ANIMAL FARM is an allegorical novella by
George Orwell , first
published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book
reflects events leading up to the
Russian Revolution of 1917
The original title was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story; U.S. publishers
dropped the subtitle when it was published in 1946, and only one of
the translations during Orwell's lifetime kept it. Other titular
variations include subtitles like "A Satire" and "A Contemporary
Satire". Orwell suggested the title Union des républiques
socialistes animales for the French translation, which abbreviates to
Orwell wrote the book between November 1943 and February 1944, when
the UK was in its wartime alliance with the
Time magazine chose the book as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels . It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection.
* 1 Plot summary
* 2 Characters
* 2.1 Pigs * 2.2 Humans * 2.3 Horses and donkeys * 2.4 Other animals
* 3 Composition and publication
* 3.1 Origin * 3.2 Efforts to find a publisher * 3.3 Preface
* 4 Critical response
* 5 Analysis
* 5.1 Animalism * 5.2 Significance and allegory
* 6 Adaptations
* 6.1 Films * 6.2 Radio dramatizations * 6.3 Stage productions
* 7 Popular culture
* 7.1 Music * 7.2 Television
* 8 Editions
* 9 See also
* 9.1 Books
* 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 External links
Old Major , the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as "enemies" and teaches the animals a revolutionary song called "Beasts of England ". When Major dies, two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon , assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it "Animal Farm". They adopt the Seven Commandments of Animalism, the most important of which is, "All animals are equal."
Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, while Napoleon educates young puppies on the principles of Animalism . Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly. The pigs elevate themselves to positions of leadership and set aside special food items, ostensibly for their personal health.
Some time later, several men attack Animal Farm. Jones and his men are making an attempt to recapture the farm, aided by several other farmers who are terrified of similar animal revolts. Snowball and the animals, who are hiding in ambush, defeat the men by launching a surprise attack as soon as they enter the farmyard. Snowball's popularity soars, and this event is proclaimed "The Battle of the Cowshed". It is celebrated annually with the firing of a gun, on the anniversary of the Revolution.
Napoleon and Snowball vie for pre-eminence. When Snowball announces his plans to modernize the farm by building a windmill , Napoleon has his dogs chase Snowball away and declares himself leader.
Napoleon enacts changes to the governance structure of the farm, replacing meetings with a committee of pigs who will run the farm. Through a young pig named Squealer , Napoleon claims credit for the windmill idea. The animals work harder with the promise of easier lives with the windmill. When the animals find the windmill collapsed after a violent storm, Napoleon and Squealer convince the animals that Snowball is trying to sabotage their project. Once Snowball becomes a scapegoat , Napoleon begins to purge the farm with his dogs, killing animals he accuses of consorting with his old rival. When some animals recall the Battle of the Cowshed, Napoleon (who was nowhere to be found during the battle) frequently smears Snowball as a collaborator of Jones', while falsely representing himself as the hero of the battle. "Beasts of England" is replaced with an anthem glorifying Napoleon, who appears to be adopting the lifestyle of a man. The animals remain convinced that they are better off than they were under Mr. Jones.
Mr Frederick , one of the neighbouring farmers, attacks the farm,
using blasting powder to blow up the restored windmill. Though the
animals win the battle, they do so at great cost , as many, including
Boxer the workhorse, are wounded. Despite his injuries, Boxer
continues working harder and harder, until he collapses while working
on the windmill. Napoleon sends for a van to take Boxer to the
veterinary surgeon, explaining that better care can be given there.
Benjamin, the cynical donkey who "could read as well as any pig",
notices that the van belongs to a knacker and attempts a futile
rescue. Squealer quickly assures the animals that the van had been
purchased from the knacker by an animal hospital, and the previous
owner's signboard had not been repainted. In a subsequent report,
Squealer reports sadly to the animals that Boxer died peacefully at
the animal hospital; the pigs hold a festival one day after Boxer's
death to further praise the glories of
Years pass, and the windmill is rebuilt along with construction of another windmill, which makes the farm a good amount of income. However, the ideals which Snowball discussed, including stalls with electric lighting, heating and running water are forgotten, with Napoleon advocating that the happiest animals live simple lives. In addition to Boxer, many of the animals who participated in the Revolution are dead, as is Farmer Jones, who died in another part of England. The pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to a single phrase: "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others". Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name "The Manor Farm". As the animals look from pigs to humans, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two.
* OLD MAJOR – An aged prize
Middle White boar provides the
inspiration that fuels the rebellion. He is an allegorical combination
* MR JONES – A heavy drinker who is the original owner of Manor
Farm, a farm in disrepair with farmhands who often loaf on the job. He
is an allegory of Russian
Tsar Nicholas II
HORSES AND DONKEYS
* BOXER – A loyal, kind, dedicated, extremely strong, hard working, and respectable cart-horse, although quite naive and gullible. Boxer does a large share of the physical labour on the farm. He is shown to hold the belief that 'Napoleon is always right'. At one point, he had challenged Squealer's statement that Snowball was always against the welfare of the farm, earning him an attack from Napoleon's dogs. But Boxer's immense strength repels the attack, worrying the pigs that their authority can be challenged. Boxer has been compared to the Stakhanovite movement . He has been described as "faithful and strong"; he believes any problem can be solved if he works harder. When Boxer is injured, Napoleon sells him to a local knacker to buy himself whisky, and Squealer gives a moving account falsifying Boxer's death. * MOLLIE – A self-centred, self-indulgent and vain young white mare who quickly leaves for another farm after the revolution. She is only once mentioned again, in a manner similar to those who left Russia after the fall of the Tsar. * CLOVER – A gentle, caring female horse, who shows concern especially for Boxer, who often pushes himself too hard. Clover can read all the letters of the alphabet, but cannot "put words together". She seems to catch on to the sly tricks and schemes set up by Napoleon and Squealer. * BENJAMIN – A donkey, one of the oldest, wisest animals on the farm, and one of the few who can read properly. He is sceptical, temperamental and cynical: his most frequent remark is, "Life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly." The academic Morris Dickstein has suggested there is "a touch of Orwell himself in this creature's timeless skepticism" and indeed, friends called Orwell "Donkey George", "after his grumbling donkey Benjamin, in Animal Farm."
* MURIEL – A wise old goat who is friends with all of the animals on the farm. She, like Benjamin and Snowball, is one of the few animals on the farm who can read. * THE PUPPIES – Offspring of Jessie and Bluebell, they were taken away at birth by Napoleon and reared by him to be his security force. * MOSES – The raven, "Mr. Jones's especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker." Initially following Mrs. Jones into exile, he reappears several years later and resumes his role of talking but not working. He regales Animal Farm's denizens with tales of a wondrous place beyond the clouds called "Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest forever from our labours!" Orwell portrays established religion as "the black raven of priestcraft—promising pie in the sky when you die, and faithfully serving whoever happens to be in power." Napoleon brings the raven back (Ch. IX), as Stalin brought back the Russian Orthodox Church . * THE SHEEP – They show limited understanding of the Animalism and the political atmosphere of the farm; yet nonetheless they blindly support Napoleon's ideals with vocal jingles during his speeches and meetings with Snowball. Some commentators have compared the sheep to representations of state controlled press. Their constant bleating of "four legs good, two legs bad" was used as a device to drown out any opposition; analogous to simplistic headlines used in printed media of the age. Towards the latter section of the book, Squealer (the propagandist) trains the sheep to alter their slogan to "four legs good, two legs better", which they dutifully do. Symbolizing the state manipulation of media. * THE HENS – The hens are promised at the start of the revolution that they will get to keep their eggs, which are stolen from them under Mr Jones. However their eggs are soon taken from them under the premise of buying goods from outside Animal Farm. The hens are among the first to rebel against Napoleon. * THE COWS – The cows are enticed into the revolution by promises that their milk will not be stolen, but can be used to raise their own calves. Their milk is then stolen by the pigs, who learn to milk them. The milk is stirred into the pigs' mash every day, while the other animals are denied such luxuries. * THE CAT – Never seen to carry out any work, the cat is absent for long periods and is forgiven; because her excuses are so convincing and she "purred so affectionately that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions." She has no interest in the politics of the farm, and the only time she is recorded as having participated in an election, she is found to have actually "voted on both sides."
COMPOSITION AND PUBLICATION
George Orwell wrote the manuscript in 1943 and 1944 subsequent to his
experiences during the
Spanish Civil War
Immediately prior to writing the book, Orwell had quit the
In the preface, Orwell also described the source of the idea of setting the book on a farm:
...I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.
EFFORTS TO FIND A PUBLISHER
Orwell initially encountered difficulty getting the manuscript published, largely due to fears that the book might upset the alliance between Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Four publishers refused; one had initially accepted the work but declined it after consulting the Ministry of Information . Eventually, Secker and Warburg published the first edition in 1945.
During the Second World War , it became clear to Orwell that anti-Soviet literature was not something which most major publishing houses would touch—including his regular publisher Gollancz . He also submitted the manuscript to Faber and Faber , where the poet T. S. Eliot (who was a director of the firm) rejected it; Eliot wrote back to Orwell praising the book's "good writing" and "fundamental integrity", but declared that they would only accept it for publication if they had some sympathy for the viewpoint "which I take to be generally Trotskyite ". Eliot said he found the view "not convincing", and contended that the pigs were made out to be the best to run the farm; he posited that someone might argue "what was needed... was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs". Orwell let André Deutsch , who was working for Nicholson & Watson in 1944, read the typescript, and Deutsch was convinced that Nicholson however, they did not, and "lectured Orwell on what they perceived to be errors in Animal Farm." In his London Letter on 17 April 1944 for Partisan Review , Orwell wrote that it was "now next door to impossible to get anything overtly anti-Russian printed. Anti-Russian books do appear, but mostly from Catholic publishing firms and always from a religious or frankly reactionary angle."
Jonathan Cape , who had initially accepted Animal Farm,
subsequently rejected the book after an official at the British
Ministry of Information warned him off —although the civil servant
who it is assumed gave the order was later found to be a Soviet spy.
Writing to Leonard Moore , a partner in the literary agency of Christy
& Moore, publisher
Jonathan Cape explained that the decision had been
taken on the advice of a senior official in the Ministry of
Information. Such flagrant anti-Soviet bias was unacceptable, and the
choice of pigs as the dominant class was thought to be especially
offensive. It may reasonably be assumed that the 'important official'
was a man named
Peter Smollett , who was later unmasked as a Soviet
agent. Orwell was suspicious of Smollett/Smolka, and he would be one
of the names Orwell included in his list of Crypto-Communists and
Fellow-Travellers sent to the Information Research Department in 1949.
Born Hans Peter Smolka in Vienna in 1912, he came to Britain in 1933
If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators , that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships.
Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.
Frederic Warburg also faced pressures against publication, even from people in his own office and from his wife Pamela, who felt that it was not the moment for ingratitude towards Stalin and the heroic Red Army , which had played a major part in defeating Hitler. A Russian translation was printed in the paper Posev, and in giving permission for a Russian translation of Animal Farm, Orwell refused in advance all royalties. A translation in Ukrainian, which was produced in Germany, was confiscated in large part by the American wartime authorities and handed over to the Soviet repatriation commission.
In October 1945, Orwell wrote to Frederic Warburg expressing interest in pursuing the possibility that the political cartoonist David Low might illustrate Animal Farm. Low had written a letter saying that he had had "a good time with ANIMAL FARM—an excellent bit of satire—it would illustrate perfectly." Nothing came of this, and a trial issue produced by Secker & Warburg in 1956 illustrated by John Driver was abandoned, but the Folio Society published an edition in 1984 illustrated by Quentin Blake and an edition illustrated by the cartoonist Ralph Steadman was published by Secker white-space:nowrap;">
Contemporary reviews of the work were not universally positive. Writing in the American New Republic magazine, George Soule expressed his disappointment in the book, writing that it "puzzled and saddened me. It seemed on the whole dull. The allegory turned out to be a creaking machine for saying in a clumsy way things that have been said better directly." Soule believed that the animals were not consistent enough with their real world inspirations, and said, "It seems to me that the failure of this book (commercially it is already assured of tremendous success) arises from the fact that the satire deals not with something the author has experienced, but rather with stereotyped ideas about a country which he probably does not know very well".
"Seven Commandments" redirects here. For the Noahide code, see Seven Laws of Noah .
The pigs Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer adapt Old Major's ideas
into "a complete system of thought", which they formally name
Animalism, an allegoric reference to
The original commandments are:
* Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. * Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. * No animal shall wear clothes. * No animal shall sleep in a bed. * No animal shall drink alcohol. * No animal shall kill any other animal. * All animals are equal.
These commandments are also distilled into the maxim "Four legs good, two legs BAD!" which is primarily used by the sheep on the farm, often to disrupt discussions and disagreements between animals on the nature of Animalism.
Later, Napoleon and his pigs secretly revise some commandments to clear themselves of accusations of law-breaking. The changed commandments are as follows, with the changes bolded:
* No animal shall sleep in a bed WITH SHEETS. * No animal shall drink alcohol TO EXCESS. * No animal shall kill any other animal WITHOUT CAUSE.
Eventually, these are replaced with the maxims, "All animals are
equal BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS", and "Four legs
good, two legs BETTER!" as the pigs become more human. This is an
ironic twist to the original purpose of the Seven Commandments, which
were supposed to keep order within
SIGNIFICANCE AND ALLEGORY
The Horn and Hoof Flag described in the book appears to be based on the hammer and sickle , the Communist symbol.
Eastern Bloc , both
Orwell biographer Jeffrey Meyers has written, "virtually every detail has political significance in this allegory." Orwell himself wrote in 1946, "Of course I intended it primarily as a satire on the Russian revolution.. that kind of revolution (violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power hungry people) can only lead to a change of masters revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert." In a preface for a 1947 Ukrainian edition, he stated, "... for the past ten years I have been convinced that the destruction of the Soviet myth was essential if we wanted a revival of the socialist movement. On my return from Spain I thought of exposing the Soviet myth in a story that could be easily understood by almost anyone and which could be easily translated into other languages."
The revolt of the animals against Farmer Jones is Orwell's analogy with the October 1917 Bolshevik Revolution . The Battle of the Cowshed has been said to represent the allied invasion of Soviet Russia in 1918, and the defeat of the White Russians in the Russian Civil War . The pigs' rise to pre-eminence mirrors the rise of a Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR, just as Napoleon's emergence as the farm's sole leader reflects Stalin's emergence. The pigs' appropriation of milk and apples for their own use, "the turning point of the story" as Orwell termed it in a letter to Dwight Macdonald , stands as an analogy for the crushing of the left-wing 1921 Kronstadt revolt against the Bolsheviks, and the difficult efforts of the animals to build the windmill suggest the various Five Year Plans . The puppies controlled by Napoleon parallel the nurture of the secret police in the Stalinist structure, and the pigs' treatment of the other animals on the farm recalls the internal terror faced by the populace in the 1930s. In chapter seven, when the animals confess their nonexistent crimes and are killed, Orwell directly alludes to the purges, confessions and show trials of the late 1930s. These contributed to Orwell's conviction that the Bolshevik revolution had been corrupted and the Soviet system become rotten.
Peter Edgerly Firchow and Peter Davison consider that the Battle of
Other connections that writers have suggested illustrate Orwell's
telescoping of Russian history from 1917 to 1943 include the wave of
rebelliousness that ran through the countryside after the Rebellion,
which stands for the abortive revolutions in Hungary and in Germany
(Ch IV); the conflict between Napoleon and Snowball (Ch V),
paralleling "the two rival and quasi-Messianic beliefs that seemed
pitted against one another:
Trotskyism , with its faith in the
revolutionary vocation of the proletariat of the West; and Stalinism
with its glorification of Russia\'s socialist destiny "; Napoleon's
dealings with Whymper and the Willingdon markets (Ch VI), paralleling
the Treaty of Rapallo ; and Frederick's forged bank notes, paralleling
the Hitler-Stalin non-aggression pact of August 1939 , after which
The book's close, with the pigs and men in a kind of rapprochement ,
reflected Orwell's view of the 1943
Similarly, the music in the novel, starting with Beasts of England and the later anthems, parallels The Internationale and its adoption and repudiation by the Soviet authorities as the Anthem of the USSR in the 1920s and 1930s.
In 2012, a HFR-3D version of Animal Farm, potentially directed by Andy Serkis was announced.
A further radio production, again using Orwell's own dramatisation of
the book, was broadcast in January 2013 on
A theatrical version, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell , was staged at the National Theatre London on 25 April 1984, directed by Peter Hall . It toured nine cities in 1985.
A solo version, adapted and performed by Guy Masterson, premièred at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh in January 1995 and has toured worldwide since.
(Alphabetical by artist)
Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps ' 2014 show was titled
Animal Farm, based on the novel.
* Canadian-based band
Boxer the Horse takes its name from a
character in the novel.
Dead prez based a song on their album Let\'s Get Free (2000),
called "Animal in Man", on the novella, putting emphasis on how the
other animals should not trust the pigs during a revolution.
* The lyrics of the song ″Arthur's Farm″ from the Half Man Half
Back Again in the DHSS (1987) tell the story of Douglas
Arthur Askey visiting Animal Farm. The song features the
line "Four legs good, but no legs best" in apparent tribute to the two
* The song, "The Nature of the Beast", by the American metalcore
Ice Nine Kills , was inspired by Animal Farm.
(Alphabetical by program)
* In "The Daleks\' Master Plan " (1966), an episode of the
long-running British science fiction show
Doctor Who , a character
references the modified seventh commandment of Animal Farm, saying:
"Though we are all equal partners with the Daleks on this great
conquest, some of us are more equal than others."
* In the tenth episode of the second season of
Johnny Bravo , "Aunt
Katie's Farm", Johnny, while dressed in a pig costume, yells, "Four
feet good! Two feet bad!".
* The Lost episode "Exposé" , in season three, involves flashbacks
with Nikki and Paulo involving an argument with Kate about the handgun
case. During this scene, Dr. Leslie Arzt yells at Kate: "The pigs are
walking," a reference to
* LCCN 46006290 (hardcover, 1946, First American Edition)
* ISBN 0-451-51679-6 (paperback, 1956, Signet Classic)
* ISBN 0-582-02173-1 (paper text, 1989)
* ISBN 0-15-107255-8 (hardcover, 1990)
* ISBN 0-582-06010-9 (paper text, 1991)
* ISBN 0-679-42039-8 (hardcover, 1993)
* ISBN 0-606-00102-6 (prebound , 1996)
* ISBN 0-15-100217-7 (hardcover, 1996, Anniversary Edition)
* ISBN 0-452-27750-7 (paperback, 1996, Anniversary Edition)
* ISBN 0-451-52634-1 (mass market paperback , 1996, Anniversary
* ISBN 0-582-53008-3 (1996)
* ISBN 1-56000-520-3 (cloth text, 1998, Large Type Edition)
* ISBN 0-7910-4774-1 (hardcover, 1999)
* ISBN 0-451-52536-1 (paperback, 1999)
* ISBN 0-7641-0819-0 (paperback, 1999)
* ISBN 0-8220-7009-X (e-book , 1999)
* ISBN 0-7587-7843-0 (hardcover, 2002)
* ISBN 0-15-101026-9 (hardcover, 2003, with
Nineteen Eighty-Four )
* ISBN 0-452-28424-4 (paperback, 2003, Centennial Edition)
* ISBN 0-8488-0120-2 (hardcover)
* ISBN 0-03-055434-9 (hardcover)
* ^ "GCSE English Literature – \'Animal Farm\' – historical
context (pt 1/3)". bbc.co.uk. BBC.
* ^ Orwell, George. "
Why I Write " (1936) (The Collected Essays,
Journalism and Letters of
George Orwell Volume 1 – An Age Like This
1945–1950 p. 23 (Penguin))
* ^ Gordon Bowker, Orwell p. 224 ; Orwell, writing in his review of
Franz Borkenau 's The Spanish Cockpit in Time and Tide , 31 July 1937,
and "Spilling the Spanish Beans", New English Weekly, 29 July 1937
* ^ A B C D Davison 2000 .
Bradbury, Malcolm , Introduction, p. vi, Animal Farm, Penguin
* ^ "Animal Farm: Sixty Years On". historytoday.com.
* ^ Dickstein, Morris. Cambridge Companion to Orwell, p. 134
* ^ Grossman & Lacayo 2005 .
* ^ Orwell, George (1946). Animal Farm. London: Penguin Group. p.
* ^ A B C D Rodden, John "Introduction", in: John Rodden (ed.),
Understanding Animal Farm, Westport/London (1999), p. 5f.
* ^ A B According to
* ^ Mrazik, Ken (27 July 2014). "Phantom Regiment among nine drum corps to perform at DCI event at Baldwin". PG Publishing Co., Inc. Retrieved 23 August 2014. * ^ "Q&A with Boxer the Horse". cbcmusic.com. 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
* ^ "Lyrics Dead Prez – Animal in Man". SongMeanings. Retrieved
4 January 2012.
* ^ "Dead Prez – Animal in Man Lyrics". Rap Genius. Retrieved 4
* ^ "Animal in Man Dead Prez". monsterpiggymonkeybubble.com. 11
July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 4
* ^ Chris Rand. ""Arthur’s Farm" – Lyrics and Videos". The Half
Man Half Biscuit Lyrics Project.
* ^ "
Ice Nine Kills – Nature of the Beast". Retrieved 4 February
* ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (1991), Saucerful of Secrets (1 ed.),
London : Sidgwick & Jackson, ISBN 0-283-06127-8 , p. 199
* ^ 33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from
Billie Holiday to Green Day, Dorian Lynskey, HarperCollins, 2011,
* ^ "
* Bailey83221 (12 May 2006). "