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Transcript of Animal Farm
Main Story Characters
Old Major is the prize-winning boar whose vision of a socialist utopia serves as the inspiration for the rebillion. He teaches the animals "The Beasts of England" and dies three days later.
Vladimir Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. He encouraged the rebellion that led to the fall of Czar Nicholas II.
Karl Marx penned the Communist Manifesto. He is largely considered the father of Communism, and he believed that all should be equal.
Old Major is a representation of both Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. He, like Lenin, was considered the leader of their respective groups. In Old Major's case, the group was the group of animals. He organized them and encouraged them to rebel against Mr. Jones. This is where he begins to channel Marx. He tells the animals that all animals should be treated equally, and that they should all share in the wealth of the farm. Similarly, Marx believed that all humans should be equal, and that all of the wealth of the state should be distributed equally.
Napoleon is the pig who emerges as the leader of the animal farm after the Rebellion. He's also crafty and more treacherous than Snowball, his rival.
Joseph Stalin emerges as the leader of the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution, and after Lenin dies. He was crafty and more treacherous than Leon Trotsky, his rival.
Napoleon is a representation of Joseph Stalin in "Animal Farm". Like Stalin, Napoleon emerges as the leader of his respective group after a rebellion led by a visionary. In Stalin's case, the group was the Bolsheviks, and the visionary was Lenin. In Napoleon's case, the group was the animals, and the visionary was Old Major.
The pig who challenges Napoleon for control of the Animal Farm after the rebellion. Based on Trotsky, Snowball is intelligent, passionate, eloquent, and less evil than Napoleon.
Leon Trotsky challenges Stalin for control over the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution. Like Snowball, Trotsky was intelligent, passionate, eloquent, and less evil than Stalin.
Snowball is a representation of Leon Trotsky. Both characters challenged a more powerful adversary for control of their respective groups and lost. Snowball is chased off in "Animal Farm", and Trotsky was chased off by Stalin at the beginning of the Cold War. Neither characters are really seen after they disappear.
Clover is the good-hearted female cart-horse and Boxer's close friend. She often suspects that the pigs have broken one of the seven commandments, but continually blames herself for misremembering them.
Clover is a representation of "Mother Russia". Clover, like "Mother Russia", embodies the good in a bad situation. She isn't fooled by the pigs, which shows that she has some sense of morality and understanding of the laws that were mandated by the pigs in the beginning. She maintained this during the whole of "Animal Farm", and is the character that begins and ends the story.
Mother Russia is the figure of all that is good and unified throughout the history of Russia. She symbolized the existence of good even when the times were not so good.
Boxer is the horse who pulls Mr. Jones' cart. He is incredibly strong, and the farm animals come to rely on him heavily for strength-based tasks. He is extremely dedicated to Napoleon, and always wants to work harder. He isn't very bright, but he is loyal. In the end, Boxer goes off to be turned off into glue.
Boxer represents the Working Class. Both are very strong, heavily relied on, and dedicated. Also, they both tend to be on the less-educated side of things. Unfortunately, both often get the raw end of the deal. Boxer was turned into glue despite his loyalty, and the working class is often not paid as well as they could be.
The Working Class is much like a work-horse. They are often incredibly strong, and are relied on by society to complete the jobs that need to be done. Despite their loyalty to society, they are often hung out to dry.
Moses/Russian Orthodox Church
Moses is the tame raven who spreads stones of Sugarcandy Mountain, which is largely accepted as animal heaven. The pigs say that he is a liar, and claim that the animals' focus should be on working for them.
The Russian Orthodox Church was opposed by the leaders of the Soviet Union during the reign of Stalin. Stalin destroyed many of the Orthodox Churches, and said that the focus of the people should be on serving him and the Soviet Union.
Moses represents the Russian Orthodox Church in "Animal Farm". He delivers "the good news" basically to the animals. The pigs say that he is a liar in a similar way to how the Russian Orthodox Church was accused of preaching falsehoods by Stalin and his government. Both the pigs and the Soviet Union felt that their subjects should be focusing on working for them instead of on religion.
The pig who spreads Napoleon's propaganda among the other animals. He justifies the pigs' takeover and spreads false figures pointing to the farm's success.
Propaganda was a tactic used by governments and other organizations to make a certain group look better. In the case of Stalin, the propaganda made Stalin look like a great hero, and also a good human being. Obviously, that wasn't the case. That is the entire purpose of propaganda: to mislead.
Squealer not only represents propaganda in "Animal Farm", but he also uses the tactic on the other animals. He spread's Napoleon's propaganda by misleading the animals on the farm that the farm is functioning well, and that the pigs aren't actually breaking any of the seven commandments when, in fact, they were.
Mollie is the horse that pulls Jones' carriage. She is an extreme attention-hog, and she likes being pampered by humans. She eventually leaves the Animal Farm due to getting more attention from humans on another farm.
The Bourgeoisie is the upper-class or land-owning group in the Soviet Union or France, commonly. They are attention-hogs, and they enjoy being pampered.
Mollie represents the Bourgeoisie in "Animal Farm". She loves attention and being pampered, just like the Bourgeoisie do. Also, the Bourgeoisie weren't very happy during the Russian Revolution, similarly to how Mollie wasn't thrilled with the Rebellion. These events caused Mollie and the Bourgeoisie to lose their ability to be pampered, and so they reacted negatively.
Benjamin is the long-lived donkey who refuses to feel inspired by the rebellion. He believes life will be unpleasant no matter what. He seems to be the only animal aware of the takeover, but lacks the will or ability to do anything about it.
The older generation that lived in the Soviet Union recognized that Stalin may not be the great man that he claimed to be. They recognized that their country might be taking a turn for the worst. Unfortunately, they didn't have the will or ability to do anything about it.
Benjamin represents the aging population of the Soviet Union in "Animal Farm". He is fully aware of what is taking place during the takeover, much like the aging intelligence was during the rise of Stalin. He saw what the others refused to see, which was that the pigs were taking over, despite their goal being to make everyone equal. Similarly, the aging population of the Soviet Union saw what Stalin was doing, and that Stalin may not have been the great man that he said he was. Both Benjamin and the aging population in the Soviet Union lacked the will or ability to do anything about what was unfolding around them, unfortunately.
Mr. Pilkington is the friendlier, more gentlemanly neighbor farmer in "Animal Farm". He isn't as hostile toward the Animal Farm as Fredrick is. Generally, he is a more laid back character.
The US/England Capitalist governments were the friendlier, more gentlemanly continental neighbor to the Soviet Union. They weren't as hostile as some of the other European countries such as Germany. They tried to be more laid back when it came to dealing with Stalin.
Mr. Pilkington represents the US/England's Capitalist government, as indicated by his very british name. He was more friendly with the Animal Farm, much like the US/England were much more friendly to the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign. Overall, Pilkington and US/England are more laid back/diplomatic when it comes to the Animal Farm or the Soviet Union.
Drunk farmer who ownes Manor Farm until the Rebellion known. Jones' lack of care for the animals leads to their eventual escape and takeover.
Czar Nickholas II was considered to be a poor leader until the Russian Revolution. He didn't seem to care as much for politics.
Mr. Jones is a representation of Czar Nicholas II in "Animal Farm." Both characters are considered to like a good drink, both lack leadership skills, and neither one really enjoys talking about them. Also, bother characters were taken out of leadership via a rebellion.
Frederick is the tough, shrewd operator of Pinchfield. He doesn't seem to like the Animal farm very much at all, and has proven in the past to be untrustworthy.
Germany was the tough, shrewd continental neighbor to the Soviet Union. They don't like the Soviet Union much, and have proven themselves to be untrustworthy.
Frederick is a representation of Germany in "Animal Farm". He is tough and shrewd, like Germany, he doesn't like the Animal Farm in much the same way as Germany didn't like the Soviet Union, and he has proven to be untrustworthy, like Germany in the past.
The farmer went to bed drunk and left the rest of the animals unattended. Old Major was dying and wanted to give his final advice to the rest of the farm animals. He let the animals know that they should rebel against the humans, and they should rise up from their lack of freedom and be able to rule themselves. Old Major told his fellow animals that he had a dream of this existence, and that he would really like to see it be fulfilled. After the argument over who would be considered a comrade after the takeover, the crew started to go by the motto that anything that walks on two legs is an enemy and anything that walks on four legs is a friend or ally. They also came up with other rules such as not wearing clothes and not drinking alcohol.
This was important to the story because it set up the entire rest of the novel. Without Old Major giving his speech, the Rebellion would never have happened. Also, the commandments recur throughout the story.
Old Major eventually died, and after a few months, the animals started to plan their rebellion. The animals (pigs) decided that, out of all of them, the pigs were superior. The three pig leaders among them were Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer. Moses, the raven, tried to explain to the animals that when they die they go to a place called Sugar Candy Mountain. The pigs tried vigorously to convince the others that the raven was wrong in his beliefs. The animals started their takeover after Mr. Jones got drunk yet again. After they had succeeded, they started to rid the farm of anything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. After the takeover, the pigs revealed to the animals that they could read. That meant that they were the only ones that could read and explain the specific commandments that were dealt to them, which gave them power.
Old Major's death serves as an important event in that it encourages the other animals to carry out his dying wish. This was just extra incentive to carry out the Rebellion. The Rebellion is carried out after Jones gets drunk again. Obviously, the Rebellion is important as it is the entire basis for the book. Also, the pigs that take power, Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer, are extremely important. They begin to establish what will be known as Animal Farm.
The Animals began to harvest their crops. They all, for the most part, worked up to their own capacity. Boxer came up with his personal motto that “[He] will work harder!” Benjamin the Donkey was the only animal that recognized that the role of leadership had not changed. Snowball tried to create new programs to teach the farm animals new skills, such as learning to read and write, but only the pigs were able to do so. Snowball then oversimplified the Seven Commandments into one simple maxim: “Four legs good. Two legs bad”. Napoleon took no interest in educating the animals. Instead, he secretly took in two of the dogs’ puppies to train as his own. The animals soon realized that the pigs had been taking all the apples and milk, but they justified themselves by saying they needed it to for their brain power. The animals agreed to give it up for the good of the farm.
The animals working together to perform the chores of the farm is an amazing feat, if you think about it. These are human tasks that the animals are performing. It serves as a reminder to the animals that they really can do everything that the human can do, just more freely. Also, the pigs stealing the milk and apples and getting away with it shows just how well the pigs can manipulate if they need to. This could potentially show what is to come.
News of the rebellion at the farm had started to spread throughout England and Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, who own the adjoining farms, feared that it would spread among their own animals. Despite their fears, their rivalry kept them from doing anything about Animal Farm. The pigeons, however, began singing the song “Beasts of England” and spying on neighboring farms. They eventually found out the Mr. Jones was attempting to take back the farm. The pigs, with their ability to read, found books and studied battle tactics. The animals fought back against Jones and his men, chased them off and only suffered one casualty. Boxer and Snowball fought heroically, and they received medals for their bravery. They found Jones’ gun and decided to fire it twice a year: on the anniversary of Animal Farm and the Battle of Cowshed.
The news of rebellion spreading could possibly be dangerous for farmers in the surrounding areas. If the animals on those farms catch wind of this rebellion, they may consider holding one of their own. Also, Jones' attempt to retake Animal Farm is important because it shows that the animals really can overcome the challenges that may come in the form of human obstacles. The use of Jones' gun twice a year is a little shaky, considering the fact that Mollie isn't even allowed to wear a ribbon because it's of humans.
Mollie the horse began to miss her old life and left Animal Farm to work for humans again. Meanwhile, the tensions continued between Snowball and Napoleon. Snowball developed a plan to build a windmill in order to create electricity to help the animals, but Napoleon did not like the idea and tried to persuade the others to not go along with the plan as well. Snowball gave a moving speech that divided the animals. As soon as it seemed like Snowball had won, Napoleon called out and his personal pack of dogs chased Snowball off the farm before the animals could vote. After Snowball was kicked out, Napoleon announced that the pigs will make all the decisions from now on. Squealer was tasked with placating the animals, telling them that Snowball was a traitor and that Napoleon was really in support with the plans for the windmill all along. He just needed a way to get the “wicked” Snowball out of Animal Farm.
Mollie shows weakness in the group. She wants life back the way that it was, understandably so. She was pampered, unlike the other animals. As a result, she leaves Animal farm to go to another farm. I suppose I can't blame her, considering how much better she's treated when around humans. The windmill plan is extremely important to the story. It serves as a symbol of what the animals could accomplish if they really wanted to. Also, as a result of the dispute about the windmill, Napoleon calls upon his self-trained attack dogs, and takes over Animal Farm by getting rid of Snowball. With Snowball out of the picture, Napoleon can take all the power he wants, which he does.
The animals rushed to complete the windmill and grow enough food for themselves, but nevertheless, food cuts began to occur. Also, the animals lacked the means to complete the windmill as they could not break the stones on the ground, but finally solved the problem some long time later. The animals existed fine on the food that they grew, but eventually, they ran out of items they could not make or grow for themselves. As a result Napoleon was forced to hire someone to trade on the behalf of the animals. Although they were initially taken aback by the idea of trading with humans, Squealer explained that it was not against their laws to trade with humans. Slowly but surely, the pigs changed the rules to fit their liking, such as moving into the farmhouse and sleeping in the beds. During this time, a violent storm tore apart the finished Windmill, but Napoleon claimed it to be the work of Snowball. By saying this, he put a death sentence on Snowball’s head.
With the windmill construction underway, the animals can see the future that could exist for them: one with power and less working hours. This helps motivate them to keep working as much as they can. Also, Napoleon hiring a human to handle trade is a clear first step to working with the humans closely, abandoning the ideas of Animalism. These are important events because they show what direction the pigs are heading in terms of power and control.
Struggling to rebuild the windmill, the animals ran out of food in January. To maintain their image, Napoleon decided to cover up the food shortage, and attempt to fool the humans around them. After considering the humans’ input on the walls of the windmill being too thin, and that being the cause of it toppling, Napoleon decided to rebuild the walls thicker. Boxer worked harder than any other animal on the farm, and was a great source of inspiration for all of the animals. In order to pay for supplies, Napoleon had promised that he would procure 400 eggs a week, despite the fact that that was one of Old Major’s largest complaints. The hens hated this fact, and decided to rebel. By the time their little rebellion was over, nine hens had been killed. Soon after this event took place, Squealer starting telling the animals that Snowball had been paying the farm nightly visits. This deeply upset the animals. Through Squealer, Napoleon continued to use Snowball as a scapegoat for the actual problems that were facing the farm at the time. After this, Napoleon gathered up the animals and lined them up. He then proceeded to perform a “purge”. He killed every animal that he thought might have committed some wrongdoing, or any animal that confessed to doing wrong. Finally, Napoleon abolished the song, “ The Beasts of England”.
Napoleon is proving just how Stalin-like he is by misleading his partners into thinking that the farm is doing well in terms of food. He lies and manipulates to get what he wants just like Stalin. Also, as it turns out, Napoleon has a new hobby as well: cradle robbing. He decides to sell the hens' eggs for money. This shows just how heartless Napoleon can really be. On top of that, any animal who opposes Napoleon is slaughtered in his own type of purge. He has reached full dictator status.
The pigs in charge had been changing some of the commandments to fit their own needs a little better. The animals discovered that one commandment had been changed to “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause”. This was a direct response to the purge that Napoleon committed a few days before. Squealer was able to convince the animals that the commandment had always been that way. There existed on the Animal Farm a pile of wood from the days of Jones that was of no use to the animals. As a result, Napoleon took part in some complicated negotiations between the neighboring farms for the sale of the wood. Which ever farmer was winning the negotiations, Napoleon trained the animals to hate the other. Frederick, the more hated of the two, ended up winning the negotiations. Frederick paid Napoleon in cash, which wasn’t a good move. It turned out that the cash that Frederick paid Napoleon were forgeries. Soon after, Frederick blows up the newly completed windmill. Enraged, the animals attacked his men, but suffered several casualties. After the pigs found a crate of whiskey and start to drink it, Squealer changed the rule from “No animal shall drink alcohol” to “No animal shall drink alcohol in excess”, thus bending the rules again to suit their needs.
Napoleon's ability to use Squealer to twist the truth to maintain his image shows that he really only has his own interest at heart. He wants to be able to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. In order for him to do this, he has to alter the rules, and lie to his people. Also, the pigs are clearly beginning to act more and more human performing acts like drinking.
After the destruction of the windmill, the animals weakly attempted to rebuild. Even a seriously injured Boxer worked harder than ever; he wanted to see it finished before he retired. Even though no animal had retired yet, it had been said that horses could retire at twelve years old. Boxer looked forward to living a life of ease after all his hard work. Food became scarcer than ever and the animals’ food allowances becomes readjusted once more, save for the dogs and the pigs. Later when Napoleons thirty-one children are born, he orders for a schoolhouse to be build for their special education, despite the low amount of funds the farm has. Soon after this, he began to hold Spontaneous Demonstrations, which a majority of the animals complained about but are drowned out by the sheep. Later in the year, Animal Farm is declared a republic, and Napoleon voted leader with him being the only candidate. They started to tell the animals that former leader Snowball worked for Mr. Jones and never for them; being so long ago, they blindly accepted this story. After Boxer collapsed while working one day, the pigs sent him to the “hospital”, but while he was being carted away, Benjamin wrote on the cart that he was being sent to the glue factory instead. Later, Squealer told the rest of the animals that Boxer was unable to head and died at the hospital and that the rumors of glue factories were false. The animals were relieved to hear this, but soon became uneasy when a grocer came by, not with food, but with a shipment of whiskey for the pigs. No one knew where they had gotten the money for it.
These events are all important to the story because of the other things that they effect. The destruction of the windmill is disheartening to the animals, and puts a serious dent in the morale of the group. In addition, Napoleon is beginning to show even more signs that he doesn't have the farm first in mind. After Boxer is incapacitated, Napoleon sells him to a glue factory without him knowing, and uses the money he gains to buy more whiskey. This is obviously an act that only a true monster would commit.
Years passed and the farm continued to operate. The dogs and the pigs lived in luxury while the other animals lived less comfortably, but accepted it as the way things were. Soon the pigs began to walk on two legs, breaking the one and only remaining rule “Four legs good, two legs bad”. It of course, was changed to “Four legs good, two legs better”. Other changes started to occur too, such as the pigs starting to wear clothing, subscribing to magazines and smoking pipes. Soon Napoleon invited humans onto the farm, claiming that he wanted all along to have peace and harmony. In the end, the pigs sat down to a game of cards with the farmers they had contended with for so long. The onlooking animals realized that they could not tell the difference between the pigs and the humans.
This chapter concludes the final statement of the book: that power corrupts. What started out as a good thing, turned into a bloody dictatorship. All of the original ideas of Animalism were abandoned for the sake of power.
In Animal Farm:
Old Major gives his rebellion speech
Old Major sets the foundation for Animalism
Jones is in control of the farm
In Soviet Union:
1905 Planning the Russian Revolution
1848 Marx publishes his book
1900s Czar Nicholas II is in control of Russia
In Animal Farm:
Old Major dies
Snowball and Napoleon take control of Animal Farm, continuing Animalism
Renamed the farm "Animal Farm"
In Soviet Union:
1883 Marx dies
Trotsky and Stalin come into power
The name of the country is changed to the Russian Soviet Republic
In Animal Farm:
The animals become more accustomed to life without humans
Snowball and Napoleon battle for power
In Soviet Union:
People are settling into life without a Czar
Russian Orthodox Church is outlawed
Stalin and Trotsky battle for power
In Animal Farm:
Jones tries to retake his farm
The animals hold the humans back
Humans don't pay any attention to the "Animal Farm" name
In Soviet Union:
Followers of the Czar tried to retake the country
1917-1923 Soviet Army wins
Soviets are still unaccustomed to the new situation
In Animal Farm:
Mollie abandons Animal Farm
Napoleon gets rid of Snowball
Squealer speaks for Napoleon
In Soviet Union:
1918 Bourgeoisie leave
Stalin sent Trotsky out of Russia
The press speaks for Stalin
In Animal Farm:
Boxer believes that Napoleon is always right
Building the windmill
Storm destroys the windmill, blamed on Snowball
In Soviet Union:
1922-1943 Italians believe that Mussolini is always right
Soviet 5-year plan
Trotsky is blamed for every failure
In Animal Farm:
Hens are starved to death over eggs
Other farms catch word of Animal Farm
Snowball "is a spy"
In Soviet Union:
1932 Starvation of millions of people
1933 USA Recognizes USSR
1934 Secret Police becomes official
In Animal Farm:
Animals are like slaves
Frederick doesn't pay Napoleon
In Soviet Union:
1936 Stalin's purges
1937 Labor camps at a high
Non-Aggression Pact with Germany broken
In Animal Farm:
Napoleon begins to warp Animal Farm's history
Moses returns to Animal Farm
Boxer is killed
In Soviet Union:
Stalin changes the photos
Russian Orthodox Church is un-outlawed
1940s Russian citizens die regardless of hard work
In Animal Farm:
Napoleon meets for card game with humans
Pigs are no longer animals
The "rules" of Animal Farm change again
In Soviet Union:
Present: Stalin is known as a great leader
Russia is similar to what it was when they had a Czar.
The Russian Government still bends the rule to their liking
The images on this poster all represent something from Animal Farm or Soviet Russia. The background of the poster is common in Soviet propaganda. The image of the pig/man represents Napoleon becoming almost exactly the same as a human. The font was chosen because it somewhat resembles the symbols and figures in the Russian language. I chose the quotes on the poster because they highlight the transition from all animals being equal to what Animal Farm experiences in the end of the story. The title of the poster is a quote from Boxer that shows how Napoleon won the animals over using manipulation techniques. The type of propaganda is the glittering generality type. It uses words from various characters in the book to point to the supreme leadership and power of Napoleon. It makes being human-like sound positive, which is the way Napoleon wants it to be seen.
One major theme in "Animal Farm" is that peoples' ignorance contributes to their political and social oppression. This is evident throughout "Animal Farm". Napoleon makes certain that the common animals cannot educate themselves because he knows that knowledge is power. The more knowledge people have, the more decisions they can make on their own, which is the opposite of what people who want power want. Many times in the past, and in the present, people have supported the political figures who seem to give the most to the people, regardless of what their other policies are. Napoleon looks like a good individual to the animals on Animal Farm because he makes them believe that he his taking care of them, when in reality he's only doing what will give him the most power. Similarly, in present times, many uneducated voters often vote for candidates who promise them more free stuff, especially people who live below the poverty line.They don't educate themselves on presidential policies, and just go vote based on who they think will provide them with the most. In history, this has been evident throughout history. One great example is Nazi Germany. Hitler exploited the ignorance of the people of Germany, and filled the void in their knowledge base with his lies and manipulation. He convinced the people that the world would be a better place with him in power. He didn't, however, make known the consequences of his actions.