Literapedia Book Notes for

Animal Farm by George Orwell


Characters

  • Mr. Jones (ch 1) — the human owner of the farm
  • Mrs. Jones (ch 1) — Mr. Jones's wife
  • Old Major (ch 1) — twelve year old pig that lays out the basic ideas and fundementals for the revolution
  • Bluebell, Jess, Pincher (ch 1) — the three dogs of the farm
  • Boxer and Clover (ch 1) — the two faithful cart-horses
  • Muriel (ch 1) — the cynical white goat; friends with boxer
  • Benjamin (ch 1) — the donkey
  • Mollie (ch 1) — the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap; likes ribbons
  • Moses (ch 1) — the tame raven, Mr. Jones's especial pet, a spy and tale-bearer, clever at talking
  • Snowball and Napoleon (ch 2) — the two young boars that took the lead in teaching and organizing the other animals on the farm after Old Major dies
  • Squealer (ch 2) — the best known porker, who was a brilliant talker, helped spread Old Major's teachings
  • Mr. Pilkington (ch 4) — negligent owner of Foxwood farm, who spent most of his time fishing or hunting; dislikes Mr. Frederick
  • Mr. Frederick (ch 4) — farmer who dislikes Mr. Pilkington; owner of Pinchfield farm
  • Minimus (ch 5) — a pig who had a talent for composing songs and poems, sat next to Napoleon along with Squealer during Sunday morning meetings
  • Mr. Wymper (ch 6) — a solicitor living in Willingdon, who acts as an intermediary between Animal Farm and the outside world

Chapter Summaries

  1. Old Major rounds up the farm animals in a meeting and tells them about his dream and ideas. He teaches them "Beasts of England" as their rallying song.
  2. Old Major dies and the more intelligent animals on the farm work hard to spread Old Major's ideas to the other animals preparing for the Rebellion. The Rebellion takes place sooner than anyone expects, and Mr. Jones, Moses, and all other humans on the farm flee. Snowball and Napoleon take lead and gives the Manor Farm a new name and established commandments that the animals would live by.
  3. The animals work hard to produce a surplus of food. Snowball and Napoleon continue to organize and educate (especially in reading and writing) the other animals on the farm. The animals work hard to memorize the Seven Commandments. It is pointed out that the pigs got special treatment of milk and apples to "preserve their health" as "brainworkers".
  4. The animals try to spread the story of the Rebellion to other animals in neighboring farms, and also taught them the tune of "Beasts of England". Mr. Jones with the help of hismen, and other men from Foxwood and Pinchwood attempt to recapture the farm. The animals successfully retaliate and win the battle.
  5. Mollie fails to move past her temptation of the materials humans can give her and escape Animal Farm to live with humans again. The disputes between Snowball and Napoleon become violently heated, and the animals on the farm are always divided on which side to stand. The arguements peak over the building of the windmill, and Napoleon unleashes his dogs on Snowball the day of the voting. Napoleon takes over after Snowball's expulsion with a firm grip over everything.
  6. The laborious task of building the windmill begins, and Napoleon starts to engage in trade and money. The pigs take up the farmhouse, and the other animals observe suspicious actions of their leaders a few times, trying to recall the original Seven Commandments. A bad storm hits the farm, and the windmill is found in ruins afterwards. Napoleon blames Snowball for this misfortune and issues a ransom for Snowball.
  7. A harsh winter sets in and the animals on Animal Farm run short of food supplies, but Napoleon hides this from the outside world. Unrest fills Animal Farms as the search for Snowball and his followers continues. Snowball's followers are forced to confess their crimes in front of all of the animals one day, and then slaughtered on the spot by Napoleon's dogs. The "Beasts of England" song is abolished and forbidden to be sung and replaced by another song.
  8. Napoleon begins to exert his power over the farm through Squealer doing less work himself. Napoleon is seen more as a dictator than anything else by this point as there are songs written about him and none of his rulings are questioned. A pile of lumber is finally sold to Frederick over Plinkington, however Frederick payed with fake bills. Frederick and his followers attack Animal Farm and succeed in destroying the windmill and injuring many of the animals, but the animals win the battle.
  9. Working hours continued to become longer and life became even harder. Pigs were given more privileges which made more work for the other animals. History about Snowball and the Rebellion also continues to be distorted by Napoleon and Squealer. Boxer, now old of age, overworks himself and ultimately injures himself while working on the windmill. It is said that Boxer was sent to a hospital and died in peace there, however there was commotion when the knackers come and pick him up.
  10. Years on the farm go by and memories of Snowball and the Rebellion disapear as new generations of animals replace the old. The pigs and dogs live lavish lives, claiming that they do important work inside the farmhouse, while the other animals work long hours and are most of the time hungry. The pigs start to walk on two legs and consider themselves equal to humans and superior than the other farm animals.

Book Note Creator

Suzie Oh, '08