Animal Farm Book Summary – George Orwell

Animal Farm Book Summary - George Orwell
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Animal Farm is George Orwell’s allegorical and satirical novel written in a fable style. The novel was first published in the United Kingdom in 1945.

Summary of Animal Farm Book

One night, all the animals on Manor Farm gather in the barn to hear a dream recounted by an old boar named Major. In this dream, Major envisions a world where all animals live freely, independent of the oppression of human masters. Shortly after the meeting, Major dies, but the animals, inspired by the philosophy of Animalism, plan a rebellion against Mr. Jones. Two pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, emerge as key figures and planners of this risky endeavor. When Jones neglects to feed the animals, the revolution occurs, and Jones and his men are expelled from the farm. Manor Farm is renamed Animal Farm, and the Seven Commandments of Animalism rules they are painted on the barn wall.

Initially, the rebellion is successful. The animals complete the harvest and gather every Sunday to discuss farm policies. Due to their intelligence, the pigs become the overseers of the farm. However, Napoleon, emerging as a power-hungry leader, starts stealing the milk and apples for himself and the other pigs. Meanwhile, Squealer, another pig, uses his services to convince the other animals that the pigs always make moral and right decisions.

In the fall, Jones and his men attempt to reclaim Animal Farm, but the animals, thanks to Snowball’s tactics, defeat them in what becomes known as the “Battle of the Cowshed.” the cold Winter arrives, and Mollie, a horse interested only in ribbons and sugars, is drawn to another human. Snowball begins planning a windmill to provide more leisure time for the animals, but Napoleon vehemently opposes the plan, claiming it would reduce time for food production.

As the pigs present the windmill for a vote on a Sunday, Napoleon calls a ruthless pack of dogs and banishes Snowball forever. Napoleon announces that there will be no more debates and that the windmill will be built anyway, falsely claiming it was his idea stolen by Snowball. Throughout the rest of the novel, Napoleon uses Snowball as a scapegoat, blaming him for all the difficulties the animals face.

The majority of the next year is spent building the windmill. Boxer, a powerful horse, proves to be the most valuable animal in these efforts. Meanwhile, Jones abandons the farm and moves to another part of the county. Contrary to Animalist principles, Napoleon hires a lawyer and begins trading with neighboring farms. A storm destroys the unfinished windmill, and Napoleon blames Snowball, ordering the animals to rebuild it.

Napoleon’s lust for power grows to the point of becoming a totalitarian dictator. He coerces “confessions” from innocent animals and has the dogs execute them in front of the entire farm. He and the pigs move into Jones’s house and sleep in beds, justified by Squealer’s twisted logic. As the other animals receive less food, the pigs grow fatter.

In August, when the windmill is completed, Napoleon sells it to Jones for a pile of lumber, paid with counterfeit bills, to the neighboring farmer Frederick. Frederick and his men attack the farm and destroy the windmill, but they are eventually defeated. With each violation of the Seven Commandments by the pigs, the language of the Commandments is revised. For example, the Commandment “No animal shall drink alcohol” is turns into “No animal shall drink alcohol to excess.”

When Boxer offers to use his strength to help build another windmill, he collapses from exhaustion. Napoleon sells the loyal horse to a glue maker (someone who uses horses for glue), claiming he was taken to a veterinary hospital and died peacefully. Squealer tells the enraged animals that Boxer’s final moments were peaceful and in a hospital, a story they reluctantly believe.

Years pass, and Animal Farm expands its boundaries by purchasing two fields from Pilkington, another neighboring farmer. Life becomes harsh for all animals except the pigs. Eventually, the pigs begin walking on their hind legs and adopting the tyrannical traits of humans. The Seven Commandments are reduced to a one single maxim: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The novel concludes with a scene where Pilkington and the pigs drink together in Jones’s house. Napoleon changes the farm’s name back to Manor Farm, and they argue while trying to play a game of cards. As the other animals watch from the window, they can no longer distinguish the pigs from the humans.

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