December 30, 2020

Animal Farm

George Orwell
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Orwell On Animal Farm

  • According to Orwell, the fable reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917. And then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.

Orwell On Being An Animal

  • Let us face it; our lives are miserable, laborious and short. We are born, we get given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us who are capable of it gets forced to work to the last atom of our strength. The very instant that our usefulness has come to an end, we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty.

  • No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth.

  • Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always gone on - that is, badly.

  • Instead - she did not know why - they had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.

  • Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer - except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.

  • There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives. They had nothing to go upon except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better.

  • All animals are equal, but some animals are more so than others.

  • He believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals on Animal Farm did more work and received less food than any animals in the county.

  • 'Comrade,' said Snowball, 'those ribbons that you are so devoted to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?'

  • The animals listened first to Napoleon, then to Snowball, and could not make up their minds which one was right; indeed, they always agreed with the one who was speaking at the moment.

  • His two slogans, 'I will work harder' and 'Napoleon is always right', seemed to him a sufficient answer to all problems.

Orwell On Man

  • Because nearly all of our labour's produce is stolen from us by human beings, their comrades answer all our problems. It gets summed up in a single word - Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork gets abolished forever.

  • 'Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk; does not lay eggs; is too weak to pull the plough; cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.

  • Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. And also remember that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal must ever live in a house, sleep in a bed, wear clothes, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, touch money, or engage in trade. All the habits of Man are evil. And above all, no animal must ever tyrannise over his kind. Weak or strong, smart or simple, we are all brothers. No animal must ever kill any other animal. All animals are equal.

  • The distinguishing mark of Man is the Hand, the instrument with which he makes all his mischief.

  • The creatures outside looked from pig to man, from man to pig, and from pig to man again. But already, it was impossible to say which was which.

Orwell On Pigs

  • The pigs did not work but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge, it was natural that they should assume the leadership.

  • It was always the pigs who put forward the resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but could never think of any solutions of their own.

  • It was laid down as a rule, that when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other animal must stand aside. And, of whatever degree, all pigs were to have the privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on Sundays.

  • A moment later, out from the farmhouse's door came a long file of pigs, all walking on their hind legs.

  • Napoleon took no interest in Snowball's committees. He said that the young's education was more important than anything that could get done for those who were already grown up.

  • At the graveside Snowball made a little speech, emphasising the need for all animals to be ready to die for Animal Farm if need be.

  • Napoleon was now never spoken of only as 'Napoleon'. He was always referred to in formal style as 'our Leader, Comrade Napoleon'. And the pigs liked to invent such titles as Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheepfold, Ducklings' Friend, and the like.

Orwell On The Commandments

  • 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.

  • A time came when no one remembered the old days before the Rebellion, except Clover, Benjamin, Moses the raven, and some of the pigs.

  • A few animals still felt faintly doubtful, but Squealer asked them shrewdly, 'Are you certain that this is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere?' And since it was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed in writing, the animals were satisfied that they had gotten mistaken.

  • If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race.

  • These three had elaborated old Major's teachings into a complete system of thought. They gave the name of Animalism.
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