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Animal Farm Summary Essay

By micahmanalo Sep 04, 2012 968 Words
Animal Farm
George Orwell

Old major, an old and wise boar, gathers all the animals in the Manor Farm, owned by Mr. Jones, to relate to them his dream. He tells them of his dream where no animals are being oppressed by the human beings and are able to manage their own lives. He tells them that ‘No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.’ And that all of that is because of Man. He further adds that ‘Man is the only real enemy [they] have.’ Because of that he urged everyone to act accordingly and help overthrow Man through a Rebellion. He also taught them the song ‘Beasts of England’ where his dreams were explained in the lyrics.

After three days, Old Major died but his principles were formulated into the philosophy of Animalism by two younger pigs – Snowball and Napoleon – who after his death assumed command. A revolution was stirred and the animals were able overthrow Mr. Jones. Squealer renamed Manor Farm into Animal Farm and formulated the Seven Commandments which were written on the walls of the barn. They are: 1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.

2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animals shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.
After Mr. Jones’ overthrowing, the Animal Farm was able to run smoothly – the food was abundant, and the animals were taught by Snowball to read and write. Snowball reduced the Seven Commandments into a single maxim: ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’ since not all animals has the capability to memorize the Seven Commandments. The pigs assumed leadership and granted themselves special food, supposedly for their health. Napoleon takes the new-born puppies to educate them of the principles of Animalism. Mr. Jones still tried to retake his farm but the animals were able to defeat him in what they call the ‘Battle of the Cowshed.’ Things started to heat up as the two pigs struggled for leadership. Snowball soon announces his idea of building of a windmill, which Napoleon, as always, opposed. When Snowball made his speech favouring the building of a windmill, Napoleon had his confiscated dogs chase Snowball away. When Snowball disappeared, Napoleon assumed leadership and changes a lot of things. Sunday meetings were no longer to be held and a committee of pigs will run the farm – for the good of the animals. Having Squealer as his spokesperson, Napoleon accuses Snowball of stealing his idea of building a windmill. The windmill project was pushed through but it was crushed after a storm. Neighbouring farmers suggest that the walls were too thin but Napoleon uses Snowball as scapegoat and spreads that Snowball was responsible for the windmill’s destruction. Napoleon staged a great execution of animals that allegedly conspired with Snowball – animals who were against Napoleon’s uncontested leadership – and had them meet instant death at the fangs of his dogs. Napoleon started expanding his powers – rewriting history into his favour and making Snowball appear to be a villain from the very start. Meanwhile, Boxer takes up a second Maxim: ‘Napoleon is always right,’ in addition to his first, ‘I will work harder.’ The pigs continue to abuse their power by reserving privileges for themselves. Napoleon starts to take the lifestyle of a man – sleeping in bed, drinking whisky, and engaging in trade with neighbouring farmers. However, Squealer always justifies Napoleon’s actions and even altered the Seven Commandments to convince the animals that Napoleon is a great leader and is only working for their good – despite the fact that the animals were experiencing hunger and overwork. The ‘Beasts of England’ was banned and was replaced with a song glorifying Napoleon. Mr. Frederick cheats Napoleon in his purchase of some timber, attacks the Animal Farm and bombs the windmill, which was rebuilt at a great expense. A battle arises and a lot of animals, including Boxer were injured. The animals were still able to rout the attackers but Boxer’s injuries weakened him. Following his maxim, ‘I will work harder,’ Boxer still worked heavily to rebuild the windmill despite his wounds. When he later falls while working, he was brought to a veterinarian to be cured, however Benjamin and the other animals realize that he was being brought to a glue maker. Squealer announces there is a misunderstanding since wagon was formerly owned by a glue maker and the veterinarian hasn’t had it repainted yet. He adds that he was with Boxer when he died and that his last words glorified Napoleon and the Rebellion. However, in actuality, Boxer was sold to the glue maker by Napoleon in order to get money for his whisky. Years pass and the animals became more humanly – walking upright, carrying whips, and wearing clothes. The Seven Commandments were reduced to ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’ and ‘Four legs good, two legs bad.’ with ‘Four legs good, two legs better.’ Napoleon holds a dinner party with Mr. Pilkington, a neighbouring farm owner who congratulates him for feeding the least for the most overworked workers. Napoleon then announces an alliance with the humans, against the working classes of both kinds. He abolishes the traditions related to the Rebellion and returns the name Manor Farm.

Animals who were overhearing the conversation in the party noticed that the pigs’ faces were beginning to change. As Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington begins a feud while playing a poker, the animals realise that the faces of the pigs look like the faces of the humans and their differences were already impossible to identify.

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