Animal Farm by George Orwell Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter Eight




A few days after the executions, a number of the animals began to discuss the Seven Commandments and a number of them seemed to remember that the Sixth Commandment stated that ‘No Animal shall kill any other animal’. If this was the case, then the executions would have clearly been in violation of the seven commandments. Upon closer inspection, however, it was discovered that the sixth commandment had not been violated after all. Explain why this was.

Concerned about the seven commandments, a number of the animals went to the barn to study them. When Muriel read the sixth commandment the animals realised that they had all forgotten the last two words. It read ‘No Animal shall kill any other animal without cause’. As the executed animals had all been in league with Snowball, Napoleon had clearly had a very good reason to kill them.



Napoleon was no longer seen in public with any regularity, rather he spent the majority of his time in the farm house. When he was seen in public he was always surrounded by his attack dogs and was now also accompanied by a black cockerel who would act as a ‘kind of trumpeter’. After the ‘battle of the Cowshed’, when Mr Jones’s gun was recovered, it had been decided that it would be fired twice yearly to mark the two most important anniversaries of Animal Farm. The first of these was the Revolution itself, the second was the battle of the Cowshed. It was now decreed that the gun would be fired on an additional occasion. What was this?

It was announced that, in addition to the official anniversaries of Animal Farm, the gun would also be fired on Napoleon’s birthday.



Napoleon became excessively celebrated by many of the animals and soon had a poem written about him by Minimus. Napoleon ordered that this poem should be written on the wall of the barn opposite the seven commandments and was accompanied by a portrait of Napoleon in profile. To emphasise the unrivalled importance of Napoleon, what was he soon officially known as?

Napoleon was soon officially known as ‘Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon’.



Animal farm was bordered by two other farms. One of these was run by a human called Frederick and the other by a man called Pilkington. The animals didn’t trust either one of these on account that they were human, but which of them did the animals particularly hate and why?

The animals didn’t like either of the humans but they were especially wary of, and angry at, Frederick as it was constantly rumoured that he was harbouring Snowball and together they were plotting to invade animal farm.



In the late summer, when the farm’s wheat crop was still growing, the animals were distraught to discover that it consisted largely of weeds. How was this explained?

It became known to the animals that Snowball had been responsible for the high weed content of the wheat crop as the pig had managed to mix the wheat seeds with weed seeds. This fact was discovered when a gander admitted to Squealer that he had been privy to the plot and proceeded to commit suicide on the spot.



After many months of hard labour, the windmill was finally finished in the Autumn. The animals rejoiced and celebrated their achievement. Even Napoleon visited the building and congratulated the animals on all of their hard work. What name did Napoleon decide that the windmill should be given?

When Napoleon finally saw the completed building, he decided that the building should be known as ‘Napoleon’s Mill’.



Just a few days after the windmill was completed, Napoleon called all of the animals together to announce that a buyer had now been organised for the timber pile which they had placed on the market earlier in the year. Who did Napoleon announce had bought the timber pile and how did he reassure the other animals when they appeared surprised by the buyer’s identity?

Napoleon informed the animals that Frederick would now be purchasing the timber pile. The animals were naturally very concerned by this announcement but Napoleon was able to win them over when he explained that the rumours which they had heard about Frederick harbouring Snowball were completely untrue, as were the rumours of an impending invasion. Instead Napoleon suggested that it was more likely that Pilkington was guilty of these things than Frederick.



Just a matter of days after this announcement Napoleon was forced to call another meeting to tell the animals that Frederick had tricked him and got the timber for nothing. How had Frederick managed to trick Napoleon?

Frederick had originally offered to pay for the timber using a cheque, but Napoleon had insisted upon receiving cash as he thought this was the safer option. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of Animal Farm, Frederick had paid for the timber using forged money which was in fact worthless.



Napoleon was furious with Frederick and announced that the farmer was now to be executed on sight. What method of execution did Napoleon decree?

Napoleon decreed that Frederick was to be boiled alive for his treachery.



Following Frederick’s treachery, Napoleon warned the animals that the long expected attack could now be imminent and indeed it was. The next morning fifteen well armed men appeared at the front gate of Animal Farm. They fired their guns at the animals as they moved towards the newly constructed windmill. At first Napoleon was confident that the men wouldn’t be able to do any damage to so study a structure but Benjamin quickly realised their plan. How were the men able to destroy the windmill?

Frederick’s men were able to make a small hole at the base of the windmill which they then packed with blasting powder. Igniting this powder, the men were able to destroy the windmill leaving nothing but a black cloud of smoke where the building had once stood.



When the animals saw that the men had destroyed their windmill, they were invigorated with a new found bravery and the animals charged the men. In the fierce battle which followed many animals and many men were badly injured and some killed but finally the men decided to flee for their lives. The animals were distraught at the loss of life and the destruction of their windmill which they had laboured for two years to build. Despite this, they were greeted by Squealer as they returned who, though he had been strangely absent during the battle, was now in a great mood. Why was Squealer in such a positive mood and why did Napoleon fire the gun seven times to mark the occasion?

Napoleon fired the gun seven times to mark the animal’s victory. Even though animals like boxer didn’t at first see what they were celebrating, the pigs led the animals in a great celebration to mark their apparent victory.



During the two days of celebration which followed, Napoleon announced an official name for the battle and awarded a new military honour to mark the occasion. What was the name of the battle, and what was the name of the honour and to whom was it awarded?

The battle was officially known as the ‘Battle of the Windmill’. The new martial honour was named the ‘Order of the Green Banner’ and it was conferred by Napoleon on himself.



A number of days after these celebrations the pigs happened to stumble across a case of whisky one night. The evening proved to be an eventful one in which many of the pigs were heard to be singing and Napoleon was seen running around the courtyard wearing an old bowler hat which once belonged to Mr Jones. The next morning, however, Squealer found it necessary to address the animals and tell them that their beloved leader, Napoleon, was dying. What did Squealer tell the animals was Napoleon’s final order?

Squealer told the animals that Napoleon’s final order was that anyone found drinking alcohol was to be put to death.



Despite the fears for Napoleon’s health voiced by Squealer, the following morning saw Napoleon looking considerably better. Following this dramatic recovery, what did Napoleon instruct Mr Whymper to purchase?

Following Napoleon’s dramatic recovery, he asked Mr Wymper to purchase some booklets on distilling and brewing.



Napoleon soon gave an order to have the field which had previously been reserved for pensioned animals to graze in dug up and replanted with barley. Why do you think this was?

Napoleon had already ordered booklets on distilling and brewing. Barley is used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages and so it would seem likely that Napoleon was now preparing to manufacture alcoholic drinks.



At about this time the animals were all awoken by a large crash coming from the barn. What caused this noise?

This noise was caused by Squealer who appeared to have fallen from a ladder and now lay on the ground at the base of the seven commandments with a paint brush and paint pot by him. None of the animals could understand what had happened but a few days later Muriel noticed that she must has misremembered another one of the seven commandments as number five now read ‘no animal shall drink alcohol to excess’. Whilst Murial remembered the majority of the fifth commandment, she couldn’t remember the last two words again.

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