Animal Farm

“Animal farm” is a novel written by George Orwell between November 1943 and February 1944 and is considered his masterpiece. The events depicted by the author take place, as the title says, in a croft, Manor Farm, run by Mr. Jones, a cruel and drunken farmer. One day, the animals gather at a meeting to listen to Old Major, a wise old pig, who makes a speech, calling for animals to rise up against their farmer. They all are very keen about the idea, but Old Major dies a few days later. After that , the pigs hold secret meetings in order to elaborate his instructions in a system of thoughts, the “Animalism”. On a day off, Mr. Jones gets drunk and animals are neglected: hungrier than ever, they break into the stored-shed and that’s the moment of the beginning of the Rebellion. Winning the fight, the animals obtain the farm and decide to destroy everything that remind them of Mr. Jones, but they can’t get up enough nerve to enter in the farmhouse building. Eventually they agree that it must be preserved as a museum and no one must ever live in it and, to conclude the conquest of the farm, they change its name in “Animal Farm”. The first thing they do is to establish new laws, the Seven Commandments, which represent order and justice on Animal Farm: men are enemies, all kind of animals are friends and they all are equal and none of them can act like a man. One of these rules is immediately broke since pigs exploit the others for its own gain. Napoleon and Snowball, the pigs, supervise and direct animals, who start working with passion, doing so much so soon; no one steals or complains about rations and everyone does his duty. The swine decide to spread the news of the Rebellion through pigeons, bringing “Beasts of England”, revolt’s anthem, to the neighboring farm, Foxwood and Pinchfield. These two croft fear that the revolution also spreads among their animals. At the beginning of October, the “Cowshed Battle” , the first fight between animals and people, takes place and since animals made the appropriate precautions, invaders are easily defeated. Not all the animals succeed in accepting Animalism’s laws and Mollie, a sheep, leave the farm. We also start to see the first points of clash among the two leaders: they argue about the construction of the windmill and the discussion is won by Snowball; Napoleon decides to get rid of him using dogs and forcing him to run away. Snowball’s expulsion represents the first step on the road to Napoleon’s tyranny. Animals start working like slaves, but happily as they are doing it for themselves. The construction of the windmill proceed under the superintendence of the pigs, but contacts with the neighbouring farms become inevitable: they need some industrial products whose production is impossible on their farm. In this way, Animal Farm is formally involved in business activity. Napoleon contacts Mr. Whymper as middleman and that’s when the animals start doubting about his honesty, but he succeed in convincing them they were wrong thanks to Squealer’s help. When pigs begin to use Mr. Jones’ house to live in, their exploiting attitude becomes apparent, but soon they have to face greater problems: one stormy night, the windmill collapses. So that everyone can overcome general failure, Napoleon accuses Snowball of any unforeseen event that happens on the farm. He also accuses some animals of treason and abolishes the hymn “Beast of England”. Animals think to remember the commandments of Animalism, but every time the goat Muriel read them, they find out they forget a few words, actually added by the pigs. Napoleon lives in a sort of kingdom, everyone addresses him as “Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon” and pigs, who worships him, also create others titles such as Terror of Mankind or Ducklings’ Friend. The idea of Napoleon as a dictator comes out when he announces that the mill will be named after him. When the mill is almost finished, it takes place another battle in which the farm loses some animals and the mill it is reduces to dust. In order to keep the farm working, all animals except pigs and dogs must work harder and eat less, living worse than in Jones’ time, even if they don’t realise it. It become clear that the only ones who got something from the Rebellion are pigs since they replaced human beings, starting to behave like them, learning to walk on two legs and replacing the Seven Commandments with one “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”. The distance between humans and pigs become wider and wider , the farm eventually is a source of admiration to the visitors and pigs speak with human as man to man . Its name is changed again in Manor farm and the book ends with an extremely important sentence: "No question now what has happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which."
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