Animal Farm
George Orwell
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 2

When Old Major dies, the animals gather and plan for the rebellion. The animals have spent most of their days deliberating upon then best approaches that would give them a win. However, the date or timing of the rebellion remains unclear. The pigs are the most intelligent animals on this farm. Thus, it is only fair that they take charge of the planning of the rebellion. Besides, the pigs are responsible for educating the other animals concerning Animalism, the philosophy that Old Major had introduced before he died. In the group of pigs, Napoleon and Snowball appear like the persons around which all the plans are made. The two would later become fierce rivals after the rebellion. Despite the numerous challenges that exist, the pigs have been immensely successful in teaching the animals about animalism as well as preparing them for the rebellion plans.

When Rebellion occurs, this time, again, Mr. Jones is asleep. He has forgotten to feed the animals. The animals invade the feeds store in search of food. Soon, Mr. Jones arrives to find the looting taking place. He, together with his men, resort to whipping the animals. The animals turn against Mr. Jones and his people. Having been overpowered by the animals, Mr. Jones and his people leave the farm. The triumphant defeat of Mr. Jones is marked with feats. The animals eat heartily and enjoy the moment. After touring the house in which Mr. Jones lived, the animals opt against destroying it, instead reserving it as a monument. Snowball changes the sign "Manor Farm" and makes it "Animal Farm." On the walls of the barn, Snowball paints the Seven Commandments that are supposed to guide the conduct of all the animals on the farm. As a token of appreciation to the efforts of all the animals, the cows give milk, five buckets of it, but Napoleon steals it.


Since the Old Major had predicted that he would not stay long with the other animals, it is not surprising that chapter two starts with his death. The death of the Old Manor sets the process of revolution into first gear. The animals are determined to make the theories and philosophies of the Old Major a reality. However, the gap between the vision of the Old Manor and attempts to realize it appear to be fundamentally large. The more the animals attempt to put the practice to practice, the more they achieve opposite results.

The naming of the individuals around whom this quest for revolution revolves is quite telling. The name ‘snowball' is suitable for a revolution in general. However, this revolution ‘snowballs' and changes until such a time when the animal leadership resembles that of their previous master. Effectively while the leadership of the animal farm has changed, there is little difference that the animals are feeling from that of the previous masters. On the other side, Napoleon's name suggests an authoritative leader who uses all tactics to achieve his selfish desires. Napoleon's quest and lust for power grows with each day, and that will be demonstrated in the subsequent chapter. On the other side, the name Squealer, just as his name pronounces, is the mouthpiece of the pigs. The squealer has a very difficult task ‘skipping from one side to the other' as he argues some ‘very difficult points.' Like a typical politician, every time the pig is presented with difficult positions, the Squealer will always find brilliant ways to evade the questions. In the long run, the Squealer gets an opportunity to serve as Napoleon's chief of Propaganda.

Just like many of the animals on the farm, Snowball is incredibly determined to make as many animals as possible to understand his course. However, he is infuriated by the conduct of other animals. While Snowball is arguing that all the animals ought to sacrifice their interests for the good of the farm, Mollie is interested in sugar and ribbons. According to Snowball, the concern of Mollie with the material things will not serve the interests of the farm. Just like Mollie, Snowball is irked by Moses due to his incessant talk about the tales of SugarCandy Mountain which Snowball believes would draw the animals away from the values of the farm.

Snowball has failed to realize that their teachings of animalism are as unattainable as the teachings of the SugarCandy Mountain. Just like the biblical Moses who led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, Moses in this work preaches of a world that is better than the farm. While this land is fictitious and unattainable, it is evident that a lot of animals readily accept these teachings. It is an indication that the animals are attracted to Utopia. When the animals succeed in driving the animals away from the land, they are in celebratory mood, resembling an army that has conquered over their enemies. To preserve their heritage and create a lasting memory of this victory, the animals make John's house a museum. Additionally, the change of the name of the firm was the final indication of a change of guard in the farm.

The creation of the Seven Commandments, which is borrowed from the Biblical Ten Commandments, is an attempt to codify the behavior and conduct of all the animals on the farm. The laws are direct and need no interpretation. All animals on the farm are aware of them since they are painted largely in the walls, thus leaving no excuses for violations. However, some persons are seeking to create loopholes in the commandments and violate the principles in the farm.

The final episode in which Napoleon blatantly violates the rights of all the animals and grabs the buckets of milk is an indication of the leadership that the group will be subjected to under Napoleon. In line with the seventh commandment which states that ‘all animals are equal' it is expected that all the animals would enjoy the milk that the cows have produced. At this moment, the reader starts to have a feeling that the animals might have a worse experience under Napoleon that they were under man.

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