponents. only to find that they are worthless. becomes an enemy and then a friend and then an enemy again to Napoleon. The animals are stubborn and easily swayed. Frederick. Many times the trades were unfair and fraudulent. Orwell points out repeatedly that if it wasn't for the bleating of the sheep. Napoleon and the other pigs even go as far as to invite him over for dinner at the end of the book. countries were forced by necessity to trade with other countries. Later. But after losing the relationship with Frederick (Germany). Here Mr. Frederick: The theme of the gun and flag rituals performed by the animals at the urging of Napoleon is strengthened through Orwell's description of Mr. Thus. Both the horses and sheep represent in many ways the proletariat. One country would have a product or natural resource another country would not. not their brains. So you can see the parallels are clear. "Two legs bad. too. Napoleon (Stalin) decides to befriend Pilkington. Napoleon sells the wood to Frederick for bank notes. One of the major problems the two farms have is the issue of the timber. therefore to survive. or working class of unskilled laborers. another neighbor of Animal Farm. Napoleon wouldn't have the power and control that he eventually came to enjoy and then abuse. the dogs do even more dastardly things when they are instructed to kill the animals labeled "disloyal. Animals: The sheep and other animals are very similar to Boxer and Clover. of course Russia). they fall into the bottom of society and are the focal point of politicians' brainwashing. had his own special force of "helpers. and ally with him. to do work." Stalin. Animal Farm wasn't sure who their allies would be. Pilkington and his .
How much work are the animals now doing? (The animals still believe they are working for themselves. But soon the cold war would begin between the United States and Russia.. Russia had created an iron curtain even before WWII. 1. banging on the table. like Germany. These are the wild animals.. and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm." Russia's allies. also admired it's efficiency. In the 1950's in the United States. The fear of communism became a phobia in America and anyone speaking out against the government was a suspect. there were still others around. but it never allowed experts or scientists from outside the country to check on its validity. The rats and rabbits symbolize other political parties. and even the United States. The Communist government raved about its achievements and its advanced technology. the long working hours. not to Russia. Pigeons: The pigeons symbolize Soviet propaganda. for that matter) represent the opposition to the Bolsheviks. There were shouting. from famous actors in Hollywood to middle-class common people. Although they . Pilkington once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations. Many Western governments have gone through a similar problem with their people in this century. They too. Rats: Orwell's rats (and the other wild animals. after the war. Orwell mentions the fact that the other farmers became suspicious and worried when their animals began to sing Beasts of England. France. had to be included in the rebellion.a violent quarrel was in progress." Amazingly Orwell seemed to sense the start of American-Russian tension for years to come. "An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. furious denials. Joseph McCarthy was a legislative member of the government from Wisconsin. sharp suspicious glances. There was a huge "Red Scare" in the United States in the 20's. Although the communist party took off with Lenin. He accused hundreds of people of supporting the Communist regime. but to other countries.men congratulate Napoleon on the efficiency of Animal Farm. although for the longest time they sided with the another party. This is unbelievably also referred to in the book (published in 1946) when Orwell writes. like rabbits. "Mr. Orwell narrates. England.
) 4. However. any animal not volunteering will have his rations cut in half. Napoleon decides to sell a stack of hay and part of the wheat crop. Napoleon blames Snowball for blowing it up.) 2.already work a sixty-hour week during spring and summer. By keeping the animals busy building a windmill that will supposedly ease all their lives. including preventing the animals from becoming too discouraged to begin building if they wait until spring. “Four legs good. the animals will forget how miserably cold and hungry .” Squealer later explains the decision and asks if they have seen such a resolution written down. Instead of admitting that the windmill’s walls were not thick enough to support it against a strong wind. Why does Napoleon decide to engage in trade with neighboring farms? (Because certain items such as paraffin oil and dog biscuits are in short supply. How do the animals react? (They are troubled and think they remember a resolution against trade with humans. Why does Napoleon insist the windmill must be rebuilt immediately? (Napoleon probably had many reasons. How is the windmill destroyed? Why does Napoleon blame Snowball? (A violent November storm blows it down. Four young pigs try to protest but are silenced by the dogs’ growls and the sheep’s bleating of the slogan.) 3. Since Snowball had drawn up the plans. two legs bad. Napoleon informs them they can volunteer for Sunday afternoon work as well.) 5. but no such record is found. Later they may have to sell some of the hens’ eggs. the blame for its failure is partly his.
Explain why the animals confessed to being traitors. or the cows’ fault when they don’t give much milk-it is Snowball’s fault. it is.) A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm 8 7. they are to be killed. The hens must give up their eggs for sale so that meal and grain can be purchase for the good of all. The dogs enforce his orders. If any other animals give any food to the chickens.) 8. someone they can accuse in place of wrong-doers. Why does Napoleon order that the hens’ eggs be sold? (The animals are nearly starving and there is almost no food left. It is not the pigs’ fault when a storage-shed key is lost. How does Napoleon react when the hens’ rebel against his orders? (He orders the hens’ food rations cut off. They need an outside enemy to hate. The other animals want to disagree but can’t and finally give in and agree with Boxer that if Napoleon says it is so.) 6. because “Napoleon is always right. Why does Napoleon revive the threat of the farm being sabotaged by Snowball? (Snowball is the perfect scapegoat. Nine hens die of starvation before then hens give up their five-day protest. the one who can be blamed when something goes wrong. Snowball is discredited totally through the use of lies and false accusations. They probably are guilty of not wholeheartedly .”) 9. Or is there any explanation? (The four pigs who are taken first are the same four who had disagreed previously with Napoleon’s decisions.they are during the hard winter.
one might finally realize that one Rebellion was not enough and lead another rebellion. to crimes against the state. so in that sense they were guilty. death might be seen as a release for these poor animals at this point. replaced by a patriotic song about Napoleon. All the dissidents are killed on the spot. One of the last traces of the society envisioned by Major is now gone. this time against the pigs. as do many others. leader of Animal Farm. Certainly. the three hens who had led the egg rebellion confess. Even though the resolution against animals killing animals has not been broken before.supporting Napoleon’s policies. Jones. Even though the rest of the animals seem too dull-witted to realize that the pigs are just as bad as Mr. However death is the punishment. Probably most of them did not support one or more of Napoleon’s policies. . but close enough.) Students will probably want to talk about Chapter VII and may need more of an explanation of the murders of the animals. There is a resolution against animals killing one another.) 10. Nine of the hens were starved to death-not murdered. The bleating of the sheep keeps any of the animals from protesting. there have been threats of death to wrong-doers. and the pigs are in control of the farm. Why does Napoleon order the animals to stop singing “Beasts of England?” (The Rebellion is over. They undoubtedly expected forgiveness rather than death. Next. However. No doubt a certain amount of mass hysteria would have contributed to the large number of confessions. they do not expect to be killed for it.
and Eileen gave up work to look after her family. It was while he was there that Eileen went into hospital for a hysterectomy and died under anaesthetic on 29 March 1945. By February 1945 David Astor had invited Orwell to become a war correspondent for the Observer. He returned finally to London to cover the 1945 UK General Election at the beginning of July. Gollancz refused to publish it. Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war. and a year later in the U.Point out how the animals react to the murders and how they gain some comfort by gathering together and singing “Beasts of England. Baby Richard joined them there. on 26 August 1946. .” What will comfort them now that the song has been banned? By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication.. She had not given Orwell much notice about this operation because of worries about the cost and because she expected to make a speedy recovery. In June a V-1 flying bomb landed on Mortimer Crescent and the Orwells had to find somewhere else to live. but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action. S. The decision is believed to be due to the influence of Peter Smollett. In May the Orwells had the opportunity to adopt a child. Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books. and carting them away in a wheelbarrow. He went to Paris after the liberation of France and to Cologne once it had been occupied. planned for the following March. then a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne. Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe. Eliot at Faber and Faber) until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it. Another bombshell was Cape's withdrawal of support of Animal Farm. A similar fate was met from other publishers (including T. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story was published in Britain on 17 August 1945. The Orwells spent some time in the North East dealing with matters in the adoption of a boy whom they named Richard Horatio.S. considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. thanks to the contacts of Eileen's sister Gwen O'Shaughnassy. Secker and Warburg had agreed to publish Animal Farm. In October 1944 they had set up home in Islington in a flat on the 7th floor of a block. although it did not appear in print until August 1945. who worked at the Ministry of Information and was later disclosed to be a Soviet agent. which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington.
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