Animal Farm


Animal Farm by George Orwell           

Learning outcomes

Students will:

Character Map




Taken from:
|main site|

Chapter 1  (



pophole: small trapdoors in the sides of poultry houses used for ventilation and to allow chickens to exit and enter at will


scullery: a small room next to the kitchen used for storage and kitchen-related chores


tushes: tusks


hand: a unit of length equal to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), most often used to specify the height of a horse


paddock: fenced-in pasture near a barn


knacker: person who buys worn-out or old livestock and slaughters them to sell the

    meat or hides


clime: climate


mangel-wurzel: a huge type of beets

Chapter 2


trap: a small cart


spinney: a small grove of trees


Chapter 4



fortnight: two weeks


hobnailed: short nails with large heads used to protect the soles of work boots


Chapter 6


 cockerel: rooster


solicitor: salesperson; one who conducts business or trade; a broker


Chapter 8


paddock: fenced-in pasture near a barn


Chapter 9


poultice: a soft moist mass of clay or other material, usually heated, applied to soothe an aching or inflamed part of the body


superannuated: retired



Animal Farm - Comparison of characters to the Russian Revolution

by George J. Lamont

Animal Farm:      Comparison of characters to Russian Revolution

Animal Farm

Russian Revolution

Mr. Jones

  • irresponsible to his animals (lets them starve)
  • sometimes cruel - beats them with whip
  • sometimes kind - mixes milk in animal mash

Czar Nicholas II

  • a poor leader at best, compared to western kings
  • cruel - sometimes brutal with opponents
  • Sometimes kind - hired students as spies to make $

Old Major

  • taught Animalism; egalitarian ideals
  • workers do the work, rich keep the $, animals revolt
  • dies before revolution
  • speech similar to Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Lenin’s later writings

Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin

  • invented Communism
  • "workers of the world unite", take over government
  • dies before Russian Revolution
  • embraces egalitarian ideals



  • no owners, no rich, but no poor
  • workers get a better life, all animals equal
  • everyone owns the farm


  • same
  • all people equal
  • government owns everything, people own government


  • young, smart, good speaker, idealistic
  • really wants to make life better for all
  • one of leaders of revolution
  • chased away into exile by Napoleon's dogs

Leon Trotsky

  • other leader of "October Revolution"
  • pure communist, followed Marx
  • wanted to improve life for all in Russia
  • chased away by Lenin's KGB (Lenin's secret police)


  • not a good speaker, not as clever like Snowball
  • cruel, brutal, selfish, devious, corrupt
  • his ambition is for power, killed opponents
  • used dogs, Moses, and Squealer to control animals

Joseph Stalin

  • not a good speaker, not educated like Trotsky
  • same as Napoleon, didn't follow Marx's ideas
  • cared for power, killed all that opposed him
  • used KGB, allowed church, and propagandized


  • big mouth, talks a lot
  • convinces animals to believe and follow Napoleon
  • Changes and manipulates the commandments

Propaganda department of Lenin's government

  • worked for Stalin to support his image
  • used any lie to convince the people to follow Stalin
  • benefited from the fact that education was controlled

The Dogs

  • a private army that used fear to force animals to work
  • killed or intimidated any opponent of Napoleon
  • another part of Napoleon's strategy to control animals

KGB - Secret Police

  • not really police, but forced support for Stalin
  • used force, often killed entire families for disobedience
  • totally loyal, part of Lenin's power, even over army

Moses the Raven

  • tells animals about Sugarcandy mountain - Heaven
  • animals can go there if they work hard
  • Snowball and Major were against him
  • they though Heaven was a lie to make animals work
  • Napoleon let him stay because he taught animals to
  • work and not complain


  • Marx said "Opiate of the people" a lie
  • used to make people not complain and do their work
  • Religion was tolerated because people would work
  • Stalin knew religion would stop violent revolutions


  • was vain - loved her beauty and self
  • didn't think about the animal farm
  • went with anyone who gave her what she wanted

Vain, selfish people in Russia and world

  • some people didn't care about revolution
  • only though about themselves
  • went to other countries that offered more for them


  • strong, hard working horse, believes in Animal Farm
  • "Napoleon is always right", "I must work harder"
  • gives his all, is betrayed by Napoleon, who sells him

Dedicated, but tricked communist supporters

  • people believed Stalin because he was "Communist"
  • many stayed loyal after it was obvious Stalin a tyrant
  • betrayed by Stalin who ignored and killed them


  • old, wise donkey who is suspicious of revolution
  • thinks "nothing ever changes", is right
  • his suspicions are true, about Boxer and sign changes

Skeptical people in Russia and outside Russia

  • weren't sure revolution would change anything
  • realized that a crazy leader can call himself communist
  • knew that communism wouldn't work with power
  • hungry leaders

Overall details about revolution

  • it was supposed to make life better for all
  • life was worse at the end
  • The leaders became the same as, or worse than,
  • the other farmers (humans) they rebelled against

Overall details of Russian Revolution

  • supposed to fix problems from Czar
  • life was even worse long after revolution
  • Stalin made Czar look like a nice guy


(from Barron’s Booknotes)                                                                   

Animal Farm = History of Russia

Old Major's philosophy = The philosophies of Marx and Lenin

Animalism = Communism

Other Animals = Bolsheviks (common people )

Mr. Jones = Czar of Russia

Seven Commandments = Communist Manifesto

Skull of Old Major = Lenin's body

Old Major's death = Lenin's death followed by struggle for power

Windmill Construction = Russian construction of steel mills and electric plants

Napoleon's sale of timber to Frederick = Stalin entered into a non-aggression pact with Hitler's Germany

Frederick's declaration of war on = Hitler's declaration of war on Russia Animal Farm

Windmill destroyed, animals died = Stalingrad destroyed

Sugarcandy = In 1944, Stalin wrote letters to Pope to conduct services

Napoleon's entertaining of humans in the farmhouse = Different meetings between Stalin and Churchill in Russia


Farmhouse: The Jones' farmhouse represents in many ways the very place where greed and lust dominate.  Unlike the barn, which is the fortress of the common man, the genuine concept of socialism, the farmhouse, where Napoleon and the pigs take over, symbolizes the Kremlin.  Even today the Kremlin is an important place to Russian leaders, who, instead of embracing Marxism, have created their own distorted view of communism and have shoved it down their peoples' (animals') throats. 

Animalism: The vague yet often referred to concept of animalism is used by Orwell to signify the generic view of socialism.  This view was first expounded by Karl Marx (old Major), who, in Orwell's opinion was naive in thinking that his philosophy would actually work.  Orwell, although agreeing with the overall concept of equality though socialism, was critical of Marx because he didn't take into account the greed and jealousy which would eventually undermine the entire cause.  This idea was shown through Napoleon and the other pigs, who, through persuasion and force became the dominant authority on the farm.

Gun/Flag: Probably the most profound metaphor in Orwell's Animal Farm is the idea of the gun and flag.   The nationalism the animals' feel is demonstrated through their daily processions and rituals where they practically worship the flag (their institution of the state and obviously not God).   These processions and parades grow more dramatic with the fall of socialism and the rise of Napoleon's dictatorship.  In this way, Orwell points out that unlike Marx's (old Major's) original concept of freedom through equality, Stalin believes that inequality between nations is the key to success.   This sounds surprisingly like capitalism, the very system communism is meant to combat.
     The gun represents the triumphant yet violence-ridden overthrow of Mr. Jones in the Battle of Cowshed.  Again, opposing Marx's ideal that rebellion is to be accomplish through honesty, innocence, and passive determination, Napoleon and even Snowball (Trotsky) rise to power prematurely by using death and destruction, the very system Jones used on them.  Thus they prove themselves no better than Jones and the previous administration.       
     The fact that Napoleon outlaws Beasts of England demonstrates the formal power of the state.  No longer is socialism just a generic belief in equality made by everyday common animals, but now it is a money-hungry powerhouse of oppression run by the government.

Battle of Cowshed: The Battle of Cowshed is a clear metaphor for the overthrow of the old Russian government based on czars (Mr. Jones).  In Russia, this change took the Soviet Union out of World War I and eventually led to the rise of Lenin and Stalin.  The violence used in the battle, however was not condoned by Marx (old Major) or Orwell, who both believed in pacifism.  Snowball and Napoleon, though, were too greedy and were required to use force in order to establish their corrupt government.  More on this in the Gun/Flag section.

Sugarcandy Mountain: Orwell uses Sugarcandy Mountain to symbolize the Christian concept of Heaven.   Really the Church is criticized in Animal Farm because it is the institution that inspires the animals to work using "lies" and manipulation.  Moses, the especial raven of Mr. Jones, and later Napoleon, is the vehicle from which the working class hears about this land where clover and sugar is unmeasured and free to everyone.    It's troubling to many that Orwell thought of the Church in such a cynical way.   But once again this shows that Orwell wasn't loyal or afraid of any system.

Ribbons & Sugar: Orwell's use of ribbons and sugar symbolizes the luxuries of life enjoyed by the old middle class under the old government.   Mollie, the symbol for the capitalist, is particularly fond of ribbons and sugar— so much so that she leaves the farm for them.

Milk: Orwell uses milk to represent the care and love that mothers give to their children.  When Napoleon takes the milk for himself and the other pigs, he is, in essence, stealing the very core of the people.  Now he can raise the children (other farm animals) as a tool of the state.   No longer is the power in the family; now the cornerstone of civilization is in the totalitarian government of Napoleon (Stalin).

Alcohol: Orwell uses beer to represent the "Old" Russia.  He first notes that the reason Jones lost control of the farm and began being cruel to the animals was because of alcohol.  It symbolizes, more than anything, a corrupt government— a government drunk on prosperity (a prosperity which never trickles down to the common animal).  But it's eventually this drunkenness which ruins and leads to the inevitable collapse of this system.  Jones lost power over the animals when he became drunk and lazy; even Napoleon will eventually be overthrown because of the alcohol he intakes.  Orwell alludes to this near the end of the book when he says that in generations to come there will be still more uprisings.   "Some day it was coming: it might not be soon, it might not be within the lifetime of any animal now living, but still it was coming."
     Alcohol was originally seen as a grave evil of the new regime.     Old Major repeatedly warns the animals against taking on Man's ways, but his concerns are not heeded.  Really it was the issue of alcohol that made many of the animals suspicious of the pigs.  Thus, Napoleon had Squealer change the commandments.    
     It's interesting that even today many of the Russian leaders have a drinking habit.

Windmill: The windmill is used by Orwell to symbolize Soviet industry. If you'll notice in the book, the windmill was destroyed several times before it finally was complete. This represents the trials the communists in Russia went through to establish their armament-production industry. Eventually, however, Russian industry did stabilize, despite the lack of safety precautions and trivial concern for the people's well being. This allowed them to put the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into space before the United States. Despite their early success, Soviet industry fell behind the Western world, led by the United States. Russian industry stalled from the lack of initiative and morale. The average middle-class worker received no special treatment and was treated as a "person of the state."

Established laws could be broken by any important member of the Communist regime. The original ideology of Marxism was innocent enough, but it was twisted and convoluted by Lenin and Stalin. Russian communism was a hypocritical system which would inevitably falter and collapse, thus proving Orwell's point that Marx was naive.

Ironically, Orwell didn't write a final collapse of the windmill, which would perhaps have symbolized the U.S.S.R.'s failure in the cold war. In 1990, the Russian Communist government collapsed due to lack of funds. Of course Orwell could not have known this, although he did forecast a future rebellion on Animal Farm and in Russia. 


Six Pillars of Character (



Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country


Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements


Do what you are supposed to do • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices


Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly


Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need


Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbour • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment


Propaganda Student Handout (

Types of Propaganda

There are many techniques commonly used in the dissemination of propaganda. Use this handout to help you identify different types of propaganda throughout Cold War.

BANDWAGON: The basic idea behind the bandwagon approach is just that, "getting on the bandwagon." The propagandist puts forth the idea that everyone is doing this, or everyone supports this person/cause, so should you. The bandwagon approach appeals to the conformist in all of us: No one wants to be left out of what is perceived to be a popular trend.

EXAMPLE: Everyone in Lemmingtown is behind Jim Duffie for Mayor. Shouldn't you be part of this winning team?


TESTIMONIAL: This is the celebrity endorsement of a philosophy, movement or candidate. In advertising, for example, athletes are often paid millions of dollars to promote sports shoes, equipment and fast food. In political circles, movie stars, television stars, rock stars and athletes lend a great deal of credibility and power to a political cause or candidate. Just a photograph of a movie star at political rally can generate more interest in that issue/candidate or cause thousands, sometimes millions, of people to become supporters.

EXAMPLE: "Sam Slugger", a baseball Hall of Famer who led the pros in hitting for years, appears in a television ad supporting Mike Politico for U.S. Senate. Since Sam is well known and respected in his home state and nationally, he will likely gain Mr. Politico many votes just by his appearance with the candidate.


PLAIN FOLKS: Here the candidate or cause is identified with common people from everyday walks of life. The idea is to make the candidate/cause come off as grassroots and all-American.

EXAMPLE: After a morning speech to wealthy Democratic donors, Bill Clinton stops by McDonald's for a burger, fries, and photo-op.


TRANSFER: Transfer employs the use of symbols, quotes or the images of famous people to convey a message not necessarily associated with them. In the use of transfer, the candidate/speaker attempts to persuade us through the indirect use of something we respect, such as a patriotic or religious image, to promote his/her ideas. Religious and patriotic images may be the most commonly used in this propaganda technique but they are not alone. Sometimes even science becomes the means to transfer the message.

EXAMPLE: The environmentalist group PEOPLE PROMOTING PLANTS, in its attempt to prevent a highway from destroying the natural habitat of thousands of plant species, produces a television ad with a "scientist" in a white lab coat explaining the dramatic consequences of altering the food chain by destroying this habitat.


FEAR: This technique is very popular among political parties and PACs (Political Action Committees) in the U.S. The idea is to present a dreaded circumstance and usually follow it up with the kind of behavior needed to avoid that horrible event.

EXAMPLE: The Citizens for Retired Rights present a magazine ad showing an elderly couple living in poverty because their social security benefits have been drastically cut by the Republicans in Congress. The solution? The CRR urges you to vote for Democrats.


LOGICAL FALLACIES: Applying logic, one can usually draw a conclusion from one or more established premises. In the type of propaganda known as the logical fallacy, however, the premises may be accurate but the conclusion is not.


We can see in this example that the Conclusion is created by a twisting of logic, and is therefore a fallacy.


GLITTERING GENERALITIES: This approach is closely related to what is happening in TRANSFER (see above). Here, a generally accepted virtue is usually employed to stir up favorable emotions. The problem is that these words mean different things to different people and are often manipulated for the propagandists' use. The important thing to remember is that in this technique the propagandist uses these words in a positive sense. They often include words like: democracy, family values (when used positively), rights, civilization, even the word "American."

EXAMPLE: An ad by a cigarette manufacturer proclaims to smokers: Don't let them take your rights away! ("Rights" is a powerful word, something that stirs the emotions of many, but few on either side would agree on exactly what the 'rights' of smokers are.)

NAME-CALLING: This is the opposite of the GLITTERING GENERALITIES approach. Name-calling ties a person or cause to a largely perceived negative image.

EXAMPLE: In a campaign speech to a logging company, the Congressman referred to his environmentally conscious opponent as a "tree hugger."

 Analyzing Political Speeches



Chapter 1 ~
Find a speech by a famous political leader (from any country) and summarize the theme of his/her speech. Include in your analysis:
· What was the political leader's message?
· Under what circumstances did this leader give the speech (was it wartime, was it during a depression, was it in relation to human rights?).
· Please attach the copy of the speech you found and a picture of the political leader.

PART I: Use this form to help compare the structure of political speech you found with Old Major’s speech in Chapter One. Find phrases from each speech that serve as appropriate examples for each box below.

Basic Structure


Old Major’s Speech

Describe the present situation

Who's benefitting under the current conditions?








Prove unfairness

Who's suffering under current conditions?








Provide a vision of a better way

What would conditions be like if the conditions were fairer than they are now?








Call for Action

What must be done to achieve fairer conditions?









PART II: Use this form to help compare the rhetorical tools used in the speech you chose above and in Old Major’s speech in Chapter One. Find examples of each to place in the appropriate boxes below.

Rhetorical tools


 Old Major's Speech


Examples of repetition of sounds.

"May men of merit be motivated to act!"







Key words or phrases that are repeated for emphasis.







List comparisons that help listeners "envision" meaning.

"Let our dreams soar on wings of optimism!"






Rhetorical Questions

List questions that are for effect rather than to be answered.

"Will we stand now on the brink of history or will we let the moment pass unchallenged?"







Find historical or literary references.

"President Kennedy once said  'Ask what we could do for our country.' And, now it is the time to DO!"







 Who Would You Choose As Your Leader?

The animals are going to elect a leader. You have only one vote, and you must cast it based on what you know about the candidates. After each candidate's name, list both strengths and weaknesses (these are traits from the book - not ones you invent). Write the name of the animal you vote for at the very bottom of the page. If you can't in good conscience vote for any of the three candidates, then write in the candidate of your choice and explain why you will vote for him. Be prepared to defend your position.






























Write-in Candidate





Animal Farm (1946) by George Orwell

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.


Novel Questions (must be completed by the end of each chapter) Support your answers.


Chapter 1:      Idealism


(A)       Look at the following promises contained in Beasts of England; then identify where and how each “joyful tiding” is destroyed. Think about what you have read so far in chapters one through five.


(B)              Which word do you think best describes the propaganda techniques of the following examples? Why?
(see propaganda techniques above)

·        “We are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.”

·        “And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter.”

** Propaganda avoids the use of facts. It is designed to manipulate people, arouse emotions, and inspire action. **


Question:  Find some facts in Old Major’s speech and write them in your notebook.


Chapter 2:      Animalism


(A)              State the corruption that is evident in this chapter.


(B)              How are the animals deceived into believing that the commandments will never change?


(C)              Show how Squealer is a spin doctor or propaganda machine.


Chapter 3:      Four Legs Good; Two Legs Bad


(A)              How does Snowball explain that although the birds have two legs, they are acceptable?


(B)              Do the animals understand what Snowball is saying? Are they meant to understand? Explain.


(C)              Satire is a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

Explain what Orwell is satirizing in Snowball’s explanation.


(D)             Every fable has a moral, that is, a lesson to be taught or learned.

Describe the moral of the mini-fable that Orwell relates between the cat and the sparrows.


Chapter 4:      Battle of the Cowshed


(A)              Discuss how the success of Animal Farm causes anxiety and fear amongst neighbouring farmers.


(B)              Explain how the brutality of Man towards the animals is not unique.


(C)              Predict why Napoleon is absent from the Battle of the Cowshed.


Chapter 5:      The Windmill


(A)              Explain the conflict between Snowball and Napoleon.


(B)              How does Napoleon succeed Snowball?

(C)              Are the animals really aware of the consequences of this power struggle? Explain.


(D)             How is Napoleon’s dictatorship realized at this point in the novel?


(E)              How does Napoleon discredit Snowball?


(F)               Why does Napoleon decide to have the windmill built, a project that he was bitterly opposed to doing?


Chapter 6:      No Animal Shall Sleep in a Bed of Sheets


(A)              What are the hardships that the animals encounter in building the windmill?

(B)              State the various ways in which the corruption intensifies.


(C)              How is the windmill destroyed? Why does Napoleon blame Snowball for its destruction?

(D)             Napoleon uses language to his advantage. Look at the last paragraph of this chapter and explain what the true intent of the following is:

we; this miserable traitor; the repetition of comrades.

What is the tone of the end of the speech? Why?


Chapter 7:      Suffering and Sacrifice


(A)              Give examples of how the animals are suffering at the hands of those in power.

(B)              How is this suffering and oppression hidden from Whymper on his weekly visits? Why is it hidden?

(C)              What is the true reason for the killings in this chapter? How does this affect the animals?

(D)             Why is Beasts of England replaced with a new song?


Chapter 8:      Battle of the Windmill


(A)              How were the commandments altered to this point (chapters 1 – 8)? Explain why they were altered. Who is aware of the alterations, and why doesn’t this individual say anything or warn the other animals?


(B)              How is the poem written by Minimus in praise of Napoleon ironic?    

Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.


(C)              Why are the animals so passive when it comes to their basic rights?


(D)             How did Napoleon allow himself to be duped (fooled) in regard to the timber deal?


(E)              Where was Napoleon during the Battle of the Windmill? Why?


Chapter 9:      The Death of Boxer


(A)              How were the animals continuously brainwashed into working while suffering under Napoleon’s regime?


(B)              Why was Boxer killed (sent to the knacker)?


(C)              How are the animals placated after Boxer’s death?


(D)             Describe the tone of Napoleon’s words after Boxer’s death.


(E)              What did the pigs do with the money they received for Boxer?


Chapter 10:    Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better   

     (A)       What is the ultimate satire of this chapter? What is Orwell saying about politics/governments and human beings in  


Extract from He Got Game by Public Enemy featuring Stephen Stills


Everything's approved
People used
Even murders excused

Folks don't even own themselves
Payin mental rent
To corporate presidents
1 outta 1 million residents
Being dissident
Who ain't kissin it
The politics of chains and whips
Got the sick
Missin chips and all the championships
What's love got to do
Wit what you got
Don't let a win get to your head
Or a loss to your heart
Nonsense perseveres

There’s something happenin here
What it is aint exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Yeah that’s right HA HA
Telling me that I got to beware
Its time we stopped children
What’s that sound everybody look
What’s going down

These are some serious times
That we livin in G
And our new world order
Is about to begin
You know what I’m sayin
Now the question is…
Are you ready for the real revolution
Which is the evolution of the mind
If you seek than you shall find
That we all come from the divine
You dig what I’m sayin
Now if you take heed to the words of wisdom
That are written on the walls of life
Than universally we will stand
And divided we will fall
Cause love conquers all


After reading chapters one through seven of Animal Farm, answer the following; (created by M. Webb)


  1. How do these quotes from He Got Game relate to the animals' complacent attitude as the commandments change, and the way of doing things on the farm change for the worse?

  2. How do the quotes relate to the theme of government corruption, manipulation, and Napoleon's absolute power and cruel behaviour?

  3. How can the lyrics be used to motivate the animals to take charge of their lives?

                                    Support your answers with evidence from the novel