-Animal Farm-

Chapter 8

Food runs even lower and the windmill is still under construction. Squealer makes claims that Napoleon’s rule has made production even quicker, but the reality is not so deceitful. Napoleon uses song, via Minimus, to alter how the other animals view him. He then secretly plans to sell timber to Frederick. 


When the windmill is complete, in August, Napoleon sells the timber to Frederick, is paid in cash after insistence, and is angered to find that he has been duped by forgeries. He then orders the death of Frederick. 


Frederick, however, piles together a few men and attacks the farm, destroying the windmill and harming many of the animals. Though the workers of Animal Farm manage to drive back their attackers, they are badly hurt. Squealer deems it a glorious triumph and calls it ‘The Battle of the Windmill’. 


Napoleon and his pigs discover whisky in Jone’s cellar and he becomes increasingly drunk. Fearing he may die, he bans the consumption of alcohol but soon finds out he is fine. After this discovery of in-tact health, Napoleon uses the paddock, which was originally intended for retirement grounds, to plant barley. It is then discovered that one of the original five commandments was that no animal should drink alcohol to excess. 

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Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain’s ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher.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

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