Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Animal Farm: Chapter X - Summary

After a few years, the only animals that even remember the Rebellion are Clover,Benjamin, Moses, and some of the pigs. Muriel, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher have died. Mr. Jones has died in a home for alcoholics. Still, no animal has retired, and no pasture has been put aside for retired animals. Napoleon and Squealer have both become very fat. The farm is bigger, thanks to land purchased from Mr. Pilkington, and now features a threshing machine and hay elevator. The windmill is finished, but the animals use it to mill corn for a profit instead of to generate electricity as planned. Napoleon puts the animals to work building an additional windmill, which he promises will supply electricity. However, he discourages the animals from dreaming of luxury, saying, “The truest happiness … [lies] in working hard and living frugally” (129).

The pigs and dogs continue to do no manual labor, instead devoting themselves to organizational work that the other animals are “too ignorant to understand” (130). This includes writing up notes and burning them promptly after. Propaganda and pride in living on the only animal-owned farm in England continue to distract the animals from their hardships. One day, Squealer takes all the sheep out to an overgrown patch of land on the far side of the farm. Over the next week, he claims to be teaching them a song, and no one sees them. On the day the sheep return, Clover alerts the other animals to a disturbing fact: Squealer and the other pigs are walking two-footed, on their hind legs. The sheep break into a chorus of, “Four legs good, two legs better!” Benjamin accompanies Clover to the barn wall, where he deigns to read to her for the first time. In place of the Seven Commandments there is now a single maxim: “All animals are equal / But some animals are more equal than others” (133).

The animals discover that the pigs are buying a telephone and have subscribed to several magazines. Napoleon takes to smoking Mr. Jones’s pipe, and the other pigs take to wearing Mrs. Jones’s clothes. Napoleon begins wearing Mr. Jones’s dress clothes and awards “his favorite sow” the privilege of wearing Mrs. Jones’s Sunday dress. One day, Napoleon invites human visitors to tour the farm. That night, the animals spy into the farmhouse and see the pigs dining with the humans. According to Mr. Pilkington’s toast, they are celebrating the end of their bad relations. Touring Animal Farm has impressed him and the other farmers to follow Animal Farm’s example and give their animals more work and less food. Napoleon says he wants to cooperate with the other farms and confirms that he and the pigs co-own the farm’s title-deeds. He states that the animals will no longer be calling each other “Comrade” or marching past Old Major’s skull (a practice he denies understanding anyway). In addition, the flag has been changed to a plain green without the symbols of the Rebellion. Even further, Animal Farm shall again be referred to as “The Manor Farm.” The pigs and humans begin to play poker, and a fight erupts when Napoleon and Pilkington both put down the Ace of Spades at the same time. As the animals witness the pigs and humans quarreling over their poker game, they cannot distinguish between them.

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