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Animal Farm by George Orwell Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter Six




Orwell tells his readers that over the following year the animals worked like slaves and yet they were happy. Why was this?

The animals had to work harder than ever before but they were content to do so because they were working for themselves and not for the benefit of their former human masters.



With the animals committed to constructing the windmill in addition to running the farm, Napoleon announced that the animals would now work on Sunday afternoons too. Whilst Napoleon insisted that this work was strictly voluntary, what penalty would be faced by any animal not volunteering?

Whilst the animals would have to volunteer to work on Sundays, Napoleon told them that if they decided not to work they would have their rations cut by half.



One of the many unexpected difficulties presented by the construction of the windmill was how the animals could break the large pieces of limestone into pieces of suitable size. How did the animals eventually achieve this?

Many of stones were very large and none of the animals could use the tools necessary to break them into smaller pieces. Eventually they hit upon the idea of dragging the large boulders to the top of the quarry and throwing them off the side. When they hit the ground the boulders broke into smaller pieces at the bottom where they could be collected by the animals.



All of the animals worked very hard but it was Boxer who proved to be the most indispensible. His size, strength and determination enabled him to do the work of many other animals combined. He was so committed to Animalism that he now struck a new agreement with the cockerel. What was this?

Boxer asked the cockerel to wake him three quarters of an hour earlier than anyone else so that he could start work even earlier than before.



As the summer wore on, the animals began to realise that there were various shortages. They lacked all manner of things including paraffin, nails, string and dog biscuits. How were these shortages addressed?

As they were unable to produce these items themselves, Napoleon decided that it would now be necessary for Animal Farm to engage in trade with other farms to secure these items.



Many of the animals were more than a little concerned about Napoleon’s solution to their shortages. How was Mr Whymper involved in the pig’s plans?

Mr Whymper was a local solicitor. Napoleon arranged for him to act as an intermediary and he would thus visit the farm once a week on a Monday to receive his instructions from Napoleon for the coming week.



The animals were very wary of Mr Whymper and tried their best to avoid him. Despite their apprehensions, however, Mr Whymper’s visits did elicit a great deal of pride among the animals. Why was this?

The animals were very proud to see Mr Whymer, standing on two legs, receiving his orders from Napoleon who stood on all fours..



As the financial relationship between Animal Farm and its human run neighbours steadily increased, the pigs shocked the other animals again by moving into the farm house. Squealer was once again sent out among the other animals to explain why this was a necessary development. What two arguments did he use to justify the pig’s decision?

Squealer justified Napoleon’s decision to move into the farm house in two ways. First of all he argued that the pigs, as the brains of the operation, needed a quiet place to live. Secondly he pointed out that Napoleon, as the animal’s leader, required a more dignified residence than a sty.



Whilst Boxer automatically accepted the pig’s decision, Clover was less sure and felt sure that she remembered a rule about not sleeping in beds. When she failed to read the seven commandments which were still written on the wall of the barn, she asked Murial for her help. After some hard work, Murial managed to read the fourth commandment which concerned sleeping in beds. How did the fourth commandment now read?

Murial struggled to read the fourth commandment but, when she finally succeeded, it read ‘no animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets’.



Several days after the pigs had moved into the farmhouse, they announced a change to their sleeping schedule. What was this?

The pigs announced that they would now sleep an hour later than the other animals.



The animals continued to work hard building the windmill, which was now half complete, and Boxer even started to work alone at night, completing one or two hours extra labour by the light of the moon. One of the animals was less than enthusiastic about the windmill however. Who was this?

All of the animals were very proud of the windmill except Benjamin who remained unenthusiastic and repeated his cryptic remark that ‘Donkeys live a long time’.



As the winter wore on, the weather deteriorated and one night the farm was caught in a terrible storm. That same night the windmill was discovered to have been severely damaged. After investigating the damage, who did Napoleon claim was responsible for it?

After investigating the damage to the windmill, Napoleon announced that it had been caused by none other than Snowball who, he claimed, must have returned to take revenge for his expulsion as a traitor. Napoleon now declared that Snowball should be put to death if he is discovered in Animal Farm and promised honours and edible rewards to anyone who captures or kills the pig.

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