Animal Farm Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Animal Farm: Novel Summary: Chapter 10

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Chapter 10 is Orwell's most dramatic and thought-provoking of the chapters.  While the others seems to have at least a shred of comedy, chapter 10 is almost pure tragedy and metaphor for Russia.  For more on the symbolism of characters and connection to Stalin and all of Russia, visit the character profiles and metaphors sections on the left.  In the chapter review's, the main purpose is to provide a brief synopsis of each section without getting too into the symbolism, which may bore some readers, although it's really the most fascinating part of the book. 

The fall of the ideals of Animalism is summed up in Orwell's first page of the chapter.  "Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes."  Chapter 10 takes place in the future and so there are some drastic changes.  For example, Napoleon says with no hesitancy, "The truest happiness lay in working hard and living frugally."    This is a stark change from the beginning of the book when Napoleon is considered the generous leader who wants unlimited food for all!  Even more disgustingly, the hypocrisy of the statement is obvious.  For Napoleon, of all animals, doesn't work hard or even lift a finger anymore.   

Orwell goes on to state, "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."   

The parallels between Jones and Napoleon are strengthened again when Orwell hints at the prospect of a new rebellion against Napoleon.  "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.  Even the tune of Beasts of England was perhaps hummed secretly here and there."  And even more stunning (although one might have guessed it would happen sooner or later) is the sight of a pig walking on his hind legs.  Even the sheep have been conditioned to it.    They suddenly break out into a chant of  "Four legs good, two legs better!"    

To top it off, the pigs break the ultimate rule about wearing human clothes.  Even so, the animals are ignorant and "very stupid."   Orwell narrates, "It did not seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden with a pipe in his mouth— no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones's clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon himself appearing in a black coat...." 

Lastly, Napoleon invites all the neighbors over to celebrate the "success" of Animal Farm, which is changed back to the name of Manor Farm.   Orwell narrates, "Mr. Pilkington once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long working hours, and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm." 

The 7 Commandments are abridged for the last time, simply reading, "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."  

The closing paragraph is purely haunted.  Orwell describes a human-like fight between the pigs and humans during the celebration.  "Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike.    No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs.  The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." 


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