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Free Study Guide-Animal Farm by George Orwell-Free Online Booknotes
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Chapter 10

Summary

Years have passed. No one remembers the old days before the rebellion except Clover, Benjamin, Moses, and a number of pigs. Napoleon has become totally humanlike in his behavior. He and his ruling class of pigs now walk upright on their hand legs, dress in clothing, carry whips, read newspapers and magazines, and talk on the telephone. All of the original Commandments have been forgotten; only one remains that states that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others, meaning the pigs. The common animals say nothing; they have given up the habit of criticizing, complaining, or protesting long ago.

The farm is now better organized, more prosperous, and enlarged. The windmill, though not used for electricity, has brought in a profit. The common animals, however, do not share in the prosperity. They live a life of difficulty and deprivation. They are hungry, sleep on straw, labor long hours, and are troubled by cold in winter and flies in summer. But they are still convinced that they are "free" since animals rather than humans run the farm. Because of the constant propaganda, they do not realize that their plight is the same under Napoleon that it was under Farmer Jones. Only Benjamin realizes that "nothing has changed for better or worse."


One day, while weeding turnips, the animals hear singing. Napoleon is in the farmhouse celebrating with human beings. He then announces that he has made peace with his human neighbors. Although still called Animal Farm, it is really Manor Farm all over again. The animal dictatorship has degenerated into human corruption, and at the end of the novel, pig and man are indistinguishable. The circle is complete.

Notes

Orwell's satire comes full circle in the last chapter of the book. When in control, the animals turn Animal Farm into another Manor Farm rather than a utopian society. They are unable to make a paradise on earth. Because the common animals are good and simple and lack cunning, they are easily deceived and manipulated. It is easy for Napoleon to seize and maintain control. Sadly, he uses the power unwisely and becomes a despicable dictator that imitates human beings in every way. Through Napoleon, Orwell satirizes human nature; but his main target of criticism is man as a political animal.

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