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Animal Farm by George Orwell Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter Five

CHAPTER FIVE
1. 33-34 As the winter progressed, Mollie disappeared. Where did she go and what was the series of events which led up to this? Mollie vanished from Animal Farm but was later seen pulling a human’s cart on the other side of Willingdon. Three days before she vanished she was seen by Clover speaking to a farmhand working at Foxwood. Clover later searched her stool and found a pile of sugar lumps and a number of ribbons concealed in her hay.
2. 36-37 Farm policy was now decided by the pigs and only ratified by the other animals. This system worked well even though Napoleon and Snowball continued to disagree and argue on almost every point. The cause of more debate than anything else was Snowball’s plan to build a windmill. Why did Snowball think that building a windmill would be so advantageous for the animals? Snowball argued that if the animals spent a year building a windmill then the farm would be supplied with electricity and this would enable the animals to use machines to do much of the work which they currently did.
3. 36 Whilst Snowball proposed the building of a windmill, Napoleon was adamantly opposed to the idea. Why was this? Napoleon argued that building a windmill would be very difficult for the animals, who should be spending their time maximising food production. If they instead wasted their time on the windmill then Napoleon argued that the animals would likely starve to death.
4. 37 In addition to the windmill, questions of defence polarised the two pigs. What were their views on this subject? The two pigs were adamantly opposed on the question of defence. Whilst Napoleon advocated the need for the animals to obtain firearms to defend themselves, Snowball promoted the idea that the animals should concentrate on spreading news of their rebellion and encouraging other farms to follow suit.
5. 38 The competition between the two pigs came to a head when the animals met in the big barn to finally debate the construction of the windmill. After the animals seemed swayed by Snowball arguments about the advantages offered by a windmill, Napoleon decisively ended the debate. How did he do this? Napoleon ended the debate by making a strange high-pitched whimpering sound which brought nine huge dogs to the barn. These nine dogs, who had been ‘educated’ by Napoleon, chased the terrified Snowball out of the farm. After a desperate pursuit, snowball managed to escape with his life, but was never seen again.
6. 39 After taking control of the meeting, what did Napoleon now decree to the other animals? Napoleon now decreed that the Sunday meetings were a waste of time and they would be replaced altogether by a special committee of pigs which would be headed by him. This committee would make all decisions about the running of Animal Farm and pass their decisions and orders onto the other pigs every Sunday when the animals would still assemble to raise the flag and sing their anthem.
7. 40-41 Napoleon’s control of the assembly and new decrees on how the farm would be run in the future was met by a good deal of dissent. In response to this, Napoleon sent Squealer to garner support from the animals in the aftermath of the meeting. Squealer told the animals that Napoleon was making a great sacrifice in taking on the added responsibility of leading the farm and was a strong supporter of equality. Despite this, however, Squealer explained that Napoleon’s concern for the animal’s well being prevented him from letting them make their own decisions about their future. Why was this? Squealer explained to the other animals that, whilst Napoleon was adamantly in favour of the animals making their own decisions, he was unable to allow it as they would sometimes make the wrong decisions.
8. 41-42 The Sunday meetings were dramatically changed and instead of meeting to debate the farm’s future policies, the animals all assembled to hear their orders for the week. These orders were read out by Napoleon from a raised platform which he shared with two other pigs, Squealer and Minimus. During these meetings, the nine dogs formed a semi circle around their master and the other two pigs. Who was Minumus and what was his great talent? Minimus was a young pig who had a remarkable gift for writing songs and poems.
9. 42-43

Three weeks after Snowball had been chased out of the farm, the animals were very surprised to hear Napoleon announce that they would be building the windmill after all. After the meeting, Squealer was once again sent around the farm to explain the situation.

 

Squealer explained that the windmill had in fact been Napoleon’s idea which had been stolen by Snowball. Napoleon had only pretended to oppose the idea so that he could expose the dangerous criminal Snowball. Despite many animals having doubts about this account, they were all persuaded to accept it as the truth for two reasons. What were these two reasons?

The animals were persuaded to accept Squealer’s explanation for why Napoleon now supported the construction of the windmill for two reasons. The first of these was how persuasive and credible Squealer appeared. The second was that Squealer was accompanied by three of the attack dogs who growled at all of the animals in a very threatening way.

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