Animal Farm Author:George Orwell Animal Farm begins on an evening where Mr. Jones -- owner of Manor Farm -- is heading to bed. As the lights go off in Mr. Jones' farmhouse, animals gather in the barn to listen to the musings of Old Major, the revered old pig. Old Major reveals to the animals that they have lived under oppression for too long and need to rebel against the rule o... more »f men. He teaches them the song "Beasts of England", which will become the revolutionary anthem. Old Major dies soon after, leaving other pigs to prepare the animals for rebellion.
Of the pigs, Napoleon and Snowball emerge as the two leading figures. They develop a system by which animal should live, appropriately called Animalism. The revolution occurs unexpectedly, but is successful. Mr. Jones and his family are driven from Manor Farm. Napoleon and Snowball alter the name of Manor Farm to Animal Farm and post the seven commandments of Animalism on the barn wall.
Everything seems to be working well on Animal Farm for a while. The animals attend weekly meetings, during which future plans for the farm are discussed. The pigs' power and influence grow due to the illiteracy of the animals. Snowball attempts to simplify the tenets of Animalism into one maxim: "Four legs good, two legs bad". Signs of cronyism start to emerge in the plot at this point.
Led by Snowball, the animals fend off an attack by other farmers in what came to be known as the Battle of the Cowshed. The farmers were concerned about the situation at Animal Farm and the militating effect it was having on their animals. Snowball is highly revered and decorated after this event. Napoleon becomes wary of Snowball's influence and picks his battles with Snowball over farm decisions. Unknown to Snowball, Napoleon raises nine pups to become guard dogs. At the height of the controversy over a windmill, the dogs chase Snowball off the farm.
Squealer becomes the spin doctor and mouthpiece for the pigs on the farm. He spreads false information about Snowball to justify his exile. Napoleon adopts Snowball's idea to construct the windmill, but claims it as his own -- with Squealer's help. Napoleon pronounces the death sentence on the exiled Snowball after falsely declaring him responsible for the ruin of the windmill after a storm. Snowball is held accountable for all that goes wrong on the farm. Napoleon calls a meeting to identify Snowball's alleged cohorts. The animals that are made to confess are killed by Napoleon's dogs, even though Animalism forbade this.« less