One evening at the Manor Farm, Old Major gathers the farm animals to impart his wisdom about the oppression by humans, as well as his dream for animals to one day overthrow the humans. He goes on to tell them of the various human vices they must avoid, teaches them a song called “Beasts of England,” and tells them who is considered a comrade and who isn’t. Mr. Jones, the overseer of the barn, shoots into the side of the barn, propelling the animals to sleep.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter I
With the help of the cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, the pigs succeed in rallying the rest of the farm animals and follow through with their rebellion, ultimately eliminating all signs of Mr. Jones. Snowball renames the farm “Animal Farm,” and with the help of Napoleon they paint the seven commandments of Animalism on the barn. When the animals return from their harvest, the milk that the pigs had earlier taken from the cows has disappeared.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter II
The animals achieve a bountiful harvest, hold meetings to discuss the communal good, and create committees. Though the animals become somewhat literate, Snowball reduces the seven commandments to one maxim: “four legs good, two legs bad.” Tensions begin to rise after Napoleon takes Jessie and Bluebell’s puppies to care after himself, and when the animals discover that the pigs have been taking all the milk and apples.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter III
Mr. Jones, along with men from neighboring farms, marches on Animal Farm. Snowball uses his knowledge of the Roman general Julius Caesar to lead the animals to victory against the humans. The animals retrieve Mr. Jones’s gun, agreeing to fire on the anniversary of their victory and on the anniversary of the Rebellion.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter IV
Snowball proposes a plan to build a windmill but is met with opposition by Napoleon who argues that it will require too much work. When the animals next meet to discuss Snowball’s plan to build the windmill, Snowball is attacked and chased off the farm by nine dogs commanded by Napoleon. The animals accept Squealer’s claim that Snowball was a traitor and that Napoleon is the best animal suited to lead them. Squealer also reveals that Napoleon thought that building a windmill was a good idea, but he needed to oust Snowball.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter V
Under Napoleon and the pigs’ leadership, the animals work strenuously to build the windmill. The animals slowly begin questioning the pigs and their decisions, in particular why they have decided to work with a human and why they sleep on beds. Squealer quells their worries by asserting that the commandments were misread and that there is nothing in them that forbids them from trading with humans and using money to buy the items necessary to complete the windmill. He also asserts that the pigs need to sleep comfortably to think well. After a storm hits the farm and knocks down the windmill, Napoleon puts out a death sentence on Snowball, whom he claims sabotaged their hard work.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter VI
The animals struggle to rebuild the windmill during the bitter winter and Napoleon shocks them when he decides to sell eggs to the farmers, an act that clearly goes against Old Major’s teachings. The chickens refuse to give their eggs to Napoleon and begin to die as their rations are taken away. Napoleon holds a meeting forcing certain animals to confess to conspiring with Snowball, at which point he commands his dogs to kill them.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter VII
Mr. Frederick dupes Napoleon into accepting forged money for a pile of timber. A devastating battle between Mr. Frederick’s men and the animals ensues, leaving Boxer seriously injured. The day after the pigs discover a crate of whiskey, the animals find Squealer adjusting the commandment that animals must not drink, though they accept that their memories of the commandments must once again be faulty and do not question the revision.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter VIII
Resources on the farm dwindle further after 31 piglets fathered by Napoleon are born. Animal Farm is declared a republic by the government and Napoleon is elected president. Meanwhile, rumors of Snowball’s betrayal continue to circulate. When Boxer faints and is taken away by a cart that suggests he is being sent to his death in a glue factory, the animals panic, but are placated by Squealer and Napoleon.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter IX
Years later, Clover lets out a cry that attracts the other animals to the yard where they witness Napoleon and Squealer walking on hind legs. The pigs begin engaging in more and more human activities, even inviting Mr. Pilkington over who congratulates them on the success of their farm and their management of the other animals. The animals watch through the window as the pigs and farmers play cards, unable to distinguish who is human and who is pig.
Read a full Summary & Analysis of Chapter X