Animal Farm Chapter 3 Summary


The harvest is a great success. It is finished two days earlier than Jones and his men used to manage. The animals are so enthusiastic and excited about the fact that the food is truly their own, that no food is stolen during the harvesting. Almost all the animals have worked as hard as they possibly could, but there are some exceptions. Mollie, the vain mare, often leaves the fields early complaining about a stone in her hoof, and the cat seems to appear only for meals. Benjamin the donkey is one of the few animals who are completely unchanged by the revolution, remaining as aloof and cynical as he had been before.

Sunday is a rest day when the animals assemble at a Great Meeting. This is where the work for the coming week is to be planned, and various motions discussed. All of the resolutions are put forward by the pigs. The other animals are aware of this, but as they cannot think of any resolutions themselves, they allow the pigs to lead. As the weeks go by, it becomes clear that Napoleon and Snowball rarely agree about anything. Snowball puts all his energies into forming various committees, each of which is responsible for improving some or another aspect of life on the farm. Napoleon sees no value in this and prefers to concentrate on educating the young. For example, when two of the dogs have litters, Napoleon takes the puppies away from their mothers and secludes them in an inaccessible part of the farm, so that he can educate them properly in the principles of Animalism.

Not all of Snowball’s committees work very well, but his reading and writing classes are hugely successful. The pigs can read and write perfectly. The dogs learn to read, but will not read anything except the seven commandments. Boxer the great carthorse tries very hard to learn the alphabet, but cannot get past D. Many of the other animals can understand only one letter. Because so many animals are thus unable to read the seven commandments, Snowball reduces the seven commandments to the single maxim “Four legs good, two legs bad!”, which they can remember more easily.
It is soon learned that the pigs took the milk that disappeared on the first day, and are now mixing it into their mash. The pigs now issue a decree stating that all windfall apples are to be gathered up and given over for the exclusive use of the pigs. Some of the animals are puzzled by this and wonder why the apples are not to be shared out equally. Squealer goes before them to explain. He tells them that the pigs, as the leaders, must keep their brainpower up, and that science has proven that milk and apples are essential for this. Squealer goes on to remind them that the alternative to the pigs is to have Farmer Jones back. This settles the animals, who agree that, whatever happens, they never want to live under Jones again.

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