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Animal farm

George Orwell

Penguin, 1945

Wessel Van den Meerschaut


Before reading

I honestly don'''t know what to expect from the book but it'''s written bij George Orwell so it should be good.

I actually chose the book because I'''m reading 1984 at the moment (which I will be writing a report about), which is also written by George Orwell, and I'''m loving it so far.

It also got recommended to me by a friend of mine who also loves George Orwell.

Chapter one:

After Mr. Jones, the owner of Manor Farm, forgot to properly close all of the farm buildings and went to sleep, all of the farm animals gathrred in the barn to listen to the speech of Old Major.

The speech was about Old Major feeling that he was going to die soon and wanting to share his wisdom with the other farm animals.

He says that the lives of the animals on the farm are miserable, laberous and short.

This is quite typical for a George Orwell book as he usually writes about topics as communism, fascism and capitalism.

Back to the book. Old Major had a dream the night before the speech about the animals living free without men commanding them. Old Major wants to inspire the other animals to overthrow men.

His speech may be the spark to start a fire, symbolizing a revolution.

'''Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.'''

Chapter two:

Old Major dies in his sleep three nights after he had given the speech.

The animals seem to have started preparing to overthrow men and seize control of the farm.

They founded a new ideology called '''animalism'''. The animals have some trouble understanding it'''s principles as they were raised as slaves and believe Mr. Jones is their master.

After a lot of hard work they are now ready to start the revolution.

The rebellion was a lot easier than expected as Mr. Jones was out drinking once again.

After the cows had been whipped because they noticed some agression, they cows went mad and chased them off the farm. The farm was theirs now.

Chapter three:

The animals are all working on the farm now, they spent the summer harbesting the fields.

Every sunday the animals raise a flag and hold a democratic meeting about the future of the farm and new policies. The two pigs Snowball and Napoleon always clash at these meetings because of their diferrent views.

Snowball is heavely focussed on education, but the way he does it usually doesn'''t work for the animals.

Napoleon cares more for raising the youth, opposed to educationg adults.

The animals found out that the pigs had been taking milk and apples for themselves, one of the pigs explains that it helps them think and they need it or else Mr. Jones might retake the farm.

'''four legs good, two legs bad'''

Chapter four:

Word of Animal Farm is travelling fast and Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, who own the farms next to Animal Farm, are scared their animals might start an uprising too.

The two are not willing to work together against the Animal Farm though, as they have a rivalry amongst themselves.

In october, a pigeon arrives saying that Mr. Jones joined forces with Pilkington and Frederick and are now marching to Animal Farm.

Snowball set up an ambush which led to a quick defeat of the men.

"War is war. The only good human being is a dead one.'''

Chapter five:

In winter the animals hold their meetings in the barn.

The rivalry between Snowball and Napoleon continues.

Snowball has all kinds of ideas improving the farm, he found plans for a windmill which could generate power and make life easier. This would cost a lot of time and hard work though.

Thats why Napoleon disagrees and finds that the animals should attend to their needs they have right now and not plan for the future.

All animals assemble for a big meeting later to decide over Snowball'''s plans for a windmill.

Just before they were going to take a vote, Snowball got attacked by dogs and chased him off the farm.

Napoleon declares that important decisions will be made by pigs alone.

Chapter six:

In the summer the animals have to work really hard to get enough food and build the windmill.

The animals have to work on sunday afternoons now if they want to receive food. This is due to a ration cut the leadership made.

Napoleon announces he hired a human to supply them with recources they can'''t get on the farm, things like nails and such.

Since snowball was declared a traitor, and Napoleon took complete leadership of the farm, rules were being bent by Napoleon to comfort himself.

When a storm approaches, it knocked down the windmill. Napoleon says it was Snowball who sabotaged it, for he would do anything to take down Animal Farm.

Napoleon offers apples to whoever would kill Snowball. Napoleon wants to rebuild the windmill.

'''Remember, comrades, there must be no alteration in our plans: they shall be carried out to the day. Forward, comrades! Long live the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!'''

Chapter seven:

The animals struggle to rebuild the windmill as there is just not enough food.

The humans don'''t believe it was Snowball who knocked down the windmill and say that the walls just weren'''t thick enough. The animals refuse to believe this.

The animals heard that Snowball has been visiting them at night and sabotaging the farm'''s progress. Snowball always receives the blame when something goes wrong.

One day, Squealer remembered Snowball'''s attempt to have the animals defeated.

The animals vaguely remember Snowball receiving a medal for his courage.

The animals can'''t remember it clearly because they have been brainwashed by propaganda for a very long time.

Four days later Napoleon forces certain animals to confess participation in a conspiracy.

Napoleon has nine dogs around him and purges whoever he found guilty.

Numerous animals were killed, this scared the community.

Chapter eight:

A few days after the executions, Napoleon bent the rules again.

It now read '''no animal shall kill any other animal without cause'''. The old rule missed the last two words.

Napoleon turned Animal Farm into a totalitarian state.

Soon the animals complete the construction of the windmill.

But Animal Farm got attacked by Mr. Frederick. Frederick'''s men are armed and plant dynamite to blow up the windmill. The animals are furious and attack the men, the animals are  taking heavy casualties.

Chapter nine:

The animals attempt to rebuild the windmill once again.

As food keeps growing more and more scarce every day, rations are reduced again.

Except for the pigs and dogs.

Animal Farm becomes a republic in april with, of course, Napoleon as president.

More stories about Snowball change, in the ambush on Mr. Jones he had apparently cried '''Long live humanity!''', the story was so long ago so the animals just thought that it was true, nobody could remember the actual story.

Chapter ten:

A windmill had finally been completed, this one wasn'''t for electricity though, it was for corn.

Everything Old Major wanted was gone, it was like Mr. Jones was in control again.

Napoleon stood on two legs, wore human clothes, listened to the radio and was acrrying a whip. The name was changed back to Manor Farm and the animals could no longer see who was a pig and who was human.

'''All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'''

After reading:

I loved the book, it had a strong political nature which is exactly what I love about George Orwell'''s books. You could see that at the beginning, when Mr. Jones was in charge, it symbolized fascism. And the speech of Old Major made me think of Karl Marx, the man who invented communism.

 He once said: '''seize the means of production. The gentle labourer shall no longer suffer.'''  Which is practically what Old Major said too.

When Napoleon came to power it seemed like he was going to be a fascist leader too, but he turned out to be a capitalist. He was taking advantage of the labourers and changing rules to his liking and he lived the good life while the other animals were working hard for his benefit.

Capitalists are often referred to as pigs so thats why it all works out perfectly.

Snowball was for me the most interesting character because I started questioning him too when all those things were being said about him.

I would highly recommend this book to people, but only if they can see what George Orwell was referring to.

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