Animal Farm: Novel Summary: Chapter 2
Orwell's second chapter is drenched with metaphors— most of which will not come to light until later in the novel. The first is old Major's death. This represents the end to the older regime, the initial revolution. Now someone else will have to step into authority.
Secondly Orwell strangely describes a pig named Squealer. The name sounds fairly pig-like but his actions don't. Supposedly Squealer has a special ability to persuade others. Orwell boasts, "...he could turn black into white." Obviously a pig like this could be used by the right people (animals).
Next, the author tells us about a peculiar raven named Moses, who is the "especial pet" of Mr. Jones. All the animals consider him a spy and hate him; they say he tells lies about Sugarcandy Mountain and does no work.
Boxer and Clover, two cart horses, are described as the "most faithful disciples" of Snowball and Napoleon. Although they lack the intelligence of the pigs they serve, the horses can convince other animals to follow the cause using "simple arguments."
Orwell uses chapter 2 to really make Mr. Jones into a bad guy, although he admits that he was at one time a good master. Mr. Jones' main problem is that he drinks too much and neglects the farm. Even his men are "idle and dishonest." Soon the animals are fed up with Jones (pardon the pun) after not being fed for over a day, so they organize and successfully carry out the long- awaited revolt. The animals rename Manor Farm Animal Farm yet agree not to live in the house. Yet some of the "elite" pigs have already adopted some of Man's ways; Snowball and Napoleon have suddenly taught themselves to read and write, and soon a list of 7 Commandments is written on the tarred wall. Unfortunately only a few of the animals can actually read the rules. This will come back to haunt them later.
Orwell again closes with a eerie foreshadowing. After Snowball and Napoleon order the animals to work in the hay field, the milk which many of the lower animals asked to drink mysteriously disappears. Napoleon, however, dismisses the milk plea by proclaiming, "The harvest is more important."