About the Book

Book Protagonist: Napoleon
Publication Date: 1945
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Philosophical Fiction


Animal Farm

By George Orwell

In ‘Animal Farm’ George Orwell tries to picture an ideal socialist nation through the image of Russia’s failed socialism. From the Pigs to the Horse to the smallest of the animals are used to explain his ideology.

As Napoleon turns from a pig who takes part in the dream of the Old Major to a Dictator of the Animal Farm, readers see how communism turns out to be totalitarianism.

Animal Farm Quotes


“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.”

Appearing in the first chapter, these words explain the Old Major’s observation of Mr Jones, their farmer, and man in general. These lines express how the animals on the farm were exploited by Mr Jones to work hard while he rested in the farmhouse. He hadn’t even to feed them well in turn what he enjoys from them. This attitude and laziness cause distaste among animals who in turn decides to revolt against him. This was what happened during Ishar’s rule in Russia, happening whenever a government becomes totalitarian by extracting work from its subjects without giving back anything for their betterment.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

This line appearing in Chapter 10 is a revised version of the original phrase “All animals are equal.” The original phrase expresses the Old Major’s ideals that made all animals equal where an individual or a group will not oppress another. Whereas, in the revised version, the word “some” marked the pigs as privileged compared to other working-class animals. This is a common scenario in a totalitarian regime, where working-class people are treated as if they exist only to serve those privileged with “leadership.”


Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the golden future time.

These are the first four lines of the song the Old Major taught the animals on the farm which kindled the fire of animalism (desire for freedom) in the heart of the animals. The song he seems to have recalled from the past.  The impact created by the song is visible in the ‘Animal Farm’ for the animals’ revolt soon in given chance, in other times they wouldn’t have had the courage to oppose.

Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal. 

This is the ultimate idea behind the Old Major’s dream for a land of freedom. After speaking of all misery the animals had to undergo because of man’s cruelty, he wants animals to treat other animals equally with mutual respect. Ultimately, he instructed the animals to think of themselves as brothers and sisters, referring to unity and equality among animals if the revolution is to succeed.  At the true essence, when men were ruling, animals were slaughtered, so he wanted the animals not to infiltrate anything on fellow animals.

“Four legs good, two legs bad.”

This is one of the Seven Commandments of Animalism established by Snow Ball. This is a simplified statement framed, in order to make other animals understand ideas of animalism. Post the revolt, this expression fixed man as a common enemy and inspired unity among animals. Throughout the novel, the slogan is distorted and reinterpreted to suit the needs of the powerful leaders “four legs good, two legs better.”

All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings.

Occurring in the sixth chapter, these lines illustrate how the animals have taken charge of the farm. They work very hard like slaves; still, they are exceptionally happy with what they were doing. They have the will to work extra their extra hours, as they felt that they are doing it for the interests of the community. The significance of these lines is the contrasting idea of the behavioural difference between animals and humans at work.

The exploitation of the Working Class

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. 

This extract from the Old Major’s speech gives a description of the lives of animals in England, and in general. Their existence is made bleak and miserable by their human masters.

Similarly, as George Orwell tries to express, the working-class people were toiled throughout their life, especially the mine workers of Russia. Under Tzar Nicholas II’s rule, they suffered, as the animals suffer under the unconcerned attitude of Mr Jones. Unfortunately, these quoted lines depict the situation remains unchanged even at the end of the novel. Disappointingly, the misery of the concluding part is extracted by their fellow animals, on whom they had their unfailing trust.

“Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brain workers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

This quote explains how the animals were exploited using their fear for Jones. Post-revolution the animals enjoyed their life under the skilful guidance of Snowball. Soon, Napoleon overthrows him and assumes himself as a leader and changes many rules and practices of animal farm. Napoleon uses Squealer as his propagandist and he as this conversation takes place, justifies their action for which they seem to find the murmur or dissatisfaction among fellow animals. The animals have one idea in common that is not to have Jones back on the farm.

Under the pretext of protecting the farm and the animals, the pigs make the animals believe that, only if the pigs are healthy, they will be safe and secure in the animal farm. Thus, when given in this light, the animals agreed without much ado. This marks the first level of deviation from their commandment “all animals are equal.”

“If you have your lower animals to contend with,” he said, “we have our lower classes!”

This remark made by Mr Pilkington to Napoleon appears in the last chapter of ‘Animal Farm‘. It emphasizes the significance of Animal Farm as an allegorical representation of human society, especially under the dictatorship. George Orwell, here, outrightly points out the ill-treatment of lower-class people by those who are in power. The heartbreaking conclusion explicates how the Old Major’s dream for equality is shattered under the division of classes among animals. Pigs have become like humans, where they think that keeping down their labouring classes is necessary to retain power. Mr Pilkington’s ugly comment equates to the true condition of downtrodden animals and working-class people.

Miz Alb
About Miz Alb
Miz Alb is a passionate reader of literature. She loves to look deep through the nuances of a literary work. She has secured her post-graduation in English Literature. With her learning as a background, she is analyzing the literary works down the ages.
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