Animal Farm by George Orwell Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter One








After Mr Jones had locked the hen-houses for the night, he failed to shut the pop-holes. Why was this?

Mr Jones failed to shut the pop-holes because he was too drunk to remember.



After Mr Jones turned off the light of his bedroom, all of the animals gathered in the big barn. Why did they do this?

They all gathered in the big barn because Old Major, the prize winning boar, had called them together so that he could tell them about a dream he had the night before.



Orwell tells his readers that Old Major was a majestic looking pig who had a wise and benevolent appearance despite his age. How old was he?

Old Major was twelve years old.



Among the first animals to arrive in the big barn were the three dogs and the two cart-horses. What were their names?

The three dogs were named Bluebell, Jessie and Pincher and the two cart-horses were named Boxer and Clover.



Orwell tells his readers that Boxer was universally respected by the animals on the farm for two main reasons. What were these?

Boxer was universally respected for two reasons. First of all Boxer was respected for his steadiness of character, and secondly he was respected for his tremendous powers of work.



Boxer and Benjamin, the donkey, spent the majority of their spare time together; grazing side by side. Benjamin was famous among the other animals on the farm for two reasons. First of all he was the worst tempered among the animals. What was the second reason?

The second thing which Benjamin was famous for among the other animals was his age. He was the oldest animal on the farm.



Soon the big barn was full with almost every single animal attending with the exception of Moses. What type of animal was Moses and where did he live?

Moses was a tame raven who slept on a perch behind the back door.



Seeing that the big barn was now nearly full, Old Major began to address the assembled animals. After speaking very eloquently on the miserable lives of a farm animal he tells them that ‘the life of an animal is misery and slavery’. Why did he think that?

Old Major thought that the life of a farm animal was one of misery and slavery because their lives are laborious and short. They are given just enough food to keep them alive and made to work as hard as possible until they are violently slaughtered.



Old Major tells his audience that their problems can be summed up with one word – Man. Why did he think this?

Old Major explains to his audience that their misery is caused by man. Whilst the land is capable of supporting many animals in comfort, man steals the produce of their labours and keeps it for himself.



Old Major tells his audience that none of them will ‘escape the cruel knife in the end’. He singles out the fate to be expected by the pigs, the horses and the dogs. What should each of these groups expect?

Old Major starts by warning the pigs that they should each expect to be killed on the butcher’s blockwhilst he warns the horses that they will be sold to the knacker’s yard as soon as they become old and feeble. Finally Old Major warns the dogs that they will never know old age because, as soon as they grow too old to work, they will have a brick tied around their necks before being thrown into the nearest pond.



Old Major addresses his audience as comradesbefore announcing that his message can be summed up by a single word. What was this word and what did Old Major mean by it?

Old Major tells his comrades that his message can be summed up by the single word ‘rebellion’. By this old Major means that the animals must work tirelessly, day and night, to overthrow their human persecutors and thus improve their lot as a result.



Before closing the meeting, old major decides to put an important question to the vote. What was this question and what was the result of the vote?

Old major asked his audience to vote on whether the wild animals who lived on the farm such as the rabbits and the rats should be considered comrades or enemies. The audience overwhelmingly voted in favour of their being comrades with the exception of the three dogs and the cat, the latter of whom was later discovered to have voted both for and against the motion.



After recommending this dramatic course of action to the assembled animals, Old Major goes on to talk about his dream before telling them that he was unable to describe it in detail. What was the gist of Old Major’s dream?

Old Major dreamt of how the earth will be after man is overthrown.



Old Major’s dream reminded him of a song which he had known in his childhood but had long since forgotten. What was the name of this song and what was its meaning?

The song was called ‘Beasts of England’ and it was a rebel song which told the animals to overthrow the humans and fight for freedom.



After Old Major had taught the animals the song, they all began to sing it very enthusiastically. What stopped them from singing it all night long?

The animals were interrupted when their singing woke up Mr Jones who, fearing that there was a foxcausing the disturbance, grabbed his gun and fired a volley into the darkness. The animals instantly ran for the cover of their individual sleeping places where they each soon fell asleep.

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