Animal Farm

George Orwell
Main Ideas

Metaphors and Similes

Main Ideas Metaphors and Similes

Chapter I

But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end.

In this metaphor, Old Major compares the fate of all farm animals to a “cruel knife,” suggesting that the farmer will kill all of them no matter how hard they work or how valuable they think they are to the farm.  

Chapter II

“Comrade,” said Snowball, “those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?” 

In this metaphor, Snowball compares the decorative ribbons that Mr. Jones plaits into Mollie’s mane to a badge marking her as a slave; after the Rebellion, Snowball throws these ribbons onto the fire and burns them along with other objects that remind the animals of “Jones’s hated reign.” 

. . .  then they raced back to the farm buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign.  

In this metaphor, the narrator compares the ousted Farmer Jones to a tyrant king overthrown by his subjects.  

Chapter V

A fat red-faced man in check breeches and gaiters, who looked like a publican, was stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar. 

In this simile, the narrator compares the man feeding Mollie sugar to a bartender (publican), suggesting that his kindnesses appeal to her vices.  

In glowing sentences he painted a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when sordid labour was lifted from the animals’ backs.  

In this metaphor, the narrator compares Snowball’s rhetorical skill to that of a painter whose words become vivid pictures for his listeners. 

Though not yet full-grown, they were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves. 

In this simile, the narrator compares the puppies reared by Napoleon to ferocious wolves. 

In January there came bitterly hard weather. The earth was like iron and nothing could be done in the fields.  

This simile compares the hardness of the frozen soil to that of iron, suggesting that it was impossible to plow during the winter.   

Chapter VI

All that year the animals worked like slaves. 

In this simile, the narrator likens the animals of Animal Farm to slaves, an ironic comparison because the animals believed that they had actually been slaves to Mr. Jones before the Rebellion.  

Chapter VIII

Friend of fatherless! 

Fountain of happiness! 

In his obsequious poem “Comrade Napoleon,” Minimus fawningly calls Napoleon a “friend of the fatherless” and “fountain of happiness,” suggesting that the farm’s ruthless leader is actually an endless source of compassion and kindness

This time they did not heed the cruel pellets that swept over them like hail. 

When Mr. Frederick’s men attack the farm, the narrator compares their bullets to a hailstorm.