Years have passed and the farm has grown, thanks to the purchase of a few fields from Pilkington. Most of the animals we knew are dead, with elders, who are past the retirement age, still in constant labour. A second windmill has been built but it hasn’t alleviated their suffering at all. They still work and starve whilst the pigs fatten themselves up. Clover is still alive but working despite her age. She sees a harrowing sight of Squealer walking on his hind legs.
All of the pigs begin to and they all start to wear Jones’ clothing whilst carrying whips. The slogan ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ has changed to ‘four legs good, two legs better!’. The commandments have also changed to the phrase ‘All animals are equal but some are more equal than others’
At the end of the novel, we see the neighbouring human farmers take a tour of the farm, eventually meeting Napoleon in his farmhouse, where they praise the efficiency of his operation.
Napoleon then begins a speech in which he sets out new rules and plans, but his most notable one is the renaming of Animal Farm back to Manor Farm. After this, the pigs and the humans play cards, quarrel, and the other animals watch from outside and cannot tell the difference between the animals and the pigs.
George Orwell’s chilling fable of Soviet Russia’s brutal dictatorship, Animal Farm brings to life in lucid, uncomplicated language the disastrous project of Russian Communism. This Penguin Modern classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury. ‘All animals are equal – but some are more equal than others’ When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality.
But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another. ‘It is the history of a revolution that went wrong – and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,’ wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945.
Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain’s ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell’s simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic. If you enjoyed Animal Farm, you might like Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. ‘It is the book for everyone and Everyman, its brightness undimmed after fifty years’ Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph Books of the Century