CliffsNotes, Animal Farm

CliffsNotes, Animal Farm

CliffsNotes, Animal Farm

CliffsNotes, Animal Farm

Synopsis

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also features glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.

The animals in CliffsNotes on The Animal Farm reflect different kinds of humans and their struggles for freedom and power. Orwell felt that a farm where "All Animals Are Equal" would solve many social and economic problems - but he also knew that such a system would be difficult to maintain.

Find out what happens on the farm when some of the animals act on the principle that "Some Are More Equal Than Others." You'll also gain insight into the life and political views of the author, George Orwell. Other features that help you study include

  • Character analyses of major players
  • A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
  • Critical essays
  • A review section that tests your knowledge
  • A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites

Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure - you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.

Excerpt

Despite the initial difficulties inherent in using farming tools designed for humans, the animals cooperate to finish the harvest—and do so in less time than it had taken Jones and his men to do the same. Boxer distinguishes himself as a strong, tireless worker, admired by all the animals. The pigs become the supervisors and directors of the animal workers. On Sundays, the animals meet in the big barn to listen to Snowball and Napoleon debate a number of topics on which they seem never to agree. Snowball forms a number of Animal Committees, all of which fail. However, he does prove successful at bringing a degree of literacy to the animals, who learn to read according to their varied intelligences. To help the animals understand the general precepts of Animalism, Snowball reduces the Seven Commandments to a single slogan: “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Napoleon, meanwhile, focuses his energy on educating the youth and takes the infant pups of Jessie and Bluebell away from their mothers, presumably for educational purposes.

The animals learn that the cows’ milk and windfallen apples are mixed every day into the pigs’ mash. When the animals object, Squealer explains that the pigs need the milk and apples to sustain themselves as they work for the benefit of all the other animals.

Commentary

While the successful harvest seems to signal the overall triumph of the rebellion, Orwell hints in numerous ways that the very ideals that the rebels used as their rallying cry are being betrayed by the pigs. The fact that they do not do any physical work but instead stand behind the horses shouting commands suggests their new positions as masters— and as creatures very much like the humans they presumably wanted to overthrow.

When Squealer explains to the animals why the pigs have been getting all the milk and apples, he reveals his rhetorical skill and ability to “skip from side to side” to convince the animals that the pigs’ greed is . . .

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