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Animal Farm Summery by George Orwell

Animal Farm Summery by George Orwell

 

An Introductory Note :

Animal Farm (1945) is a novella by George Orwell. Originally subtitled A Fairy Story, it is a commentary on the development of Russian communism under Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) delivered in allegorical form. The thoroughgoing allegory compares the inequalities of brutal, socially unequal pre-Revolutionary Russia with a cruelly run farm on which the humans represent the capitalists and aristocrats, and the animals represent the people.

Background:

Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when the United Kingdom was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, and the British intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War.

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Substance :

The novel opens by introducing us to the setting, Mr. Jones’ farm, and the main characters, the animals. And, yes, the animals can talk. Old Major, an old, wellrespected boar-pig calls the animals over to him to tell them about a dream that he had. He then tells the animals that they should have an uprising against Mr. Jones and the other humans, Old Major also tells the animals that they should be loyal and not drink alcohol, use money, or kill each other.

Not long after this, Old Major dies. Because they are smarter than the other animals, the pigs start to run the farm. The farmer, Mr. Jones, is again drunk, so the animals decide it is a good time to overthrow him. They successfully remove Mr. Jones, and the animals start to run the farm. This time, it is the pigs that create the rules, including no sleeping in beds, no wearing clothes, no alcohol, no killing other animals, all animals are equal, and whoever has four legs or wings is a friend.

The animals start to run the farm, controlled by the pigs. Meanwhile, the pigs are starting to use the fresh milk and eat the apples because they should be healthy to be leaders. We also start to see other animals working harder or becoming lazier. Also, the original rules start to be broken, so the animals condense their rules to one: Two legs are bad. The other farms and farmers start to worry that their animals will also revolt.

The animals decide to meet with the farmers to reassure them, but it leads to battle and some of the animals die. Following the battle, Animal Farm starts to fall apart. Some of the animals are working with other farms, while some of the animals are fighting to become the leader of the farm. Two main characters, Snowball and Napoleon, start to campaign. Snowball’s speeches are strong, but Napoleon runs a better campaign. He often pulls dirty tricks to gain the support of the animals, and he is elected the leader. Once elected, he ends all meetings.

Once Napoleon is in charge, he moves into the. farmhouse, makes the other animals work hard, and starts to trade with other farms. A windmill on the farm collapses, and the animals begin to starve. The animals begin to blame Snowball, although he was never elected. Napoleon starts to kill other animals that hold meetings and to steal food from others. He begins to rewrite the original farm rules and even insists that he is now called, ‘Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon.’

The pigs even start to dress in human clothes and drink alcohol. As the other animals continue to starve, become weaker, and even die, the pigs are living in the house and growing stronger. In the last chapter, many years have passed. The pigs continue to run the farm, but now walk on two legs and wear clothing, making it nearly impossible to tell them apart from humans.

In fact, when the animals see them in the house, playing cards with the humans, they are unable to tell the pigs and the humans apart. The animals are happy because they think they have overthrown a horrible master, but they do not recognize that the current leaders are even worse. The pigs believe all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

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