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Animal Farm by George Orwell (CHAPTER TWO) Summary and Analysis

Summary and Analysis of Chapter 2, Animal Farm by George Orwell.

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7/16/20232 min read

The first line of the second chapter begins with the news that Old Major had died in his sleep and had been buried at the foot of the orchard. Then it is said that after Old Major’s death, the more intelligent animals on the farm had taken the duty of preparing the others for the rebellion. They did not know if it would occur during their lifetime, but they had started preparations. This duty had fallen upon the smartest animals on the farm-the pigs. The main leaders were two pigs whose personalities heavily contrasted each other. Their names were Snowball and Napoleon. There was another pig with persuasive abilities named Squealer- these three made up the leaders of the other animals.

Here it is revealed that Old Major represents Karl Marx (the founder of Communism, here shrouded as Animalism), Snowball represents Leon Trotsky, and Napoleon represents Josef Stalin. Squealer represents propaganda. George Orwell has wittily slipped these animals into the roles of world-renowned leaders.

The three pigs had compiled Old Major’s rules into one movement called Animalism. Several nights a week, after Mr. Jones fell asleep, Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer held meetings to expound their ideas to the others. At first, they were met with resistance and stupidity. Some of the animals talked about loyalty to Mr. Jones and others wondered who would feed them if Mr. Jones was gone. The pigs had great difficulty trying to convince them that these questions were contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The pigs had to work even harder to abolish the rumours spread about by Moses, Mr. Jones’ tame raven, which Moses spread to deter the spirit of Animalism.

The pigs’ most faithful disciples were Boxer and Clover, two horses who believed the pigs wholeheartedly and spread Animalism among the other animals. Although they were stupid themselves, once having accepted Animalism, they did all they could for it.

Boxer and Clover represent the working class during the Revolution. The animals who are hard to persuade of Animalism present the people who refused Communism during the Revolution. Moses represents the Russian Orthodox Church, who, amidst the Revolution was close to the Russian monarchy.

As it turned out, the Revolution came quicker than anyone expected. Mr. Jones had fallen on dark days as he had lost a lot of his money and now drank much more. His men neglected the farm and the buildings had gone to ruin.

June came, and the crop was ready to be harvested. The rebellion happens when Jones again falls into an intoxicated sleep and neglects to feed the animals, who break into the store-shed in search of a meal. When Jones and his men arrive, they begin whipping the animals but soon find themselves being ambushed and chased off the farm. The triumphant animals then destroy all traces of Mr. Jones, eat to their heart’s desires, and revel in their newfound freedom. After a tour of Jones' house, they decide to leave it untouched as a museum. Snowball changes the sign reading "Manor Farm" to "Animal Farm" and paints the Seven Commandments of Animalism on the wall of the barn, rather untidily. The cows then give five buckets of milk, which Napoleon steals.

THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.

2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.

3. No animal shall wear clothes.

4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.

5. No animal shall drink alcohol.

6. No animal shall kill any other animal.

7. All animals are equal.

The seven commandments are a mirror representation of the rules of Communism. The rebellion is also a representation of how the Russian people rebelled against their Monarchy and succeeded in becoming free. This chapter is ended with the mention of the disappearance of five milk buckets.