These summaries provide a general overview of each chapter and the key events in Animal Farm. Keep in mind that the novella is an allegory, and each character and event represents something from the history of the Soviet Union. Understanding the historical context enriches the reading experience.
For greater assistance and sample questions check out:
- Old Major, an old boar, gives a speech to the animals on Manor Farm, urging them to rebel against their human oppressors.
- He introduces the idea of “Animalism,” a philosophy where animals rule themselves and humans are the enemy.
- Old Major dies shortly after the speech, leaving the animals inspired and motivated.
- The animals plan and execute a rebellion against Mr. Jones, the farmer.
- The animals successfully take over the farm, renaming it Animal Farm.
- The pigs, who are considered the smartest animals, emerge as leaders, especially Snowball and Napoleon.
- The animals establish the Seven Commandments of Animalism, which outline the principles of their society.
- The pigs take charge of organizing the farm and make decisions on behalf of the animals.
- Life on the farm starts to change, and the pigs gradually adopt human-like behaviours.
- The pigs start to enjoy the privileges of their leadership, such as sleeping in beds and drinking alcohol.
- The working-class animals begin to realize that the pigs are becoming more like the humans they replaced.
- Snowball and Napoleon disagree on various issues, leading to tension and competition for power.
- Snowball and Napoleon disagree on the construction of a windmill that would improve the farm.
- Snowball is driven off the farm by Napoleon’s dogs, marking the beginning of Napoleon’s dictatorship.
- The windmill becomes a symbol of progress and a source of conflict among the animals.
- The animals face hardships and challenges as they work on building the windmill.
- Napoleon manipulates the animals, blaming Snowball for the problems on the farm.
- The Commandments are subtly altered, signalling the erosion of the original ideals of Animalism.
- The pigs’ behaviour becomes increasingly indistinguishable from that of humans.
- Napoleon consolidates power and forms alliances with humans, betraying the original principles of Animalism.
- The working-class animals suffer from exploitation, and the dream of a free and equal society fades away.
- The pigs engage in trade with humans, breaking one of the original Commandments.
- The farm faces internal and external threats, and Napoleon becomes a tyrant.
- The animals begin to realize the extent of the pigs’ betrayal and oppression.
- The farm faces economic difficulties, and the animals suffer under Napoleon’s rule.
- The pigs become indistinguishable from humans in appearance and behaviour.
- The original ideals of Animalism are completely abandoned, and the farm descends into corruption and tyranny.
- The farm is transformed, and the animals realize that they are no better off than they were under human rule.
- The final Commandment is changed to “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
- The novel ends with the pigs and humans enjoying a friendly dinner, symbolizing the complete betrayal of the animals’ revolution.