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Character Profiles Animal Farm

Character Profiles Animal Farm

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Character Profiles Mr.

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

The pigs don't mind this time because the animals have already realized that the "equality" of the revolt is a farce. (More on this in the Napoleon section. After being away for several years. Jones's especial pet. Orwell uses Moses to criticize Marx's belief that the Church will just go away after the rebellion. Moses said. Moses finds his place again. the Church is just used as a tool by dictatorships to keep the working class of people hopeful and productive. Orwell concludes that no society is perfect. is the only animal who doesn't work. It was situated somewhere up in the sky. This proves that Animal Farm is not simply an anti- . a little distance beyond the clouds. clover was in season all the year round. and he was successful in many ways before the rebellion. and there is no way to escape the evil grasp of capitalism. first described as the "especial pet" of Mr. This raven. no pure socialist civilization can exist. Moses. Using old Major's seeming naivety. who was Mr.) Unfortunately when Napoleon and Squealer take over. "The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses. to which al animals went when they died. This could be Orwell's attempt to dig Stalin. he suddenly returns and picks up right where he left off." Moses represents Orwell's view of the Church. But as the pigs led by Napoleon become more and more like Mr. and the full-circle is complete. So Napoleon feeds Moses with beer.following through on the old Major's honest proposal. The animals hated Moses because he told tales and did no work but some of them believed in Sugarcandy Mountain. the tame raven. and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges. He claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called Sugarcandy Mountain. who many consider to be someone who totally ignored Marx's political and social theory. To Orwell. Jones. Jones first used Moses to keep the animals working. Jones. He's also the only character who doesn't listen to Old Major's speech of rebellion. Orwell seems to offer a very cynical and harsh view of the Church. In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week. The pigs had a real hard time getting rid of Moses. old Major becomes more and more a distant fragment of the past in the minds of the farm animals. and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them that there was no such place. Moses: Moses is perhaps Orwell's most intriguing character in Animal Farm. was a spy and a tale-bearer. but he was also a clever talker. Orwell narrates. since the lies about Heaven they thought would only lead the animals away from the equality of socialism.

become too great to deal with. but a careful look tells otherwise. so Napoleon decides that Snowball must be eliminated. but to Mexico. "These two disagreed at every point disagreement was possible. not from the farm." Later. The dictator of Russia tried hard to kill Trotsky. the Kremlin officials of today are trying to keep their people motivated. was exiled. he took the puppies away from their mothers in efforts to establish a private police force. "Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the debates. the NKVD-the pre-organization of the KGB. Orwell makes the case stronger. like whether or not to build a windmill. and feared that Trotsky supporters might try to assassinate him. the other could be counted to oppose it. It's interesting that recently in Russia the government has begun to allow religion again. These dogs would later be used to eliminate Snowball. his arch-rival. the arch-rival of Stalin in Russia. but he thought he could run Russia better than Stalin.communist work meant to lead people into capitalism and Christianity." Soon the differences. Snowball represents Trotsky. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made. Really Orwell found loop-holes and much hypocrisy in both systems. Trotsky was found with a pick axe in his head at his villa in Mexico. For example. Trotsky was murdered in Mexico by the Russian internal police. Snowball: Orwell describes Snowball as a pig very similar to Napoleon— at least in the early stages. Napoleon: Napoleon is Orwell's chief villain in Animal Farm. But as time goes on. It almost seems that like the pigs. but in the "old-fashioned" hope of an after-life. Trotsky too. Trotsky also believed in Communism. for the fear of losing leadership was very great in the crazy man's mind. not in the ideology of communism. Orwell says that the two were always arguing. . It might seem that this was a spontaneous reaction. both eventually realize that one of them will have to step down. where he spoke out against Stalin. The parallels between Trotsky and Snowball are uncanny. Napoleon was setting the stage for his own domination long before he really began "dishing it out" to Snowball. Stalin was very weary of Trotsky. Both pigs wanted a leadership position in the "new" economic and political system (which is actually contradictory to the whole supposed system of equality).

Obviously a metaphor for Stalin. it is not difficult to persuade them into . Since Boxer and the other low animals are not accustomed to the "good life. much like the distorted Stalin view of socialism. Boxer and Clover are used by Orwell to represent the proletariat. Napoleon. "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer--except. Boxer: The name Boxer is cleverly used by Orwell as a metaphor for the Boxer Rebellion in China in the early twentieth century. Thus. Stalin. it can never be successfully adopted due to uncontrollable sins of human nature. or unskilled labor class in Russian society. After renaming it a Republic and instituting his own version of the commandments and the Beasts of England. is really the central character on the farm. Also. This communism. the dictator of France. After suspecting many people in his empire to be supporters of Trotsky (Orwell's Snowball). He even hires a pig to sample his food for him to make certain that no one is trying to poison him. Comrade Napoleon represents the human frailties of any revolution. too. Orwell explains. It was this rebellion which signaled the beginning of communism in red China. he quickly becomes more or less a dictator who of course has never even been elected by the animals. he is eventually overcome by greed and soon becomes power-hungry. Napoleon doesn't even pretend to lead a socialist state. By the end of the book. the pig. For example." The true side of Napoleon becomes evident after he slaughters so many animals for plotting against him. is still present today in the oppressive social government in China. Comrade Napoleon. Orwell believed that although socialism is good as an ideal. giving himself all the power and living in luxury while the common peasant suffered." they can't really compare Napoleon's government to the life they had before under the czars (Jones). was a cruel dictator in Russia. Stalin systematically murders many. This lower class is naturally drawn to Stalin (Napoleon) because it seems as though they will benefit most from his new system.The name Napoleon is very coincidental since Napoleon. although Napoleon seems as first to be a good leader. was thought by many to be the Anti-Christ. while his national and international status blossomed. leaving the original equality of socialism behind. the welfare of Russia remained unchanged. since usually the lowest class has the lowest intelligence. of course for the pigs and the dogs. Of course Stalin did too in Russia.

the importance of the proletariat is shown when Boxer suddenly falls and there is suddenly a drastic decrease in work productivity. they absorbed everything that they were told. but she represents something very important. No longer will she get her sugar (nice salary) because she is now just as low as the other animals. however. who was the minister of propaganda for Germany. Squealer is also thought by some to represent Goebbels. Those two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves. and she quietly leaves the farm. things her social status won't allow. but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers. and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments. the Russian newspaper of the 1930's. Truly Boxer is the biggest posterchild for gullibility. But still he is taken for granted by the pigs. Soon Mollie is confronted by the "dedicated" animals. Squealer: Squealer is an intriguing character in Orwell's Animal Farm. like . This would seem inconsistent with Orwell's satire. Mollie is the animal who is most opposed to the new government under Napoleon. Propaganda was a key to many publications. like the newspaper. He's first described as a manipulator and persuader. Mollie: Mollie is one of Orwell's minor characters. In Animal Farm.thinking they are getting a good deal. So the monopoly of the Pravda was seized by Stalin and his new Bolshevik regime. She doesn't care much about the politics of the whole situation. "Their most faithful disciples were the two carthorses. which was suppose to metaphor characters in Russia. is the link between Napoleon and other animals. Many animals consider her a trader when she is seen being petted by a human from a neighboring farm." Many critics correlate Squealer with the Pravda. Boxer and Clover. The proletariat is also quite good at convincing each other that communism is a good idea. she just wants to tie her hair with ribbons and eat sugar. "He could turn black into white. the intentions of the communists can be carried out with little resistance and without political disarray. Orwell narrates. When Squealer masks an evil intention of the pigs. Mollie characterizes the typical middle-class skilled worker who suffers from this new communism concept. Squealer. who send him away in a glue truck." Later. and since their was no television or radio. the newspaper was the primary source of media information. Orwell supports this contention when he narrates.

The only time he seems to care about the others at all is when Boxer is carried off in the glue truck. He is described as rather unchanged since the rebellion. Orwell states. Really this old donkey is the only animal who seems as though he couldn't care less about Napoleon and Animal Farm. so he said. an elderly donkey. "Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been.Boxer and Clover. is one of Orwell's most elusive and intriguing characters on Animal Farm. It's almost as if the old donkey finally comes out of his shell. Benjamin symbolizes the older generation. This continues to dispel the believe Orwell hated that basically all animals act the same. and will flop in the end. but it's too late. Benjamin is the only animal who doesn't seem to have expected anything positive from the revolution. He still does his work the same way. He is not sucked in by Napoleon's propaganda like the others. nor ever could be much better or much worse— hunger. Benjamin seems to be finally confronting Napoleon and revealing his knowledge of the pigs' hypocrisy. Orwell uses Mollie to characterize the people after any rebellion who aren't too receptive to new leaders and new economics. Benjamin: Old Benjamin. although before he had been completely independent. never becoming too exited or too disappointed about anything that has passed. After the animals have forgotten Jones and their past lives. when he tries to warn the others of Boxer's fate. Benjamin still remembers everything. It's almost as if he can see into the future. He almost seems on a whole different maturity lever compared to the other animals. There are always those resistant to change. and disappointment being." Although there is no clear metaphoric relationship between Benjamin and Orwell's critique of communism. the unalterable law of life. And the animals do try to rescue Boxer. knowing that the revolt is only a temporary change. hardship. the critics of any new rebellion." Muriel: Muriel is a knowledgeable goat who reads the . Benjamin explains. 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. "Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey. The naivety of Marxism is criticized— socialism is not perfect and it doesn't work for everyone. his perfectly fitted demeanor.

The reader is left in the dark for a while. Pigs: Orwell uses the pigs to surround and support Napoleon. "Silent and terrified. 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. The pigs. before Snowball has a chance to stand up and give a counter-argument to Napoleon's disapproval of the windmill.commandments for Clover. to represent the KGB or perhaps more accurately. Animal Farm. They kept close to Napoleon. but later is enlightened when Orwell describes the chase of Snowball. forcing him to flee. and although they don't speak. Unfortunately for the other animals. Napoleon uses his "secret dogs" for the first time here. Orwell emphasizes. Orwell narrates. The dogs are the arch-defenders of Napoleon and the pigs. In a moment the dogs came bounding back. This contention is supported as Orwell describes Napoleon's early and suspicious removal of six puppies from their mother. who criticized Marx's oversimplified view of a socialist. The inequality and true hypocrisy of communism is expressed here by Orwell. Obviously George Orwell doesn't believe such a society can exist. so dedicated to Napoleon that they can't really speak for themselves. unlike other animals. Toward the end of the book. and as fierce-looking as wolves. At first no one had been able to imagine where these creatures came from. "Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer— except. 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. Jones. they were huge dogs." Dogs: Orwell uses the dogs in his book. Orwell almost speaks of the dogs as mindless robots. the bodyguards of Stalin. live in luxury and enjoy the benefits of the society they help control. they are definitely a force the other animals have to contend with. They symbolize the communist party loyalists and the friends of Stalin. Though not yet full-grown. the pigs and the dogs. of course. the dogs viciously attack the pig. never to return again." . "utopian" society. the animals crept back into the barn. but the problem was soon solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from their mothers and reared privately. Muriel is not charismatic or inspired enough to take action and oppose Napoleon and his pigs.

had his own special force of "helpers. This created many international problems. Animals: The sheep and other animals are very similar to Boxer and Clover. the dogs do even more dastardly things when they are instructed to kill the animals labeled "disloyal. One country would have a product or natural resource another country would not. four legs good. becomes an enemy and then a friend and then an enemy again to Napoleon. only to find that they are worthless. Thus." Really there are followers loyal to any politician or government leader. Like the Soviet Union before World War II." which was strategically inspired by the pigs. they fall into the bottom of society and are the focal point of politicians' brainwashing. as a metaphor for the Allies of World War II (excluding." Stalin. This is how Trotsky was killed. "Two legs bad. through the course of the book. Later.The use of the dogs begins the evil use of force which helps Napoleon maintain power. Animal Farm wasn't sure who their allies would be. Napoleon and the other pigs even go as far as to invite him over for dinner at the end of the book. to do work. Orwell points out repeatedly that if it wasn't for the bleating of the sheep. Pilkington: Orwell uses Pilkington. another neighbor of Animal Farm. Both the horses and sheep represent in many ways the proletariat. not their brains. Napoleon wouldn't have the power and control that he eventually came to enjoy and then abuse. the neighbor of Animal Farm. So you can see the parallels are clear. Napoleon (Stalin) decides to befriend Pilkington. But after losing the relationship with Frederick (Germany). of course Russia). During the world wide depression. countries were forced by necessity to trade with other countries. Pilkington and his . Here Mr. but Stalin in particular needed a special police force to eliminate his opponents. The animals are stubborn and easily swayed. These animals depend on their backs. too. or working class of unskilled laborers. One of the major problems the two farms have is the issue of the timber. Frederick. and ally with him. who makes many secret deals and treaties with him. 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. Frederick. therefore to survive. Many times the trades were unfair and fraudulent. Napoleon sells the wood to Frederick for bank notes. the country would trade.

for that matter) represent the opposition to the Bolsheviks. there were still others around. not to Russia. There were shouting. The fear of communism became a phobia in America and anyone speaking out against the government was a suspect. the long working hours. These are the wild animals. But soon the cold war would begin between the United States and Russia. The Communist government raved about its achievements and its advanced technology. Orwell narrates. Many Western governments have gone through a similar problem with their people in this century. England. Pilkington once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations. Although the communist party took off with Lenin.. also admired it's efficiency. The rats and rabbits symbolize other political parties. Rats: Orwell's rats (and the other wild animals. banging on the table. Russia had created an iron curtain even before WWII. Although they . but it never allowed experts or scientists from outside the country to check on its validity." Amazingly Orwell seemed to sense the start of American-Russian tension for years to come. How much work are the animals now doing? (The animals still believe they are working for themselves. Orwell mentions the fact that the other farmers became suspicious and worried when their animals began to sing Beasts of England. Joseph McCarthy was a legislative member of the government from Wisconsin. but to other countries. They too. This is unbelievably also referred to in the book (published in 1946) when Orwell writes. from famous actors in Hollywood to middle-class common people. "An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. after the war. Pigeons: The pigeons symbolize Soviet propaganda. furious denials. He accused hundreds of people of supporting the Communist regime. There was a huge "Red Scare" in the United States in the 20's. like Germany. and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm.men congratulate Napoleon on the efficiency of Animal Farm. although for the longest time they sided with the another party. and even the United States. like rabbits. In the 1950's in the United States." Russia's allies. "Mr.a violent quarrel was in progress.. had to be included in the rebellion. sharp suspicious glances. 1. France.

However. Instead of admitting that the windmill’s walls were not thick enough to support it against a strong wind. By keeping the animals busy building a windmill that will supposedly ease all their lives.) 4. Why does Napoleon insist the windmill must be rebuilt immediately? (Napoleon probably had many reasons. including preventing the animals from becoming too discouraged to begin building if they wait until spring. Napoleon informs them they can volunteer for Sunday afternoon work as well.) 2. Napoleon blames Snowball for blowing it up. but no such record is found.” Squealer later explains the decision and asks if they have seen such a resolution written down.already work a sixty-hour week during spring and summer. How do the animals react? (They are troubled and think they remember a resolution against trade with humans. 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. two legs bad.) 3.) 5. the blame for its failure is partly his. Napoleon decides to sell a stack of hay and part of the wheat crop. How is the windmill destroyed? Why does Napoleon blame Snowball? (A violent November storm blows it down. Since Snowball had drawn up the plans. Four young pigs try to protest but are silenced by the dogs’ growls and the sheep’s bleating of the slogan. the animals will forget how miserably cold and hungry . Later they may have to sell some of the hens’ eggs. any animal not volunteering will have his rations cut in half. “Four legs good.

Snowball is discredited totally through the use of lies and false accusations. someone they can accuse in place of wrong-doers.) A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm 8 7. They probably are guilty of not wholeheartedly . Explain why the animals confessed to being traitors. How does Napoleon react when the hens’ rebel against his orders? (He orders the hens’ food rations cut off.”) 9.) 6.) 8. Why does Napoleon revive the threat of the farm being sabotaged by Snowball? (Snowball is the perfect scapegoat. If any other animals give any food to the chickens.they are during the hard winter. The other animals want to disagree but can’t and finally give in and agree with Boxer that if Napoleon says it is so. because “Napoleon is always right. The hens must give up their eggs for sale so that meal and grain can be purchase for the good of all. It is not the pigs’ fault when a storage-shed key is lost. the one who can be blamed when something goes wrong. it is. The dogs enforce his orders. Why does Napoleon order that the hens’ eggs be sold? (The animals are nearly starving and there is almost no food left. or the cows’ fault when they don’t give much milk-it is Snowball’s fault. Or is there any explanation? (The four pigs who are taken first are the same four who had disagreed previously with Napoleon’s decisions. Nine hens die of starvation before then hens give up their five-day protest. They need an outside enemy to hate. they are to be killed.

Probably most of them did not support one or more of Napoleon’s policies. . However death is the punishment. The bleating of the sheep keeps any of the animals from protesting. as do many others. so in that sense they were guilty.) 10. Jones. to crimes against the state.) Students will probably want to talk about Chapter VII and may need more of an explanation of the murders of the animals. leader of Animal Farm. They undoubtedly expected forgiveness rather than death.supporting Napoleon’s policies. this time against the pigs. the three hens who had led the egg rebellion confess. replaced by a patriotic song about Napoleon. 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. Even though the rest of the animals seem too dull-witted to realize that the pigs are just as bad as Mr. There is a resolution against animals killing one another. and the pigs are in control of the farm. Even though the resolution against animals killing animals has not been broken before. death might be seen as a release for these poor animals at this point. one might finally realize that one Rebellion was not enough and lead another rebellion. but close enough. All the dissidents are killed on the spot. However. Nine of the hens were starved to death-not murdered. Why does Napoleon order the animals to stop singing “Beasts of England?” (The Rebellion is over. One of the last traces of the society envisioned by Major is now gone. Certainly. there have been threats of death to wrong-doers. Next.

In October 1944 they had set up home in Islington in a flat on the 7th floor of a block. Gollancz refused to publish it. In May the Orwells had the opportunity to adopt a child. Secker and Warburg had agreed to publish Animal Farm. and carting them away in a wheelbarrow.. Baby Richard joined them there. S.S. Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe. who worked at the Ministry of Information and was later disclosed to be a Soviet agent. considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war.[32] The Orwells spent some time in the North East dealing with matters in the adoption of a boy whom they named Richard Horatio. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story was published in Britain on 17 August 1945. By February 1945 David Astor had invited Orwell to become a war correspondent for the Observer. Another bombshell was Cape's withdrawal of support of Animal Farm. and a year later in the U. but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action. which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington. Eliot at Faber and Faber) until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it. planned for the following March.” What will comfort them now that the song has been banned? By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication. In June a V-1 flying bomb landed on Mortimer Crescent and the Orwells had to find somewhere else to live. . on 26 August 1946. Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books. thanks to the contacts of Eileen's sister Gwen O'Shaughnassy. although it did not appear in print until August 1945.Point out how the animals react to the murders and how they gain some comfort by gathering together and singing “Beasts of England. A similar fate was met from other publishers (including T. Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war. He went to Paris after the liberation of France and to Cologne once it had been occupied. It was while he was there that Eileen went into hospital for a hysterectomy and died under anaesthetic on 29 March 1945. 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. The decision is believed to be due to the influence of Peter Smollett. He returned finally to London to cover the 1945 UK General Election at the beginning of July. and Eileen gave up work to look after her family. then a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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