Farm Animal Pictures BiographyYears pass, and the pigs start to resemble humans, as they walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. The Seven Commandments are abridged to a single phrase: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". Napoleon holds a dinner party for the pigs and local farmers, with whom he celebrates a new alliance. He abolishes the practice of the revolutionary traditions and restores the name "The Manor Farm". As the animals look from pigs to humans, they realise they can no longer distinguish between the two.
Old Major – An aged prize Middle White boar provides the inspiration that fuels the Rebellion in the book. He is an allegorical combination of Karl Marx, one of the creators of communism, and Lenin, the communist leader of the Russian Revolution and the early Soviet nation, in that he draws up the principles of the revolution. His skull being put on revered public display recalls Lenin, whose embalmed body was put on display.
Napoleon – "A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way". An allegory of Joseph Stalin, Napoleon is the main villain of Animal Farm. In the first French version of Animal Farm, Napoleon is called César, the French form of Caesar, although another translation has him as Napoléon.
Snowball – Napoleon's rival and original head of the farm after Jones' overthrow. He is mainly based on Leon Trotsky, but also combines elements from Lenin.
Squealer – A small, white, fat porker who serves as Napoleon's right-trotter pig and minister of propaganda, holding a position similar to that of Molotov.
Minimus – A poetic pig who writes the second and third national anthems of Animal Farm after the singing of "Beasts of England" is banned.
The Piglets – Hinted to be the children of Napoleon and are the first generation of animals subjugated to his idea of animal inequality.
The young pigs – Four pigs who complain about Napoleon's takeover of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed.
Pinkeye – A minor pig who is mentioned only once; he is the pig that tastes Napoleon's food to make sure it is not poisoned, in response to rumours about an assassination attempt on Napoleon.
Mr Jones – The former owner of the farm, Jones is a very heavy drinker. The animals revolt against him after he drinks so much that he does not feed or take care of them. He is an allegory of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 and was executed, along with the rest of his family, by the Bolsheviks on 17 July 1918.
Mr Frederick – The tough owner of Pinchfield, a small but well-kept neighbouring farm, who briefly enters into an alliance with Napoleon. He is an allegory of Adolf Hitler, who enters into a neutrality pact with Joseph Stalin's USSR only to later break it by invading the Soviet Union.
Mr Pilkington – The easy-going but crafty and well-to-do owner of Foxwood, a large neighbouring farm overgrown with weeds.
Mr Whymper – A man hired by Napoleon to act as the liaison between Animal Farm and human society. At first he is used to acquire goods needed for the farm, such as dog biscuits and paraffin, but later he procures luxuries like alcohol for the pigs.
Horses and donkeys
Boxer – A loyal, kind, dedicated, hard working, and respectable cart-horse, although quite naive and gullible. Boxer does a large share of the physical labor on the farm, adhering to the simplistic belief that working harder will solve all the animal's problems.
Mollie – A self-centered, self-indulgent and vain young white mare who quickly leaves for another farm after the revolution. She is only once mentioned again, in a manner similar to those who left Russia after the fall of the Tsar.
Clover - A gentle, caring female horse, who shows concern especially for Boxer, who often pushes himself too hard. She seems to catch on to the sly tricks and schemes set up by Napoleon and Squealer.
Benjamin – A donkey, one of the oldest, wisest animals on the farm, and one of the few who can read properly. He is skeptical, temperamental and pessimistic: his most frequent remark is, "Life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly." The academic Morris Dickstein has suggested there is "a touch of Orwell himself in this creature's timeless skepticism" and indeed, friends called Orwell "Donkey George", "after his grumbling donkey Benjamin, in Animal Farm."
Muriel – A wise old goat who is friends with all of the animals on the farm. She, like Benjamin and Snowball, is one of the few animals on the farm who can read.
The Puppies – Offspring of Jessie and Bluebell, taken away from them by Napoleon at birth and reared by Napoleon to be his security force.
Moses – The raven "was Mr. Jones's especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker." Initially following Mrs. Jones into exile, he reappears several years later and resumes his role of talking but not working. He regales Animal Farm's denizens with tales of a wondrous place beyond the clouds called "Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest forever from our labours!" Orwell portrays established religion as "the black raven of priestcraft—promising pie in the sky when you die, and faithfully serving whoever happens to be in power." Napoleon brings the raven back (Ch. IX) as Stalin brought back the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Sheep – They show limited understanding of the Animalism and the political atmosphere of the farm, yet nonetheless they blindly support Napoleon's ideals with vocal jingles during his speeches and meetings with Snowball.
The Hens – The hens are among the first to rebel against Napoleon.
The Cows – Their milk is stolen by the pigs, who learn to milk them. The milk is stirred into the pigs' mash every day, while the other animals are denied such luxuries.
The Cat – Never seen to carry out any work, the cat is absent for long periods, and is forgiven because her excuses are so convincing and she "purred so affectionately that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions". She has no interest in the politics of the farm, and the only time she is recorded as having participated in an election, she is found to have actually "voted on both sides".
Composition and publication
George Orwell wrote the manuscript in 1943 and 1944 subsequent to his experiences during the Spanish Civil War, which he described in Homage to Catalonia (1938). In the preface of a 1947 Ukrainian edition of Animal Farm, he explained how escaping the communist purges in Spain taught him "how easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries". This motivated Orwell to expose and strongly condemn what he saw as the Stalinist corruption of the original socialist ideals.
Immediately prior to his writing, Orwell had quit the BBC. He was also upset about a booklet for propagandists the Ministry of Information had put out. The booklet included instructions on how to quell ideological fears of the Soviet Union, such as directions to claim that the Red Terror was a figment of Nazi imagination.
In the preface, Orwell also described the source of the idea of setting the book on a farm:
...I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.
Efforts to find a publisher
Orwell encountered great difficulty getting the manuscript published, as it was feared that the book might upset the alliance between the US, UK, and the Soviet Union. Four publishers refused; one had initially accepted the work but declined after consulting the Ministry of Information. Eventually, Secker and Warburg published the first edition in 1945.
During World War II, it became apparent to Orwell that anti-Soviet literature was not something which most major publishing houses would touch — including his regular publisher Gollancz. He also submitted the manuscript to Faber and Faber, where the poet T. S. Eliot (who was a director of the firm) rejected it; Eliot wrote back to Orwell praising its "good writing" and "fundamental integrity", but declared that they would only accept it for publication if they had some sympathy for the viewpoint "which I take to be generally Trotskyite". Eliot said he found the view "not convincing", and contended that the pigs were made out to be the best to run the farm; he posited that someone might argue "what was needed.. was not more communism but more public-spirited pigs". Orwell let André Deutsch, who was working for Nicholson & Watson in 1944, read the typescript, and Deutsch was convinced that Nicholson & Watson would want to publish it; however, they did not, and "lectured Orwell on what they perceived to be errors in Animal Farm." In his London Letter on 17 April 1944 for Partisan Review, Orwell wrote that it was "now next door to impossible to get anything overtly anti-Russian printed. Anti-Russian books do appear, but mostly from Catholic publishing firms and always from a religious or frankly reactionary angle."