Animal Farm By George Orwell

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Animal Farm

By George Orwell


George Orwell

(Adapted from 1996 Perfection Learning Corporation)

George Orwell loved country living and farming. He was also quite fond of most farm animals—especially his goat Muriel and his dog Marx. The pigs, however, Orwell detested. So it is hardly surprising that he chose them to represent the villains in his classic Animal Farm. To understand Orwell’s impulse to write this politically charged novel, it is helpful to look at some events that shaped the author’s outlook.
Orwell was born Eric Arthur Blair in 1903 in Motihari, Bengal, a part of British –controlled India. His father, Richard Blair, was a British civil servant in India, and his mother, Ida, was the daughter of a French businessman. A year after Eric’s birth, Ida and her children, Eric, Avril, and Margorie, moved to England.
The Blair family was not wealthy, so when Eric was sent to St. Cyprian’s prep school, he was accepted on reduced tuition. The harsh matron, Mrs. Vaughan Wilkes, took in “poor” boys like Eric, hoping they might win scholarships to prestigious colleges and bring a favorable reputation to St. Cyprian’s. Eric Blair was not to forget the divisive class lines of British society that were made painfully clear to him at St. Cyprian. Years later, he tarnished the school’s name when he exposed Mrs. Wilkes as a tyrant who catered to the rich students and humiliated the poorer students. To Eric, she was nothing but a “filthy old sow,” a hated pig. Despite the cruelties of St. Cyprian, Eric did very well and won scholarships to both Eton and Wellington colleges.
Blair returned to India in 1922 to join the Imperial Police in Burma. There he worked as a superintendent of police for five years. During that period, Blair grew to hate British imperialism, which he believed was nothing more than robbery of the poor. Curiously, though, Blair also praised the leadership qualities of the ruling class, for he believed they were the people who got things done.
In 1927, Blair left Burma to become a writer. He began his career by going to Paris, where he chose to live among the working class. Later he would do the same in London and Wigan, an industrial town in England. During the decade between 1927-1937, Orwell took his pen name, George Orwell, for two reasons: one, because he had never liked his name “Eric,” and two, in order to hide his identity. He had grown to hate one of his works titled Down and Out in London and Paris and he did not want people to know that he had written it.
Now known as Orwell, the young author embraced socialism during this decade. In a socialist system, the government controls the production and distribution of goods in order to replace competition with cooperation. In his concern for the poor workers, Orwell believed such a system would eliminate social classes and promote equality for all people.
Orwell married Eileen O’Shaughnessy just before he went to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. There he joined the Communist revolutionaries, who were fighting to eliminate a fascist government (fascism is much like Nazism). Orwell believed that a communist system, one in which the Communist party controls production and distributes good to all “comrades” as needed, would give workers the same rights and privileges as the upper classes. However, Orwell soon learned that the Spanish communists were more interested in promoting their own personal aims than those of the revolution. This discovery led him to concluded that totalitarianism, or absolute control, whether it came from socialists, communists or fascists, was evil and kept the working people from bettering their own lives. As a result, Orwell embraced democratic socialism in which the government would protect the welfare and rights of the common people. In such a system, the people would hold the power through elected officials.
On his return to England in 1937, Orwell witnessed an event that would be the inspiration for Animal Farm. He saw a child driving a wagon and whipping his horse whenever the animal tried to turn. This small boy had the huge animal under control, causing Orwell to wonder what the world would be like if the more powerful animals rose up against their masters. Through this event, he was also able to draw a parallel between the way humans treat animals and the rich treat the working classes. This idea would grow and become Orwell’s vehicle for exposing the Soviet communists’ ability to control people by distorting the truth, falsifying history, and brutalizing citizens.
With these ideas in mind, Orwell began writing Animal Farm in 1943 and finished it just a year later. Getting his masterpiece published, however, was not so easy. Animal Farm was rejected first by three British publishers who interpreted the book as a direct attack on the Stalin regime in Russia. At the time, Russia was Britain’s ally against Hitler. So it was not “politically correct” to publish a work so obviously denouncing “Uncle Joe” Stalin. Finally, British publishers Secker and Warburg agreed to publish the work. Meanwhile in the United States, Animal Farmwas rejected by almost 20 publishers before Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., agreed to publish it. Once published, it was an instant success, selling out almost overnight. Other than being denounced by the Soviet newspaper, Pravda, Animal Farm was well received.
Orwell’s professional success was overshadowed by personal ups and downs. On the up side, he and Eileen adopted a baby boy whom they named Richard. But not long after, Orwell was hospitalized with tuberculosis. While in the hospital, he received devastating news that his wife had died during a surgery. After his wife’s death, Orwell took Richard to live on a remote farm in Scotland. There he and his son farmed and fished, and Orwell continued to write.
In 1949, Orwell produced Nineteen Eighty-Four. An instant success, Nineteen Eighty-Four presents a glimpse at a totalitarian society 25 years in the future. Orwell died in January of 1950, shortly after his second great work was published. He would be glad to know, however, that his son grew up to be a farmer. Richard, it seems, shared his father’s love of the land and the animals.

The Politics of a Political Writer
Most of George Orwell’s writing dealt with politics. Orwell thought that he was more of a political writer than a man who wrote fiction novels. A political writer uses literature to express his or her views about social issues, often ones that they want to see changed.
Read through the following economic systems. You will be assigned a political system to respond to the following questions: What would Orwell have thought of this system? AND What experiences from his life might have caused him to feel this way?

  1. Capitalism: an economic system where individual people or corporations make and sell products and services. The government usually has little control in capitalism. The government does not tell people what to make, what to sell, what to buy, or what price to charge. These decisions are made by the company and are influenced by buying habits of consumers.

  1. Communism: an economic and political system in which everything (all property) is theoretically owned/shared by all of the people in the country. Everyone is expected to work to the best of their ability and accept the same amount of pay as everyone else. In theory, everyone would have what they need, but not necessarily what they want.

  1. Democracy: a political system in which power is in the hands of the people. The people are given the right to vote and then decisions are made through direct votes or by representatives.

  1. Totalitarianism or Dictatorship: a system of government in which a country is ruled by a leader/dictator who controls every aspect and part of the citizens’ lives. Anything the dictator wants becomes law and there is no power in the country that can stop him/her.

What would Orwell have thought of this system?

What experiences from his life might have caused him to feel this way?

Animal Farm - Building Background Stations
Station #1: Propaganda Posters

  1. Look over each poster and discuss what Logos, Ethos and Pathos are being used.

  1. Choose one poster and explain the rhetoric used to persuade Russians during the Russian Revolution.

Describe the images you see? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Logos (logical appeal “facts”) used: ___________________________________________

Ethos (credibility appeal) used: ___________________________________________

Pathos (Emotional appeal) used: __________________________________________

  1. What would you infer as the general message of the poster?


Station #2: Political Systems

  1. Take a look at the statements written on each card.

  2. Separate the cards into two sections of ideas. One section should be ideas that you would not mind living with and the other sections are those ideas you would not want to live with.

  3. Your group should take some time to discuss why you like some ideas and not others (Look at the colors on the back of the index cards to determine which type of political systems your group prefers).

Yellow Cards = Capitalism Green Cards = Communism

Purple Cards = Socialism Red Cards = Democracy

Blue Cards = Totalitarianism/Dictatorship

  1. Finally, determine what type of system you would want to live in based on your choices and define that system below.

Read the information sheets in the binder about the parallels between Communism and Animalism during the Russian Revolution.

Write a statement below about what you think Animal Farm will be about.

Station #3: Animal Action
Animal Farm is about a group of animals who form their own society. The animals include:
cats a donkey hens rats cows goats

horses a raven dogs geese pigs sheep

  1. Think about what you already know about certain characteristics or qualities of animals. For example, a dog is usually said to be “loyal.”

  2. Read the explanations of societal roles below and determine which animals would make the best leaders, workers, law enforcers and criminals.

Leaders: make all the political and business decisions

Workers: follow the leaders and produce the goods and services necessary to support the society

Law enforcers: try to keep peace and make sure that everyone obeys the rules of the leaders

Criminals: don’t follow the society’s rules

Societal Role


Reasons why this animal(s) fulfill this role.



Law Enforcers


Station #4: Fable/Allegory
Animal Farm is an example of an allegory. An allegory is a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper meaning. Allegories are very much like fables, but where fables are usually very short and made for children, allegories are longer, more complex, and although they may seem childish, they are often making very adult statements.
In this station you will try and think of any allegories you may know and you will read and analysis on relatively famous fable/allegory. You will find copies of the fable/allegory at the station.
Read the allegory/fable on the next page. When you are done and feel as if you understand it well enough, answer the following questions.
1. What was the message/moral of this story? State it and support it with evidence from the story.
2. It is not unusual for adults who give speeches and/or who teach to use allegories, fables, or parables. Why would adults speaking to a general audience use a teaching device originally meant for children?

3. What would be the benefit in using allegories to teach instead of just stating the lesson? There are many correct answer here, list and explain as many as you can.

4.Very often, people who live under oppression use allegories to spread the news among each other about what is truly happening in their area/country. How would using this technique help them?

The Bundle of Sticks – an Aesop’s Fable adapted by Elisa Pearmain

Once upon a time, an old woman lived on a beautiful farm in the country. From her window, she could see pasture land, fields of grain, barns filled with animals, orchards and forests beyond. The farm was special to the old woman because it had been in her family for many generations. She had raised her family of six boys there. Now her husband was dead, and she too was in the last days of her life. The old woman should have been content after such a fortunate life, but she was not. She lay on her bed worrying about her grown children. They could not seem to get along. She heard them quarreling day and night. Even though some of them were good at farming, and some at working with the animals, some at carpentry, and others at cooking or preserving the food they grew.  They each thought that their job was more important and that the others didn’t work hard enough. They held grudges against each other from things in the past, and they were jealous of each other’s good fortune. Though the old woman tried talking to her children about living in peace, they seemed to grow increasingly bitter by the day. She felt sure that they would not be able to keep the family farm after she had died, because they could not seem to work together or appreciate each other’s gifts.

Then one day as her strength waned, she had an idea. She called her children to her bedside. “I have one last favor to ask of you,” she said. “I would like each one of you to go to the forest and find two sticks. Bring them here tomorrow and I will explain.”

The children did as she asked and came to her room the next day with two sticks each.

“Thank you children,” the old woman said. “Please put one of your sticks down, and see if you can break the other one in half.” The children easily broke their sticks in half.

Then the old woman asked the children to pass her the remaining whole sticks. “Let us gather the remaining sticks into a bundle.” She said.

Then she passed the bundle back to her children and said, “Please pass this bundle of sticks amongst you and tell me – is it as easy to break the bundle as it was the single stick

The children passed the bundle between them but not one of them could break the bundle of sticks.

“You my children, are like these sticks,” the old woman said. “If you go your separate ways, quarrelling, and holding resentments toward one another, you will be alone like the individual sticks and the difficulties of life will easily hurt you. But if you work together, appreciate each other’s strengths, cherish what you share in common, and care for each other, you will be like the bundle of sticks, and nothing in life can break you. Find strength and joy in one another’s company, and you will live well and accomplish much.”

The children took their mother’s lesson to heart, letting go of past grudges and focusing on what they shared in common, appreciating each other’s strengths, and working together. The old woman died peacefully, and the farm remained in the family for many generations.

Station #5: Thoughts on Power

The quotes at this station are from famous people expressing their thoughts on power. You are to read over all of them and select 2 of these quotes. After you select them, answer the following questions about them as a team.

Quote ________

  1. From the quotes you chose, what do you know about the person who said it?

What we can infer about this person from this quote –

Paraphrase this quote explaining what you think it means.  

Quote ________

  1. From the quotes you chose, what do you know about the person who said it?

What we can infer about this person from this quote –

Paraphrase this quote explaining what you think it means.  

3. Thinking about all of the quotes how do they relate to each other? Are most of the quotes you chose positive or negative regarding power? Explain.

4. What ideas do you see repeated in multiple quotes? What do these repeated ideas say about power and powerful people?

5.Do you know of any examples of people/governments today that seem to fit in with any of these quotes? List and explain the quotes and the people/places they most closely resemble.

Quotes about Power
A -“He who dares not speak his free thoughts is a slave.” Euripides
B- “Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln
C- “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.” Friedrich Nietzsche

D- “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.”
Alice Walker
E -“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” Leonardo da Vinci

F -“Power is dangerous unless you have humility.” Richard Daly

G -“Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
H -“When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” Michael Ende, The Neverending Story
I -“When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” ― Euripides, Orestes
J- “The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.” ― Adolf Hitler

K – “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” Joseph Stalin

L- “You cannot make a revolution with silk gloves.” Joseph Stalin

M-“The only real power comes out of a long rifle.” Joseph Stalin

Station #6: Rich versus Poor (Imagery)
The time before the Russian revolution was one of an incredible gap between the rich and the poor. The richest people in Russia were the Romanovs, the family of the Czar, a Russian word that means “star”, and was their term for King. Other than the Czar and his family, the upper classes were the nobility, the clergy (religious leaders) and those in the higher ranks in the military. Most of the rest of the people were serfs. A serf is best described as a slave who works the land for the landowners and who is paid nothing except enough food to stay alive. Life was miserable, hard and short for serfs. These were the people who eventually rose up and fought for the Russian revolution.
Look at the series of pictures in this pile. Divide them between those that show affluence (wealth) and those that show poverty, and those that protest the wealth gap between the rich and poor. Describe what you see in each set of pictures.
1. Affluence –
a. What do you feel when you look at these pictures? Explain.

2. Poverty –

a. What do you feel when you look at these pictures? Explain.

3. How effective do you think a series of pictures like these would be to gain support for people to rise up and overthrow their leaders?

4.The past 30 years has shown a great increase in the wealth gap here in the United States with the richest 1% gaining in percentage of overall wealth while those in the middle class and lower class losing wealth.
What might happen in America if this trend were to continue?

5. Should our country try to change things so that there is a more equitable division of wealth? Should we have laws and such to make people more economically equal? Explain why or why not.

Taken from: |main site|

Comparison of characters to the Russian Revolution

Animal Farm

Russian Revolution

Mr. Jones

  • irresponsible to his animals (lets them starve)

  • sometimes cruel - beats them with whip

  • sometimes kind - mixes milk in animal mash

Czar Nicholas II

  • a poor leader at best, compared to western kings

  • cruel - sometimes brutal with opponents

  • Sometimes kind - hired students as spies to make $

Old Major

  • taught Animalism

  • workers do the work, rich keep the $, animals revolt

  • dies before revolution

Karl Marx

  • invented Communism

  • "workers of the world unite", take over gov't

  • dies before Russian Revolution


  • no owners, no rich, but no poor

  • workers get a better life, all animals equal

  • everyone owns the farm



  • young, smart, good speaker, idealistic

  • really wants to make life better for all

  • one of leaders of revolution

  • chased away into exile by Napoleon's dogs

Leon Trotsky

  • other leader of "October Revolution"

  • pure communist, followed Marx

  • wanted to improve life for all in Russia

  • chased away by Lenin's KGB (Lenin's secret police)


  • not a good speaker, not as clever like Snowball

  • cruel, brutal, selfish, devious, corrupt

  • his ambition is for power, killed opponents

  • used dogs, Moses, and Squealor to control animals

Joseph Stalin

  • not a good speaker, not educated like Trotsky

  • same as Napoleon, didn't follow Marx's ideas

  • cared for power, killed all that opposed him

  • used KGB, allowed church, and propagandized


  • big mouth, talks a lot

  • convinces animals to believe and follow Napoleon

  • Changes and manipulates the commandments

Propaganda department of Lenin's government

  • worked for Stalin to support his image

  • used any lie to convince the people to follow Stalin

  • benefited from the fact that education was controlled

The Dogs

  • a private army that used fear to force animals to work

  • killed or intimidated any opponent of Napoleon

  • another part of Napoleon's strategy to control animals

KGB - Secret Police

  • not really police, but forced support for Stalin

  • used force, often killed entire families for disobedience

  • totally loyal, part of Lenin's power, even over army

Moses the Raven

  • tells animals about SugarCandy mountain - Heaven

  • animals can go there if they work hard

  • Snowball and Major were against him

  • they though Heaven was a lie to make animals work

  • Napoleon let him stay because he taught animals to

  • work and not complain



  • Marx said "Opiate of the people" a lie

  • used to make people not complain and do their work

  • Religion was tolerared because people would work

  • Stalin knew religion would stop violent revolutions


Vain, selfish people in Russia and world

  • some people didn't care about revolution

  • only though about themselves

  • went to other countries that offered more for them


  • strong, hard working horse, believes in Animal Farm

  • "Napoleon is always right", "I must work harder"

  • gives his all, is betrayed by Napoleon, who sells him

Dedicated, but tricked communist supporters

  • people believed Stalin because he was "Communist"

  • many stayed loyal after it was obvious Stalin a tyrant

  • betrayed by Stalin who ignored and killed them


  • old, wise donkey who is suspicious of revolution

  • thinks "nothing ever changes", is right

  • his suspicions are true, about Boxer and sign changes

Skeptical people in Russia and outside Russia

  • weren't sure revolution would change anything

  • realized that a crazy leader can call himself communist

  • knew that communism wouldn't work with power-hungry leaders

Overall details about revolution

  • it was supposed to make life better for all

  • life was worse at the end

  • The leaders became the same as, or worse than,

  • the other farmers (humans) they rebelled against

Overall details of Russian Revolution

  • supposed to fix problems from Czar

  • life was even worse long after revolution

  • Stalin made Czar look like a nice guy

Animal Farm Chapters 1-2





Ensconced- settled


cynical – distrustful; negative


hideous – terrible; shocking


comrades – coworkers; friends


tyranny – unlimited and cruel power


preliminary – opening; introductory


vivacious – high-spirited; lively


elaborated – worked out in detail


counteract – act against; oppose


unalterable – unchangeable

Animal Farm

Vocabulary Chapters 1 & 2

Directions - Fill in the blank with the vocabulary word that best completes the sentence:

ensconced cynical hideous comrades

tyranny preliminary vivacious elaborated

counteract unalterable

  1. The news of a _____________ murder in our community had the citizens terrified!

  1. Our wedding day plans were _______________ and couldn’t even be changed for a fee.

  1. After a few ______________ tries, the group of animals sang Beasts of England together in unison.

  1. George Orwell’s teacher at St. Cyprian’s was ____________ because she picked on the poor children.

  1. The cruel superintendent at St. Cyprian’s had ______________ over the students’ lives.

  1. Old Major was _______________ in his bed of straw for the night.

  1. My teacher told me that I ___________________ my arguments with great precision and detail.

  1. Old Major wanted all of the animals to be _______________ and get along with one another.

  1. The animals were peppy and ________________ when Old Major taught them to sing Beasts of England.

  1. During the debate, the other team will _________________ your opinions.

Animal Farm

By George Orwell
“The HH Play”

(For Chapters 1-2)


Chapter 1

Narrator: Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the henhouses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes. He drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way to bed, where his wife was already snoring.
As the light in the bedroom went out, there was a stirring and fluttering through the farm buildings. The word on the farm was that Old Major, a prize Middle White Boar, had had a strange dream on the previous night and wished to talk to the other animals about it. They had all agreed to meet in the big barn as soon as Mr. Jones had gone to sleep. Old Major was so highly regarded on the farm that the animals were willing to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear what he had to say.
All of the animals gathered in the barn, except Moses, the tame raven, who slept on a perch behind the back door. When Old Major saw that everyone was ensconced and ready to listen, he cleared his throat and began:
Old Major: Comrades, you have all heard that I had a strange dream last night (Snort). Before I talk about the dream, I want you to know that I do not think I will be with you for many months longer. Before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. This is what I would like to speak to you about (Snort).
What is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are only given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. 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.
Why do we put up with these miserable conditions? (Snort, snort) Nearly the whole of the produce of our labor is stolen from us by the human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all of our problems. It is summed up in a single word – Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. He is the only creature who consumes without producing. (Snort)
We must rebel against the tyranny of humans if we are to ever be free! How this will be done, I do not know, but we must begin to think of animals in perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle against man. All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.
Narrator: At this moment there was a tremendous uproar. While Major was speaking four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on their hind legs, listening to him. The dogs had caught sight of them and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the rats saved their lives.
Old Major: Here is a point that must be settled. The wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits – are they our friends or our enemies? Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the meeting: Are rats comrades?
Narrator: The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming majority that rats were comrades.
Old Major: Now comrades, I would like to teach you a song that my mother used to sing to me when I was a little pig (snort). It is called Beasts of England and it is sung to the same tune as Clementine. I am old and my voice is hoarse, but sing it along with me:
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well and spread my tidings
Of the golden future time

Soon and late the day is coming,

Tyrant Man shall be o'erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone

Rings shall vanish from our noses,

And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack

Riches more than mind can picture,

Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day

Bright will shine the fields of England,

Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free

For that day we all must labour,

Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom's sake

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,

Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well and spread my tidings
Of the golden future time

Narrator: The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement. Almost before Major had reached the end, they had begun singing it for themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the tune and a few of the words, and as for the clever ones, such as the pigs and dogs, they had the entire song by heart within a few minutes. And then, after a few preliminary tries, the whole farm burst into Beasts of England in tremendous unison.
Unfortunately, the uproar awoke Mr. Jones, who sprang out of bed. He seized a gun which always stood in a corner of his bedroom, and shot it into the darkness. The pellets buried themselves in the wall of the barn and the meeting broke up hurriedly. Before long, the whole farm was asleep again.

Chapter 2

Narrator: Three nights later Old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His body was buried at the foot of the orchard.
This was early in March. During the next three months there was much secret activity among the more intelligent animals on the farm. They did not know when this Rebellion would occur, but they saw clearly that it was their duty to prepare for it. The work of teaching and organizing fell naturally on the pigs, who were generally recognized as being the cleverest of all the animals. The most popular pigs were two young boars named Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones had been breeding up for sale. Napoleon was a large, fierce-looking Berkshire boar, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way. Snowball was more vivacious than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character. Another well known pig was Squealer who was a brilliant talker and very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white. These three pigs had elaborated Old Major’s teachings into a complete system of thought called Animalism.
Snowball: Once we rebel against man, Animalism will allow us to live in unity with a common desire to maintain equality and goodness on the farm.
Mollie: Will there still be sugar after the Rebellion?
Snowball: No, we have no means of making sugar on this farm. Besides, you do not need sugar. You will have all the oats and hay you want.
Mollie: And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane?
Snowball: Comrade, those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?
Narrator: Mollie agreed, but she did not sound very convinced. The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put about by Moses, the tame raven. Moses, who was Mr. Jones’s special pet, was a spy and talebearer, but he was also a clever talker. He claimed to know of the existence of a country called Sugar Candy Mountain which served as an image of heaven in the minds of the animals:
Moses: Sugar Candy Mountain is a place where every day is Sunday, clover is in season all year and lump sugar and linseed cake grow on the hedges. Once you get to Sugar Candy Mountain, any struggle or pain you know will cease to exist.
Narrator: The pigs’ most faithful followers were the two carthorses, Boxer and Clover. These two had great difficulty thinking for themselves, but accepted the pigs as their teachers and absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the other animals by simple arguments.
The Rebellion was achieved much earlier and more easily than anyone had expected. In past years Mr. Jones, although a hard master, had been a capable farmer, but of late he had fallen on hard times. He had become disheartened after losing money in a lawsuit and had taken to drinking more than was good for him. For whole days he would sit and drink while the farm went unattended. The animals were underfed and could not take it any longer. One of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from the bin. Hearing this noise, Jones woke up and brought four of his men to the store shed with whips in their hands. They lashed out in all directions and it was more than the animals could bear. The hungry animals began butting and kicking the men and it frightened them out of their wits. The men gave up trying to defend themselves and took to their heels. In a moment, all five of them were running toward the five-barred gate with the animals in hot pursuit. Mrs. Jones saw what was happening out of her bedroom window, grabbed a few possessions, and slipped out of the farm by another way.
The Rebellion had been successfully carried through: Jones was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs.
They ran around the farm and wiped out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign. The nose-rings, the dog chains, the knives with which Mr. Jones had used to castrate the pigs and lambs, were all flung down the well. The whips, reins, the halters, and the degrading nosebags were all thrown on to the rubbish fire which was burning in the yard. Snowball also threw on to the fire the ribbons with which the horses’ manes and tails had usually been decorated with on market days.
Snowball: Ribbons should be considered clothes, which are the mark of a human being. All animals should go naked.
Narrator: The animals stared out at the pasture that was all their own. Everything they could see was theirs! The animals hurried over to the farmhouse and tiptoed from room to room in single file. While looking at all of the human luxuries, the animals realized that Mollie was missing. She was discovered in one of Mrs. Jones’s best rooms admiring herself in a mirror with a blue ribbon she had taken from her dressing table. The animals went outside and vowed that the farmhouse would be preserved as a museum. All were in agreement that no animal must ever live there.
Snowball: Comrades (snort), today we will begin the hay harvest, but before we do, we pigs would like you to know that we have taught ourselves to read and write from old spelling books in the farmhouse. We have decided to officially change the name of Manor Farm to Animal Farm. We have also taken the time to reduce the principles of Animalism to Seven Commandments which will be inscribed on the wall of the barn. We will follow these Commandments for ever after and never alter them.

Narrator: The Commandments were as follows:
The Seven Commandments

  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 animal shall drink alcohol.

  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.

  7. All animals are equal.

Snowball: Now comrades, let us memorize these Commandments and follow them all the days of our lives! (Snort, snort)
Cows: Moo! Mooooo! Mooooooooo! Moo! Mooooo! Moooooooo!
Boxer: Quick, someone help! The cows have not been milked for over twenty-four hours and they are ready to bust!
Napoleon: Get some buckets! We will have this situation taken care of quickly.
Clover: What is going to happen to all that milk?
Napoleon: Never mind the milk, comrades! That will be attended to. The harvest is more important. Forward comrades! The hay is waiting!
Narrator: All of the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest, and when they returned in the evening it was noticed that the milk had disappeared.

Animal Farm Comprehension

Chapters 1-2
Chapter 1

  1. Why does Old Major gather all the animals together?

  1. Why does Old Major consider man as the only real enemy that the animals have?

  1. What is the significance of “Beasts of England”?

Chapter 2

  1. What is Animalism?

  1. What is the purpose of the Seven Commandments?

  1. Why is the milk incident a hint of what is to come?

Animal Farm Chapters 3-4


Draw a symbol or picture to help you remember the definition


Parasitical – like a parasite; living off of or taking advantage of someone


obstinate – strong-minded; unbending


cryptic – mysterious; unclear


indefatigable – tireless


whelped – gave birth to (reference to animals)


flourished – thrived; grew


irrepressible – uncontrollable


scored – scratched; cut into


ignominious – disgraceful; shameful


impromptu – done without preparation; spontaneous

Animal Farm Vocabulary

for Chapters 3 & 4

Directions - Fill in the blank with the vocabulary word that best completes the sentence:
flourished irrepressible scored whelped

parasitical cryptic impromptu obstinate

ignominious indefatigable

  1. The animals felt that with the __________________ human beings gone, there was more for everyone to eat.

  1. Benjamin, the donkey, was _________________ when it came to working. He did what he had to do and never volunteered a moment of time.

  1. The donkey wasn’t much of a conversationalist. When asked questions, he would always reply with a confusingly ____________________ message.

  1. Squealer’s _____________________ efforts promoted committees and rallies for the animals to attend.

  1. Old Major had _________________ over 400 babies in his lifetime.

  1. The humans would sit around and talk about the terrible wickedness that now ____________________ on Animal Farm.

  1. When animals on other farms were caught singing Beasts of England, they would be ________________ with a whip.

  1. Even though animals could be beaten for singing Beasts of England, it became an _________________________ anthem among them all.

  1. When the humans came back to the farm to try and regain power, the animals drove them out for a second time within five minutes! The farmers lowered their heads as they began their __________________ retreat through the gates of the farm.

  1. After the second battle, an ________________ celebration of the victory was held on Animal Farm.

Animal Farm Comprehension

Chapter 3
1. Why do all the animals admire Boxer?

2. What does the statement, “I will work harder!” tell you about Boxer?

3. Why does Napoleon feel that the education of the young is important?

4. Some of the animals were unable to memorize the Seven Commandments. What maxim did Snowball come up with that contained the essential principles of Animalism?
5. What do the animals say is the distinguishing mark of a man?

6.What does Squealer mean when he says, “We pigs are brainworkers”?

7.How does Squealer persuade the animals to allow the pigs to eat all the milk and apples?

Chapter 4 Questions

1. Who are Frederick and Pilkington?
2. Why do the humans come back?

3. What does Boxer do to the stable lad during the battle?

4. What do the animals name the battle in which they fight against Jones and the other farmers?
5. What award is conferred on Snowball and Boxer from this battle?

6.Who would you say led this battle? Why?

PROPAGANDA: Businesses use propaganda to help people believe in their systems and purchase their merchandise on a regular basis. The characters of Animal Farm are no different than humans… They too are “brainwashed” by the persuasive declarations of Squealer. Utilizing propaganda techniques, Squealer convinces the animals that Comrade Napoleon is an honest and genuine leader with their best interests in mind.

Propaganda techniques used in Animal Farm

Quote from page #

Paraphrase the quote (put it in your own words)

Explain how this form of propaganda is effective.

Logos: Logical Appeal
Using facts, statistics, numbers, charts and graphs in order to persuade one’s audience.

Ethos: Credibility Appeal
Citing where one’s information came from in order to establish reliability or using experts to persuade one’s audience.

Pathos: Emotional Appeal
Persuading by evoking an emotional response (happiness, sadness, fear, patriotism, hatred, etc.).

Animal Farm Chapters 5-6

  1. pretext – a misleading motive or claim

  2. ratified – approved; supported (usually by a vote)

  3. canvassing – surveying; gathering or looking for support

  4. sordid – low; filthy

  5. marshal – put in order; arrange

  6. watchword – motto; keyword

  7. procured – gained

  8. solicitor – lawyer; one who does business for someone else

  9. repose – rest; sleep

  10. gale – strong wind; windstorm

Based on these vocabulary words, make a prediction about what might happen in the next two chapters. You may always base this prediction on what has already happened.

Animal Farm Vocabulary Quiz for Chapters 5 & 6

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