PASSED. The seasons came and went, the short animal lives fled
by. A time came when there was no one who remembered the old days
before the Rebellion, except Clover, Benjamin, Moses the raven,
and a number of the pigs.
Muriel was dead; Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher were dead. Jones
too was dead - he had died in an inebriates' home in another part
of the country. Snowball was forgotten. Boxer was forgotten, except
by the few who had known him. Clover was an old stout mare now,
stiff in the joints and with a tendency to rheumy eyes. She was
two years past the retiring age, but in fact no animal had ever
actually retired. The talk of setting aside a corner of the pasture
for superannuated animals had long since been dropped. Napoleon
was now a mature boar of twenty-four stone. Squealer was so fat
that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes. Only old Benjamin
was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about
the muzzle, and, since Boxer's death, more morose and taciturn
There were many more creatures on the farm now, though the increase
was not so great as had been expected in earlier years. Many animals
had been born to whom the Rebellion was only a dim tradition,
passed on by word of mouth, and others had been bought who had
never heard mention of such a thing before their arrival. The
farm possessed three horses now besides Clover. They were fine
upstanding beasts, willing workers and good comrades, but very
stupid. None of them proved able to learn the alphabet beyond
the letter B. They accepted everything that they were told about
the Rebellion and the principles of Animalism, especially from
Clover, for whom they had an almost filial respect; but it was
doubtful whether they understood very much of it.
The farm was more prosperous now, and better organised: it had
even been enlarged by two fields which had been bought from Mr.
Pilkington. The windmill had been successfully completed at last,
and the farm possessed a threshing machine and a hay elevator
of its own, and various new buildings had been added to it. Whymper
had bought himself a dogcart. The windmill, however, had not after
all been used for generating electrical power. It was used for
milling corn, and brought in a handsome money profit. T he animals
were hard at work building yet another windmill; when that one
was finished, so it was said, the dynamos would be installed.
But the luxuries of which Snowball had once taught the animals
to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold water,
and the three-day week, were no longer talked about. Napoleon
had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism.
The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living
Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without
making the animals themselves any richer - except, of course,
for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there
were so many pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures
did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was
never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and
organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that
the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example,
Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours
every day upon mysterious things called 'files,' 'reports,' 'minutes,'
and 'memoranda.' These were large sheets of paper which had to
be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered,
they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance
for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither
pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there
were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.
As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it
had always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw,
they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter
they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes
the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried
to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when
Jones's expulsion was still recent, things had been better or
worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with
which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing
to go upon except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably
demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The
animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little
time for speculating on such things now. Only old Benjamin professed
to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things
never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse -
hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable
law of life.
And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost,
even for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being
members of Animal Farm. They were still the only farm in the whole
county - in all England! - owned and operated by animals. Not
one of them, not even the youngest, not even the newcomers who
had been brought from farms ten or twenty miles away, ever ceased
to marvel at that. And when they heard the gun booming and saw
the green flag fluttering at the masthead, their hearts swelled
with imperishable pride, and the talk turned always towards the
old heroic days, the expulsion of Jones, the writing of the Seven
Commandments, the great battles in which the human invaders had
been defeated. None of the old dreams had been abandoned. The
Republic of the Animals which Major had foretold, when the green
fields of England should be untrodden by human feet, was still
believed in. Some day it was coming: it might not be soon, it
might not be with in the lifetime of any animal now living, but
still it was coming. Even the tune of 'Beasts of England' was
perhaps hummed secretly here and there: at any rate, it was a
fact that every animal on the farm knew it, though no one would
have dared to sing it aloud. It might be that their lives were
hard and that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled; but they
were conscious that they were not as other animals. If they went
hungry, it was not from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they
worked hard, at least they worked for themselves. No creature
among them went upon two legs. No creature called any other creature
'Master.' All animals were equal.
One day in early summer Squealer ordered the sheep to follow him,
and led them out to a piece of waste ground at the other end of
the farm, which had become overgrown with birch saplings. The
sheep spent the whole day there browsing at the leaves under Squealer's
supervision. In the evening he returned to the farmhouse himself,
but, as it was warm weather, told the sheep to stay where they
were. It ended by their remaining there for a whole week, during
which time the other animals saw nothing of them. Squealer was
with them for the greater part of every day. He was, he said,
teaching them to sing a new song, for which privacy was needed.
It was just after the sheep had returned, on a pleasant evening
when the animals had finished work and were making their way back
to the farm buildings, that the terrified neighing of a horse
sounded from the yard. Startled, the animals stopped in their
tracks. It was Clover's voice. She neighed again, and all the
animals broke into a gallop and rushed into the yard. Then they
saw what Clover had seen.
It was a pig walking on his hind legs.
Yes, it was Squealer. A little awkwardly, as though not quite
used to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but
with perfect balance, he was strolling across the yard. And a
moment later, out from the door of the farmhouse came a long file
of pigs, all walking on their hind legs. Some did it better than
others, one or two were even a trifle unsteady and looked as though
they would have liked the support of a stick, but every one of
them made his way right round the yard successfully. And finally
there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from
the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically
upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his
dogs gambolling round him.
He carried a whip in his trotter.
There was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified, huddling together,
the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the
yard. It was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then
there came a moment when the first shock had worn off and when,
in spite of everything - in spite of their terror of the dogs,
and of the habit, developed through long years, of never complaining,
never criticising, no matter what happened - they might have uttered
some word of protest. But just at that moment, as though at a
signal, all the sheep burst out into a tremendous bleating of
'Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs
better! Four legs good, two legs better!'
It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time
the sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had
passed, for the pigs had marched back into the farmhouse.
Benjamin felt a nose nuzzling at his shoulder. He looked round.
It was Clover. Her old eyes looked dimmer than ever. Without saying
anything, she tugged gently at his mane and led him round to the
end of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written.
For a minute or two they stood gazing at the tatted wall with
its white lettering.
'My sight is failing,' she said finally. 'Even when I was young
I could not have read what was written there. But it appears to
me that that wall looks different. Are the Seven Commandments
the same as they used to be, Benjamin?'
For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out
to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now
except a single Commandment. It ran:
ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL
After that it did not seem strange when next day the pigs who
were supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their
trotters. It did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought
themselves a wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone,
and had taken out subscriptions to John Bull, TitBits,
and the Daily Mirror. It did not seem strange when Napoleon
was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden with a pipe in his
mouth - no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones's clothes out
of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon himself appearing in
a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather leggings, while
his favourite sow appeared in the watered silk dress which Mrs.
Jones had been used to wear on Sundays.
A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dogcarts drove up
to the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited
to make a tour of inspection. They were shown all over the farm,
and expressed great admiration for everything they saw, especially
the windmill. The animals were weeding the turnip field. They
worked diligently hardly raising their faces from the ground,
and not knowing whether to be more frightened of the pigs or of
the human visitors.
That evening loud laughter and bursts of singing came from the
farmhouse. And suddenly, at the sound of the mingled voices, the
animals were stricken with curiosity. What could be happening
in there, now that for the first time animals and human beings
were meeting on terms of equality? With one accord they began
to creep as quietly as possible into the farmhouse garden.
At the gate they paused, half frightened to go on but Clover led
the way in. They tiptoed up to the house, and such animals as
were tall enough peered in at the dining-room window. There, round
the long table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the
more eminent pigs, Napoleon himself occupying the seat of honour
at the head of the table. The pigs appeared completely at ease
in their chairs The company had been enjoying a game of cards
but had broken off for the moment, evidently in order to drink
a toast. A large jug was circulating, and the mugs were being
refilled with beer. No one noticed the wondering faces of the
animals that gazed in at the window.
Mr. Pilkington, of Foxwood, had stood up, his mug in his hand.
In a moment, he said, he would ask the present company to drink
a toast. But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt
it incumbent upon him to say.
It was a source of great satisfaction to him, he said - and, he
was sure, to all others present - to feel that a long period of
mistrust and misunderstanding had now come to an end. There had
been a time - not that he, or any of the present company, had
shared such sentiments - but there had been a time when the respected
proprietors of Animal Farm had been regarded, he would not say
with hostility, but perhaps with a certain measure of misgiving,
by their human neighbours. Unfortunate incidents had occurred,
mistaken ideas had been current. It had been felt that the existence
of a farm owned and operated by pigs was somehow abnormal and
was liable to have an unsettling effect in the neighbourhood.
Too many farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such
a farm a spirit of licence and indiscipline would prevail. They
had been nervous about the effects upon their own animals, or
even upon their human employees. But all such doubts were now
dispelled. Today he and his friends had visited Animal Farm and
inspected every inch of it with their own eyes, and what did they
find? Not only the most up-to-date methods, but a discipline and
an orderliness which should be an example to all farmers everywhere.
He believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals
on Animal Farm did more work and received less food than any animals
in the county. Indeed, he and his fellow-visitors today had observed
many features which they intended to introduce on their own farms
He would end his remarks, he said, by emphasising once again the
friendly feelings that subsisted, and ought to subsist, between
Animal Farm and its neighbours. Between pigs and human beings
there was not, and there need not be, any clash of interests whatever.
Their struggles and their difficulties were one. Was not the labour
problem the same everywhere? Here it became apparent that Mr.
Pilkington was about to spring some carefully prepared witticism
on the company, but for a moment he was too overcome by amusement
to be able to utter it. After much choking, during which his various
chins turned purple, he managed to get it out: 'If you have your
lower animals to contend with,' he said, 'we have our lower classes!'
This bon mot set the table in a roar; and Mr. Pilkington
once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long
working hours, and the general absence of pampering which he had
observed on Animal Farm.
And now, he said finally, he would ask the company to rise to
their feet and make certain that their glasses were full. 'Gentlemen,'
concluded Mr. Pilkington, 'gentlemen, I give you a toast: To the
prosperity of Animal Farm!'
There was enthusiastic cheering and stamping of feet. Napoleon
was so gratified that he left his place and came round the table
to clink his mug against Mr. Pilkington's before emptying it.
When the cheering had died down, Napoleon, who had remained on
his feet, intimated that he too had a few words to say.
Like all of Napoleon's speeches, it was short and to the point.
He too, he said, was happy that the period of misunderstanding
was at an end. For a long time there had been rumours - circulated,
he had reason to think, by some malignant enemy - that there was
something subversive and even revolutionary in the outlook of
himself and his colleagues. They had been credited with attempting
to stir up rebellion among the animals on neighbouring farms.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Their sole wish, now
and in the past, was to live at peace and in normal business relations
with their neighbours. This farm which he had the honour to control,
he added, was a co-operative enterprise. The title-deeds, which
were in his own possession, were owned by the pigs jointly.
He did not believe, he said, that any of the old suspicions still
lingered, but certain changes had been made recently in the routine
of the farm which should have the effect of promoting confidence
stiff further. Hitherto the animals on the farm had had a rather
foolish custom of addressing one another as 'Comrade.' This was
to be suppressed. There had also been a very strange custom, whose
origin was unknown, of marching every Sunday morning past a boar's
skull which was nailed to a post in the garden . This, too, would
be suppressed, and the skull had already been buried. His visitors
might have observed, too, the green flag which flew from the masthead.
If so, they would perhaps have noted that the white hoof and horn
with which it had previously been marked had now been removed.
It would be a plain green flag from now onwards.
He had only one criticism, he said, to make of Mr. Pilkington's
excellent and neighbourly speech. Mr. Pilkington had referred
throughout to 'Animal Farm.' He could not of course know - for
he, Napoleon, was only now for the first time announcing it -
that the name 'Animal Farm' had been abolished. Henceforward the
farm was to be known as 'The Manor Farm' - which, he believed,
was its correct and original name.
'Gentlemen,' concluded Napoleon, 'I will give you the same toast
as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim.
Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!
There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were
emptied to the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the
scene, it seemed to them that some strange thing was happening.
What was it that had altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover's
old dim eyes flitted from one face to another. Some of them had
five chins, some had four, some had three. But what was it that
seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the applause having come
to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the game
that had been interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.
But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An
uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back
and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was
in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp
suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble
appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played
an ace of spades simultaneously.
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike.
No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs.
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to
pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible
to say which was which.
HERE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK