Animal Farm: Novel Summary: Chapter 8

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As with the sleeping beds, some of the animals think they remember something in the commandments against animals killing animals.    But when Muriel reads the writing on the barn wall to Clover, interestingly, the words are, "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause."   

To replace Beasts of England, Napoleon forces to animals to sing his own little self-worship song, called Comrade Napoleon.  And to further distance the animals from their ties of respect and admiration for Snowball, Napoleon (with help from Squealer no doubt) tells them that really Snowball was no hero at the Battle of Cowshed, but in fact a coward who ran away from the danger.  Napoleon goes on to say that the award Snowball received was really just a myth too.  "Once again some of the animals heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon able to convince them that their memories had been at fault." 

The inter-farm commerce continues with Napoleon's attempted sale of the firewood from a large tree cut down years ago.  After playing games with Frederick and Pinchfield, the "wise" Napoleon decides to sell the fire-wood to Frederick.  And what made it an especially wise move was the fact that he wouldn't except a check, which of course could bounce; so father Napoleon makes Frederick pay with "real five-pound notes."   Unfortunately for the animals these notes are forged.  So in essence Mr. Frederick steals the wood.   

To make it even worse, Mr. Frederick and his men decide to attack the farm, and this time they bring more guns than sticks.  After blowing up the reconstructed windmill with dynamite, Frederick and his men shoot and kill several animals with their rifles.  "It was a savage, bitter battle."  Many animals die and still more are wounded.  The men are, however, finally pushed back through the gates and Napoleon declares a victory.   Somehow this battle doesn't seem quite as magical as the last one, but nonetheless, the Battle of the Windmill is still called a victory.    

Orwell goes on to say, "It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case of whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse."  And surprise, surprise, Napoleon suddenly becomes "sick" and is said to be dying.    Obviously, he has broken the commandment about drinking alcohol, and sure enough, after the hang-over the Leader is better and soon is perfectly fine.  But to justify this little episode, arrangements to amend the rules are made.  "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." 

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