Animal Farm Book Summary

Animal Farm
Overview
Main Character
Themes
Allegory of Rebellion & Corruption
The animals of Manor Farm in England rebel against their farmer, Mr. Jones, and rename their homestead Animal Farm. Although they begin with guidelines for equality, the pigs eventually rule by fear, setting up a totalitarian existence. In this memorable allegory of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the characters represent specific historical figures.
Napoleon
Leader of rebellion who rules by fear; represents Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
Squealer
Manipulative pig; represents Russian media, which spread propaganda to the masses
Snowball
Intellectual pig cast out from the farm; represents banished Russian leader Leon Trotsky
Old Major
Old, wise pig; represents socialist revolutionary Karl Marx
Boxer
Powerful but dense cart horse; represents the proletariat
Mr. Jones
Represents the tyrannical Tsar Nicholas II
Exploitation
Animal Farm illustrates how class stratification occurs when someone holds power over an overworked and undereducated underclass.
Deception
To maintain rule, Napoleon and the other pigs lie to the other animals, changing the rules.
Corruption
A critique of Soviet Communism, Animal Farm shows how a totalitarian society can emerge after a rebellion intended for equality.
Author
GEORGE ORWELL 1903-50
Born Eric Arthur Blair in British-controlled India, he used the name George Orwell for publication. Written during World War II, Animal Farm is an allegory of the Russian Revolution that criticizes the Stalinist government. Through his writings, Orwell became a leading voice on political and social issues.
Numbering
1954
Year Animal Farm was adapted as an animated film directed by John Halas and Joy Batchelor
7
Commandments the animals begin with in Animal Farm, which is reduced to one
9
Attack dogs raised by Napoleon to enforce his demands through fear
4
Publishers that rejected Animal Farm
Motifs
Songs & Chants
The songs and chants the animals sing to rally for rebellion illustrate the pigs' control.
Religion & Ritual
The working animals' attachment to beliefs and rules shows a penchant for hysteria and vulnerability to being controlled.
55