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Animal Farm Chapter 1

| Monday October 03, 2011

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A Guide to Animal Farm
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10

Summary

  • Speech inspires the animals and they rebel against a prize winning boar called ‘Major’; he tells the animals on ‘Manor Farm’ about his dream in which animals live free from human slavery.
  • Major’s mankind, creating their own society using Major’s speech to formulate ideas of freedom and equality.
  • Old Major’s speech: analysis of persuasive techniques.

At the start of the novel, Old Major tells the animals about a dream he has had.  In this dream he sets out a Utopian vision of a world where animals are no longer enslaved by mankind but run their own affairs and profit from their own labours.  This is an allegorical comparison with the then ‘Soviet’ communist state which promised workers that they would be working for their own profit rather than that of the aristocracy and ruling classes. 

Orwell is critical of this system and sees endemic corruption and greed within it.  By using the allegory form he highlights the problems with this system; the use of an English farm as the setting means that his reader will find it easier to engage with the subject and not feel as if they are being lectured to.  It is possible to read the story and enjoy it on a surface level, without looking at any ‘hidden’ meaning. 

Comrades [1] , you have heard already about the strange dream that I had last night. But I will come to the dream later. [2] I have something else to say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such wisdom

[3] as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you.

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