Animal Farm


Points To Ponder

What are the differences between the Battle of Cowshed and the Battle of Windmill and how those battles impact the animals and the development of the farm?

The novel features two major battles, and Orwell treats them quite differently. The Battle of Cowshed is described in a few short paragraphs, and the description is focused on the outcome, which is the liberation of the farm from the rule of mankind. The Battle of Cowshed features heroic leadership on Snowball’s behalf, which helps reveal his commitment to the principles of Animalism and his willingness to put himself in danger to defend those principles. The Battle of Cowshed is also spontaneous; the animals are not intending a rebellion, but instead are simply trying to get food after Mr. Jones neglects to feed them. In contrast, the Battle of Windmill signifies the animals working together to defeat an outside threat. In it, men do reveal the nature of their brutality by showing their willingness to use weapons against the animals. However, the battle is clearly the beginning of the end of the idealized Animal Farm. It leads to the injuries that will eventually kill Boxer, the symbol of the proletariat. It also highlights that the animals are united by a common fear of man rather than by a positive principle.

How does Orwell’s use of the omniscient narrator impact the reader’s experience of the novel?

Orwell’s use of the omniscient narrator gives the reader a knowing perspective that none of the characters in the book enjoys. Thus, while the reader can clearly see Napoleon’s machinations and predict his eventual betrayals of the book’s characters, these events are surprising for the characters in the book. It also allows Orwell to share the different opinions and points of view of the animals in the novel, making it clear that while the animals may be lumped together as members of the same social class, they did not necessarily share the same perspectives about their situation.

If Snowball had seized control...

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Essays About Animal Farm