Animal Farm: Chapters 1-2 (Chapter 1 (Old Major's speech (Says life…
Animal Farm: Chapters 1-2
Old Major dies and the pigs, “recognised as being the cleverest animals”, organise the rebellion.
The animals work together and the Rebellion is successfully carried out; Mr Jones is “expelled” and “Manor Farm was theirs”.
Animals attack with "one accord" and chase of Jones.
The animals destroy anything linked to Mr Jones which symbolised their oppression.
After revolution, most animals are happier
Initial positive results show that Orwell thought the uprising was a good thing - he criticises how the pigs go about taking control.
Not all of the animals are equal
The pigs turn the underlying principles of Old Major’s speech into Animalism. Boxer and Clover become “faithful disciples”, but they are also described as having “great difficulty in thinking anything out for themselves”.
Educated animals take charge and the animals’ lack of understanding and education already threatens the principles of Animalism. We can start to see how more educated and manipulative characters may take advantage of this.
When milk goes missing, reader suspects that the pigs are responsible.
Shows pigs are already putting themselves first
Shows other animals are trusting because they do not confront the pigs.
We are told from the start that Napoleon is threatening and violent, Snowball is intelligent and persuasive and Squealer is manipulative, able to make corruption look pure.
“a fierce-looking Berkshire boar” who has “a reputation for getting his own way”
“quicker in speech and more inventive”
could “turn black into white”
Some animals don't understand Old Major's ideas
Some of the animals feel a "duty of loyalty" to Jones.
Mollie reluctant to give up sugar and wears one of Mrs Jones' ribbons
Some animals believe in Moses' stories about Sugarcandy mountain rather than animalism
Most animals don't understand ideas behind Animalism and can't read the commandments written on the wall
Jones goes to bed drunk and Old Major calls a meeting for all of the animals.
Old Major's speech
Shows them that "man is the only real enemy" because he does nothing but takes from the animals
Warns the animals about taking up man's evil habits, e.g. drinking
Encourages a rebellion - "that is my message to you, comrades: Rebellion!"
Calls for "perfect unity" and equality between animals
Teaches them a revolutionary song, 'Beasts of England'
Echoes Marx's ideas about Communism
Old Major described as "majestic" and "wise".
Says life under man is "misery and slavery"
"forced to work to the last atom of our strength"
Orwell shows that the animals are treated very badly so that the reader sympathises with them.
Problems of equality at birth of animalism
Old Major gives his speech while the pigs and dogs are in the best position.
Old Major is on a "raised platform"
Only animals to learn Beasts of England, foreshadows that they have an advantage over other animals.
Irony when dogs chase the rats in the barn after Major has just talked about the importance of equality
Orwell introduces personalities of characters in the meeting
Boxer and Clover take great care, and try not to step on any animals "concealed in the straw". Dishonest characters may take advantage of their kindness.
Clover described as a "stout motherly mare"
Boxer is described as "not of first rate intelligence" - has a steady character and a good desire to work. This is his downfall
"as strong as any two ordinary horses put together" but has a "stupid appearance".
Mollie and the cat are selfish and don't care about revolution.