Animal Farm
George Orwell
Contributed by Sharon Fleming
Chapter 8

Squealer has come up with statistics intended to back up the increase in food production in the farm. In spite of these statements, the events from the following year indicate that a lot of people are working hard yet the food rations are continuing to decrease. In these circumstances, it could be difficult to justify the increase in productions, unless some pigs are stealing or hoarding the food. Meanwhile, Napoleon is becoming more powerful as time advances. He has suddenly disappeared from the public, instead of letting Squealer to do most of the interaction with the public. Napoleon, again, does not hesitate to execute the individuals whom he things are threats to his rule.

The construction of the windmill is completed in August. Napoleon agrees to sell some timber to Frederick who promises to pay by check. However, Napoleon demands cash payment which Frederick agrees to do. When the payment is complete, Napoleon realizes that the money is counterfeit. Having realized that the human negotiator has betrayed him, Napoleon pronounces death upon him.

The following morning, Frederick and a group of 14 men gain entry and attempt a forceful takeover of the farm. While the group initially appears to be successful, the animals get enraged furiously drive the men out of the farm. The humans have destroyed the windmill, and that infuriates the animals. Squealer attempts to console the animals by telling them that they have emerged victorious. The encounter is later referred to as the Battle of Windmill.

A few days later, the pigs drink bottles of beer that they had discovered to have been left at the house that belonged to Jones. Having drunk a lot of the alcohol, Napoleon feels so bad that he thought he would die. He pronounces that drinking of alcohol is punishable by death. However, two days later, Napoleon ‘heals' from his situation and then he orders for the planting of barley on a small paddock. At the end of the chapter, Muriel is re-reading the contents of the fifth commandment, and for the first time he gets ‘informed' that "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess." Someone has changed the commandment.


The killings are getting too much, and some animals are getting concerned that there are blatant violations of the provisions of the sixth commandment which says that No animal shall kill any other animal." However, as has been the case in many cases, Napoleon changes the law to read that No animal shall kill any other animal without cause." With these changes, Napoleon receives the license to kill. The changes being made to the law are indications that Napoleon is determined to use force or violence to push his agenda.

As the reconstruction of the windmill resumes, starvation sets in as the animals lack food to eat, just as Napoleon had indicated during the debates. Squealer is at hand to provide figures ostensibly to justify the fact that Napoleon has done much as the leader of the farm to boost food production. Squealer says that there is sufficient food in the country and that "they would have sooner had fewer figures and more food." Squealer says that the animals have their grumbling stomachs to blame since according to them, there is sufficient food for all animals.

Having seized total control of the farm, Napoleon starts becoming a paranoid egomaniac. Napoleon has changed his character drastically. Firstly, he never appears in public, and when that happens, his arrival is heralded by a black cockerel. Additionally, Napoleon has changed rooms and now sleeps in a separate room that he does not share with the other pigs. Besides, on his birth days, Napoleon orders a gun to be fired and that he must be referred to as "Protector of the Sheep-fold." When the construction of the mill is complete, Napoleon names it as Napoleon Mill. Napoleon then orders to have all the animals to walk past him as he sleeps on the pile of money after he has sold the timber.

In spite of the boasting and feelings of self-importance, the other animals still find it fit to worship Napoleon. The animals are the poet pig is increasingly becoming creative in his choice of words for the praise of Napoleon. One of the lines of praise indicates that "Thou are the giver of / All that thy creatures love." These are very flattering terms used in worshipping Napoleon.

While it is evident that there is hunger and that the animals are starving, Napoleon mentions that the animals could be suffering from the different thing but not hunger.  He runs away from his earlier statement during the break that famine would invade the land when the animals dedicate a lot of their time to building the windmill. The turnaround, in this case, is a confirmation of the manner in which politicians use double-speech to confuse unsuspecting, confused and desperate members of the public. When the battle of the windmill is over, Boxer is wounded, and he cannot understand how that can be referred to as a victory. Squeal, in his typical fashion, explains that "The enemy was in occupation of this very ground that we stand upon. And now — thanks to the leadership of comrade Napoleon — we have won every inch of it back again!" Boxer replies that "Then we have won back what we had before." The final episode on drinking alcohol depicts the pigs as gluttonous. Napoleon changes the law on drinking alcohol to satisfy his needs.

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