Animal Farm Characters

  • Created by: Maary123
  • Created on: 09-05-15 20:17

hHumans - Capitalists, Royalty.

Mr Jones - Mr Jones is a farmer, and the owner of Manor Farm.  Incapable of running farm.  He represents the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov (Nicholas II).

Upper Class had most of the country's wealth.  Tsar unpopular and out of touch with his people. Jones represents how capitalists exploit working people. Major's speech stresses his cruelty. 

Randomly fires his gun to hush the barn noises (after Major's speech) - shows the thoughtless nature of his violence.   

incompetence and negligence: comes back drunk from the Red Lion pub and forgets to feed the animals, and then he tries to whip the animals into submission. They kick Jones out and, with the pigs at the head, tear through the farmhouse, destroying "the last traces of Jones's hated reign" - the post-Revolution destruction of cultural objects.

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Jones 2

Napoleon becomes like Jones - Dogs wag tail like they did to Jones, Napoleon wears his clothes and eats from his posh dinnerware, lives in house, master of farm. 

He represents an entire way of thinking—everything that the Bolsheviks aimed to overthrow in 1917. That's why he's such an effective tool of propaganda for the pigs. Whenever Squealer has to justify a hard decision, he asks the other animals, "Surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?".

  • Mr. Jones gets smashed and neglects the animals.
  • He wakes up and fires his gun, silencing the farm.
  • Mr. Jones gets smashed again and is expelled from the farm in the rebellion.
  • After the revolution, he complains about it in the pub. 
  • He attacks Animal Farm, along with Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick. Tries to recapture it, loses.  These two farmers help him because they don't want thier animals to hear about/ catch on with the rebellion. 
  • Mr. Jones is declared to have died elsewhere.  PATHETIC CHARACTER. 
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Jones 3

Mrs. Jones - She represents the Tsar's wife, Alexandra.

Flees when animals revolt, does not get chased out directly by animals.  Napoleon's 'favourite sow' wears her clothes so becomes like her. 

Jones' men

'idle' 'dishonest' take advantage of his slackness.  Under Jones, the fields are 'full of weeds' and the aniamls are 'underfed'. 

In reality, he has very little control over the farm - even the animals are surprised by the rebellion's (initial) success. 


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Pilkington - Owner of FOXWOOD FARM

Old fashioned GENTLEMAN FARMER.  Shabby and neglected farm.  Britain under Churchill.    Or, represents the CAPITALIST WEST (UK, USA) as a whole.  Keen to exploit his own workers, like Napoleon is.  Overgrown, neglected farm. 

 "An easy-going gentleman farmer who spent most of his time in fishing or hunting according to the season"

His quarrelsome neighbour is Germany. Both Pilkington and Frederick are worried that  revolutionary spirit might spread to their own animals: Pilkington calls it a "terrible wickedness" to keep his animals in place (4.3).  "These two disliked each other so much that it was difficult for them to come to any agreement, even in defence of their own interests"

Pilkington toasts Napoleon, and jokes, "If you have your lower animals to contend with, we have our lower classes!"  And then the book ends with Pilkington and Napoleon scowling at each other when they "both played an ace simultaneously." In other words, one of them has been cheating. The alliance is artificial, tense, and doomed. (Fancy dinner at house represents alliance make between leaders of UK, USA and Soviet Union - where they arranged over how to handle the rest of the war and what to do with Europe afer the war.)

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  • Mr. Pilkington spreads lies about the failure of Animal Farm, along with Mr. Frederick.
  • He attacks Animal Farm, along with Mr. Jones and Mr. Frederick.
  • Mr. Pilkington congratulates Napoleon on oppressing the other animals.
  • He equates the lower class of animals with the working class of humans.
  • He proposes a toast to Animal Farm.
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Mr. Frederick owns the neighboring farm of Pinchfield.

"a tough, shrewd man, perpetually involved in lawsuits and with a name for driving hard bargains"

Has a smaller, better kept farm.  There are rumours about CRUELTY on his farm. 


He tricks Napoleon when he gives him FORGED BANKNOTES in exchange for timber.  Hitler and Stalin's non-aggression pact was completely ignored by Hitler when he invaded Russia.  (this invasion = the Battle of the Windmill) Frederick leads this surprise attack on Animal Farm - it is SUDDEN AND VICIOUS, and v destructive, seen as a DEMOLITION OF EVERYTHING THAT HAD BEEN ACHIEVED. 

He almost overthrows the animals, and is only driven off after the many animals die and windmill is blown up. 

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  • Mr. Frederick spreads lies about the failure of Animal Farm, along with Mr. Pilkington.
  • He attacks Animal Farm, along with Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Jones.
  • He gives Napoleon fake five-pound notes to pay for timber.
  • Frederick and his men blow up the windmill.
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Mr Whymper - in it for the money

Mr. Whymper - A solicitor living in Willingdon. Acted as an intermediary between Animal Farm and the outside world in matters of trade. Represents capitalist Westerners who did business with the Soviet state and spread the word that it was successful and everything was fine in the country if they would get PROFITS from it.  . 

He profits from the animals' MISERY and SUFFERING - he can buy himself a dogcart as a result of the dealings he made with the farm. 

He's the first human the pigs permit contact with after the Rebellion, constantly showing up in minor role to pass on communications from Napoleon to the other humans.

 "a sly-looking man with side whiskers, a solicitor [lawyer] in a very small way of business, but sharp enough to have realized earlier than anyone else that Animal Farm would need a broker and that the commissions would be worth having"   

 As the harvests begin to shrink on Animal Farm, Napoleon uses Whymper to spread rumors that everything is fine, just fine. And then Whymper conveniently hears nothing when Napoleon squashes out the Hens' Rebellion by starving several of the hens.

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Napoleon - STALIN

Napoleon - Napoleon is Joseph Stalin, the second leader of the Soviet Union. Animal farm skips the short rule of Lenin (and seems to combine Lenin with the character Old Major), and has Napoleon leading the farm from the beginning of the revolution.

The pig who seizes control of the farm after Mr Jones is expelled. 

He is a typical dictator.  He systematically destroy's all of Old Major's ideals and gradually adopts the behavious and vices of the humans that Major was so against. 

 "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 way"

He operates through cruelty and treachery.

Doesn't say a lot in the first meetings, but has a 'reputation of getting what he wants'.  Shows he cares less about Animalism than the others, and is selfish. 

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Napoleon - STALIN


Does not participate in the Battle of The Cowshed.  But Snowball fights bravely to defend the farm.  Later, rewrites history to portray himself as a heroic leader.

Doesn't care about the WELFARE of the animals.

  • Takes the milk and apples for the pigs. 
  • Adopts puppies, but only so he can train them to be his ARMY (Russian Secret Police).  Demonstrating his POWER.
  • Does not work but forces the animals to work a 60-hour week.
  • Exiles Snowball (Stalin - Lenin to Mexico) the dogs suddenly appear, fully grown, to chase Snowball off the farm.


  • S is a military hero and charismatic leader. 
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Napoleon - STALIN

  • Uses FEAR to control the farm - forces animals to make false confessions, and executed fro being in legue with S or Jones.  (The executions and show trials represent the brutality of Stalin in 1930s - many Russians were executed or sent to labour camps.)
  • Squealer talks to animals on behalf of N - crreates a CULT OF PERSONALITY where he is worshipped by his followers and cannot be critised.  Squealer also disguises N's rise to power.
  • The extent of his cruelty is shown by his treatment of Boxer. 
  • Sees himself as SUPERIOR to the other animals.
  • Changes the principles of Animalism for his OWN benefit - shows how quickly he forgets any ideals of Animalism he may have believed in. 
  • He doesn't need to worry about protests, because he gets rid of public meetings. He doesn't need to worry about sharing power, because he names himself head of every committee.
  • Napoleon's first eyebrow-raising act comes when he unleashes his private dog army on Snowball. The second comes when he squashes the hen rebellion by cutting off their food rations, causing a number of hens to die of starvation.
    And then the false confessions start. - Great Purges 1039s - Stalin was getting rid of anyone who disagreed with him.
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Napoleon - STALIN

Napoleon's preferred method of execution is to have his dogs tear out throats. Aside from being totally brutal and gross, this is Orwell's way of getting in a little extra dig at Stalin. See, Napoleon forces the animals to tell lies about themselves before they die and he makes them afraid to speak the truth—he robs them of free speech. That sounds a lot like tearing out their throats!!!

Almost as soon as Napoleon and Snowball seize power, Napoleon starts squirreling away the cows' yummy milk all for himself. And then the pigs start sleeping in the humans' beds. And then they start drinking whiskey and having rowdy parties. By the end of the novel, Napoleon and Squealer wear human clothes and walk around on two legs.

For all the other animals, Napoleon says, "the truest happiness lay in working hard and living frugally"

Becomes more selfish as the story progresses.  By the end of the story, he has taken Jones' place entirely, and betrayed the revolution and animals on the farm. 

Even though he criticises Snowballs plans for the Windmill, he builds it after ** is exiles! This shows he is happy to take the credit for someone else's ideas. 

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The Sunday Meetings are abolished to stop any criticism towards him or debates against him!


  • Two legs
  • Drinks whisky
  • Wears clothes
  • Animals cant tell 'which was which' when looked at pigs and men

By the end, all principles of Animalism have been completely abolished.  Animals were starving and overworked - worse off than they were under Mr Jones' rule!!

Keeps himself away from the other animals - lives in house.  DINING FROM CROWN DERBY CHINA, EATING SUGAR AND DRINKING ALCOHOL. 

Has ceremonies in his own honour, and gets Squealer to paint a portrait of him!

Uses the paddock intended for retires animals to grow his own BARLEY to satisfy his own greed for alcohol. 

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Snowball - Trotsky (Lenin's intended successor)

Is the farms INTELLECTUAL.  Rival of Napoleon. 

Lively, charismatic, but does have the same 'depth of character' as Napoleon - not as CUNNING.

Animalism and the 'working class' proletariat are important to him.  Explains the principles of equality to them. 

TROTSKY - Russian revolutionary leader and rival of Stalin.  EXILED TO MEXICO BY STALIN. 

 "a more vivacious pig than Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character"

OVER IDEALISTIC - Forms animal committees which generally end in failure.  Orwell uses mocking names for these. 

DISHONEST - doesn't protest when Napoleon steels the apples and milk for the pigs. 

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Snowball - Trotsky (Lenin's intended successor)

  • Strong military leader in the Battle of the Cowshed - he is prepared as he studied the campaigns of CAESAR!
  • NOBLE - leads the charge against the humans and is INJURED - proves he is willing to die for Animalism. 
  • He is recognised as a HERO by the other animals (because of his bravery in the battle) awarded Animal Hero First Class. 
  • The mastermind behind the windmill.

He wants Animalism to succeed. 

  • Energetically promotes the revolution and teaches animals new skills. 
  • Wants Major's utopin vision to become reality.
  • Plans the windmill - to generate electricity to make the animals' lives EASIER.
  • This plan would require a lot of hard work, but would benefit EVERYONE.
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Snowball - Trotsky (Lenin's intended successor)


  • S wants to encourage animals on ALL farms to rebel, but N only cres about building up power on his own farm.


  • N gains power when he exiles S.  N spreads vicious rumours about lies about Snowball to SAFEGUARD his own position.
  • Condemned as a TRAITOR, LIAR, FRIEND OF JONES.
  • Whe Stalin came into power, exiled Trotsky.  Executed/ persecuted anyone who supported or sympathised with T.
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Snowball - Trotsky (Lenin's intended successor)


  • reduced the commandments to the simplistic line "four legs good, two legs bad" (3.9).

    Easy to remember? Yes. But it's also kind of meaningless—and the sheep can be trained to bleat it over Snowball's speeches. Plus, when the other animals aren't too happy that the pigs take all the milk, Snowball insists that they need it for all their brainwork. He may not be around when the pigs turn Animal Farm into a dictatorship, but he goes along with the first steps before he gets elbowed out.

  • We learn that Snowball is a much better public speaker, and that he "often won over the majority by his brilliant speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in between times" (5.8). In other words, Snowball isn't bringing the game—or rather, Napoleon is playing a different game.
  • at heart an idealist. When he and Napoleon both make speeches to the crowd, Snowball is much more charismatic, and as he finishes, "there was no doubt as to which way the vote would go" (5.13).
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Snowball's parallelisms with Trotsky

Trotsky helped win the Revolution. After the Russian Revolution, Trotsky served as the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs. During the Russian Civil War—a fight between the Red Army of communists and the White Army of anti-communists—Trotsky helped lead the Red Army to victory. In Animal Farm, Snowball leads the animals to victory in the Battle of Cowshed.

Trotsky wanted to spread the Communist Revolution to the rest of the world. Hey, that's just what Snowball wants to do! But not Stalin / Napoleon: he wants to consolidate his power on Animal Farm.

Trotsky was elbowed out of the Communist Party. After Lenin's death, Trotsky's political party criticized the hierarchical and close nature of Stalin's Communist Party. In response, Stalin kicked him out of the Communist Party and then exiled him from Russia.

Wondering what happens to Snowball after he disappears through hole in the hedge? Well, Trotsky ended up in Mexico, until, in 1940, Stalin send KGB agent Ramón Mercader to assassinate him. So, we have a pretty good idea of what's in store for poor Snowball.

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Bad Snowball

"No sentimentality comrade! The only good human being is a dead one."

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Napoleon's propogandist, who justifies his rise to power. 

Small, fat porker with 'twinkling eyes' and a 'shrill voice'.


He is protected by vicious dogs, who scare the other animals into silence.

Represents the use of COMMUNIST PROPOGANDA in Russia - the working classes were controlled by persuasive slogans. 

PERSUASIVE: "He had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive."

MANIPULATIVE: "He could turn black into white."

DECEITFUL: Squealer says that Snowball was 'in league with Jones'.

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Uses persuasive language to justify Napoleon's actions

Becomes N's loyal SPOKESMAN when he becomes leader of the farm. 

Uses very convincing language to win over the other animals.  Says that 'no one belives more firmly than Napoleon' in the equality of animals. 

Manipulates the animals' fear of Jones to increase Napoleon's power. 'You do not want Jones back?' to make it seem like they only have a choice between the two. 

Has an answer to EVERYTHING.  When all animals have their rations reduced except the pigs and the dogs, he explains that rigid equality is 'contrary' to the spirit of Animalism.


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  • Uses false statistics to claim that life is good on the farm: he 'proved' to the animals in detail that they had more food than before the rebellion.
  • He lies - he claims that the Battle of the Windmill was a great victory - even though the animals suffered terrible losses and the windmill was destroyed.
  • He rewrites history - he turns N into the hero of the Battle of Cowshed by saying things like 'Comrade Napoleon sprang forward... and sunk his teeth into Jones' leg.'

He confuses the animals and makes them doubt their memories, persuading them that he was right. 

He gives them meaningless lists of statistics to convinve them life is beter than it used to be.

Uses his own eloquence and the brutal dogs to enforce N's message. 

Grows fatter as the story progresses, as he benefits from working for N.

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Squealer makes his debut appearance when he justifies the fact that the pigs have hoarded milk and apples for themselves. He claims that these foods "contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of the pig. We pigs are brainworkers"

He justifies the windmill; spreads rumors about Snowball; constantly changes the Seven Commandments; squashes the revolutionary song "Beasts of England"; and even manages to explain the confusion with Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington as Napoleon just being clever.

And then there's his excuse about Boxer: after Benjamin tells the animals that Boxer has been placed in a knacker's (horse slaughter's) van, Squealer tells them that the vehicle only used to be a knacker's van. It now belongs to a doctor. He even has a whole elaborate story about his experience at Boxer's deathbed: "It was the most affecting sight I have ever seen" (9.25).

 "Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes"

Squealer is also a more general allegorical figure for propaganda. Stalin's propaganda team used (and abused) language and images to keep the public calm and keep their control. Squealer's arguments even sound a little like those in Pravda, a daily paper that was the Soviet Party's official voice in the 1930s.

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  • Squealer works with Napoleon and Snowball to develop Animalism, and then starts justifying and declaring. Let's make a chronological list He:
  • justifies the pigs taking all the milk,
  • justifies Napoleon's taking over the farm,
  • explains Napoleon's interest in building the windmill,
  • justifies Napoleon's engaging in trade and blames Snowball for problems,
  • justifies the pigs moving into the farmhouse,
  • declares that Snowball was in league with Jones,
  • explains that "Beasts of England" is abolished and introduces a new song instead,
  • convinces the animals that things are better now than they were before,
  • convinces the animals that Snowball was never awarded "Animal Hero, First Class,"
  • tries to convince Boxer that the Battle of the Windmill was a victory,
  • declares that Napoleon is dying of his hangover,
  • re-paints the Commandments (and falls off a ladder in the process),
  • convinces the animals that their lives are better now than they were before,
  • declares that Boxer is to be sent to the hospital,
  • spins a story to explain the van that took Boxer to his death,
  • and, like all the other pigs, walks on two legs.
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  • Plays an important role in destroying Snowball's reputation and truning the animals against him.
  • HE MAKES UP EVIDENCE AGAINST SNOWBALL.  He says S  was 'Jones' secret agaent' and it's been 'proved by documents'.
  • He convinces the animals that S was a traitor at the Battle of the Cowshed, and never awarded 'Animal Hero, First Class'.
  • Orwell uses Squealer to show how language can be used to influence people.  Squealer's ability to twist language and gives him great power - and this kind of subtle control is dangerous.
  • The ageing Boxer is betrayed and sold to the knacker's yard to be killed.
  • Squealer's lies about the death of Boxer are very fanciful.
  • He describes Boxer's death in great sentimental detail, even though it is completely made up.  He claims Boxer's last words were 'Napoleon is always right'.  This shows he is completely remorseless, willing to abuse Boxer's unfailing loyalty to Napoleon against him.
  • He says that N did all he could for Boxer, providing medicine 'without a thought as to the cost'.  This is ironicbecause the pigs' only REAL concern was how much money they would make by selling Boxer. 


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He helps the farm become a more efficient state of terror.

It's a new class-based hierarchy where the interests of the pigs are put first. 

SINISTER SIDE: his propaganda is used to eliminate any opposition to Napoleon.  

Squealer goes about influencing the uneducated working classes with:

  • memorable slogans
  • distorted facts
  • persuasive language

Orwell uses Squealer to demonstrate how politicians use language to control people, a central theme and issue he addresses in the novel. 

Squealer's 'shrill voice', 'twinkling eyes' and other mannerisms emphasise the persuasiveness of his character.  He presents events and ideas in the form that best suits Napoleon's ideas. 

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Boxer - Proletariat

  • Brave, hardworking.
  • Hardest worker on the farm - all the farm's work seemed to 'rest upon his mighty shoulders'.
  • As strong as 'any two horses put together'.
  • Fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed, and is awarded 'Animal Hero, First Class'.
  • The animals respect Boxer for his calm, stable manner and his tremendous ability to work.
  • He gets upset when he thinks he's killed a human boy during the Battle of the Cowshed.  Shows he is compassionate.


  • Isn't very bright, and is easily manipulated by the pigs.
  • After the show trilas and executions, Boxer had doubts about the pigs' behaviour but he remains silent - continuing to believe in Napoleon.
  • He's a useful tool for the pigs - if Boxer's on their side then the others may follow more easily.
  • LOYAL: 'Napoleon is always right'
  • HARDWORKING:'I will work harder'
  • DIM-WITTED:'Not of first-rate intelligence'
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Boxer - Proletariat

His dedication to the farm is his DOWNFALL.  Every time he witnesses a terrible event on the farm, he just works harder.  He overworks himself for the good of the farm.



When he collapses and is taken ill, he believes that he will get a happy retirement.

He thinks he is being sent to the vet fro treatment but Napoleon sells hims tothe knacker's yard so that the pigs canget more money for WHISKY.

He represents the Russian working class who worked hard in appalling conditions to try to achieve the unattainable goals set by the government, with no reward. 

An 'enormous beast' - revolution's most loyal disciple who is prepared to make HUGE sacrifices for the farm's success.  He represents the PROLETARIAT and their visions of a better world. 

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Boxer - Proletariat

Passes on the pigs' teachings to other animals and is 'unfailing' in his attendance at the farm meetings. 

He gives up the hat he uses to protect him from the flies, unlike Mollie who holds on to her (useless) ribbons.

His strength and total commitment are vital to the success of the harvest - and revolution.

His integrity and honesty are shown by his defence of Snowball, which marks him out to Squealer.  His strength saves him from the dogs when they attack him at the show trial. 

Boxer insists on working until he sees the windmill rebuilt.

He believes the pigs' promises of a happy retirement but is sold to the knacker. 

One of the characters that we feel the most sympathy for in the book.  Loyal and dedicated follower of an ideal he does not fully understand.  His lack of intelligence and unquestioning trust in the pigs mean he is easily exploited by them.  At the pigs' banquet they TOAST HIM WITH WHISKY - bought with the proceeds of his death. Used to their adv even when DEAD!!!

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Boxer - Proletariat

At first, things seem to be going well. He's a hard worker, making "I will work harder" into his personal motto (3.3). He's a brave fighter, and the narrator tells us that, during the Battle of the Cowshed, "the most terrifying spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his hind legs and striking out with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion" (4.8).

But it's not enough to keep him safe. At the beginning of the novel, Old Major warns Boxer that he's disposable: "the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will send you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the fox-hounds" (1.10). Boxer can see that—but once Jones is forced off the farm, Boxer thinks the threat is gone. He's just not smart enough to see that he's got a whole new species to worry about.

Boxer worries about the farm, but he's not smart enough to figure things out on his own. Instead of thinking for himself, he decides to be loyal no matter what—to follow the Party (as in, Communist Party) line. Like, after Snowball is sent into exile, Boxer tries to think things over for himself, but all he can come up with is, "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right," and he takes up a new personal motto: "Napoleon is always right" (5.22).

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Boxer - Proletariat

Because the other animals admire Boxer's work ethic, they follow his lead. When Napoleon begins executing other animals, Boxer can only say, "I would not have believed that such things could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. The solution, as I see it, is to work harder" (7.28). When the going gets tough, Boxer… falls back on simple mottos. He has no other option.

By the end of the novel, Boxer has worked so hard for the Rebellion that he's worked himself to death. He's so weak from starvation and trying to rebuild the windmill that he's useless. The pigs send him off to be slaughter, and he's too weak to fight back:

The time had been when a few kicks from Boxer's hoofs would have smashed the van to matchwood. But alas! His strength had left him; and in a few moments the sound of drumming hoofs grew fainter and died away. (9.23)

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Boxer - Proletariat

Boxer and Stalin's Russia

Boxer doesn't stand for a particular person: he's a symbol for all of the Russian working class (proletariat). And it's not a very flattering portrayal. Orwell might be a socialist, but he's not exactly pro-proletariat: he doesn't seem to have much respect for the average working stiff's intelligence. In fact, it sounds like he holds the proletariat partly responsible for helping Stalin come to power. Boxer may be hardworking and friendly, but the pigs could never have come to power without his strength—and his stupidity.

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Old Major - Father of Animalism. Lenin and Marx.

Old Major - The father of 'Animalism'. He represents Karl Marx, but in some ways also symbolizes the original communist leader - Vladimir Lenin. (In the book, Old major's skull is displayed in a similar manner to the way Lenin's remains were displayed to the public) The book also says that Old Major had been exhibited at shows under the name Willingdon Beauty, but I'm not sure whether or not this is a reference to a real-life.

A 'highly regarded' pig who is a natural leader.  Twelve years old and has a 'wise and benevolent appearance'.

Oldest, wisest pig on the farm.

He dreams of a future where all animals live in a land of happiness and plenty, free from the exploitation of man. 

He's aware that he is near death and has a clear vision to pass on his wisdom. 

The equivalent of MARX and LENIN.  Wanted to take power on behalf of the working classes.

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Old Major - Father of Animalism. Lenin and Marx.

  • KINDLY: 'With a wise and benevolent appearance'
  • WISE: 'To pass on to you such wisdom as I have acquired'
  • IDEALISTIC: 'Let there be perfect unity, perfect comradeship'

WHEN HE GIVES HIS SPEECH, HE TALKS ABOUT MAN'S TERRIBLE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS.  He says, 'Our lives are miserable, laborious and short'.


  • Ensists that all animals are 'comrades' - all EQUAL.
  • Man is the enemy and animals must never come to resemble him ;)
  • Before his death he sets out a number of clear rules against adopting human vices such as living in houses, wearing clothes and drinking alcohol. 

His speech PROFESISES a lot of what will happen on the farm in many ways - the irony being that it happens under Napoleon, not Jones. 

He makes a revolutionary speech that is a mix of Marxism and Leninism, establishing the theoretical basis of the book - the struggle against tryrany for a free and equal society. 

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Old Major - Father of Animalism. Lenin and Marx.

The pigs develop Major's ideas and then pervert them, as Stalin took Lenin's doctrines and twisted them for his own benefit.

In CHAPTER 10, Napoleon states that the animals would no longer march past Makor's skull, highlighting the difference in each of their aims.

Ultimately, Major's speech sets the BENCHMARK by which Napoleon's actions are judged by the reader.  (compared etc)

His dream is more like a message: animals don't actually have to live short, miserable lives. It's all Man's fault—Man, who's "the only creature that consumes without producing" (1.9). In other words, Man takes advantage of the animals by forcing them to work themselves to death, while he (Man) does nothing but boss them around. Yet when the animals produce goods—milk, eggs, fertilizers, or iPhones—Man reaps the benefits.

As Old Major says, "Is it not crystal clear, comrades, that all the evils of this life of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings?" (1.11). And he has a solution: if the animals overthrow Men and take control of the farm, everyone can live in a state of equality.

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Old Major - Father of Animalism. Lenin and Marx.

Old Major isn't just a pig, of course. He's also a… wait for it… symbol. He's meant to represent Karl Marx, one of the most famous philosophers and political theorists in the history of, well, the Western world, thanks to a little book called The Communist Manifesto. So, let's lay a little Marxism on you.

You can probably see the parallels: in Animal Farm, the animals are the proletariat, the working class who are supposed to usher in the next stage of history. The humans represent the capitalists, who take advantage of the working class and keep the benefits of their labor for themselves. But as soon as they get the chance, the pigs start sucking up all those benefits for themselves.

The same thing happened in 1917, with the Russian Revolution. Even if the Revolution started out with good intentions, it quickly turned into an oppressive, possibly fascist regime. Like Karl Marx, Old Major has a revolutionary, idealistic message. This pigs may venerate his skull—but they're pretty quick to ruin his legacy.


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Old Major - Father of Animalism. Lenin and Marx.

  • Old Major has a dream and calls a conference to discuss it.
  • He predicts his own death and blames man for their problems.
  • He proposes a rebellion and presents "Beasts of England."
  • He sets forth several rules the animals must follow so as not to ever resemble man.
  • He proposes, as a fundamental principle, that all animals are equal.
  • Old Major dies in his sleep.
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Mollie - Mollie seems to be some sort of representation of Russia's upper classes. But, since Orwell portrays her as a horse - the same animal used to represent the 'working class' horses Boxer & Clover - Mollie may simply represent members of the working class that remained faithful to the Czar. In either case, Mollie was never really in favor of the revolution. She went along with it, but she didn't actually engage in the fighting. Mollie didn't mind being a 'servant' to the humans, since she was constantly being pampered by them. After the revolution, Mollie begins to miss the beautiful ribbons (fine clothes) and sugar cane (fine food) she used to receive from her human masters. She eventually flees the animal farm to live elsewhere in Willingdon.

Mollie is stupid, vain, and materialistic. (It's a good thing she's pretty.) From the very beginning, we get hints that she's not going to last long in the rebellion: she comes late to Old Major's speech, and she "took a place near the front and began flirting her white mane, hoping to draw attention to the red ribbons it was plaited with" (1.4). The first thing she wants to know is, "Will there be sugar after the rebellion?" (2.3); the second thing she wants to know is whether she'll be allowed to wear ribbons.

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Not that she waits for an answer: after the rebellion, the animals find her in the farmhouse, where "she had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones's dressing-table, and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself in the glass in a very foolish manner" (2.18).

When the work begins, Mollie shows up late and leaves early. When there's fighting, she hides in her manger. And when life gets hard during the winter, she gets troublesome: "She was late for work every morning and excused herself by saying that she had overslept, and she complained of mysterious pains, though her appetite was excellent" (3.1). Clover eventually sees Mollie letting one of the neighborhood men pet her nose, and soon after Clover and some other animals discover sugar hidden in Mollie's manger.

In the end, Mollie runs off to be taken care of by humans—and we say, good riddance. When Mollie runs off, the narrator notes that "none of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again" (5.7). She's nothing but a bad memory—a reminder that not everyone prefers life at Animal Farm.

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Mollie is symbol for Russian middle class (bourgeois). They weren't exactly unfaithful to the Bolsheviks, but they weren't about to give up their iPhones and lattes—oops, we mean sugar and ribbons—even if it was supposed to be for their own good in the long run. When the Bolsheviks asked them to give up their luxuries, many of them abandoned the cause and fled to the West.

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Mollie, 'the foolish, pretty white mare' represents the white Russians, woh had a privileged life under the Tsar.  She is not committed to the rebellion and doesn't want to lose her privileges.  #

She is spoiled and likes ribbons, sigar and being petted - things which are banned unde Animalism.

No interest in politics or the rebellion.  She's cowardly and unwilling to fight for the farm.  She hides in fear during the Batlle of the Cowshed. 

VAIN: 'Foolishly gazing at her own reflection'

LAZY: 'She was late to work every morning'

COWARDLY: 'She was found hiding in her stall'

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She struggles to follow the principles of Animalism and hoards ribbons and lump sugar. In a selfish way she's not willing to make a sacrifice.

When Snowball teaches the animals to read and write, she has the capacity to become literate but she only learns the letters of her own name.  Isn't interested in what the rebellion can teach her. 

She can't adapt to life on Animal Farm - she's too shallow and devoted to her luxuries.  She runs away to draw the cart of a man who pets her and feeds her sugar. - TRAITOR.



She leaves the farm as soon as life there becomes more demanding.  Unlike Boxer, she is incapable of making any sacrifice (eg giving up her ribbons).  This selfishness is perhaps another reason why the revolution fails.

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Like Boxer, she represents the PROLETARIAT.

Loyal disciple to the Animalist revolution, right to the very end.

Criticises Mollie for her betrayal of Major's ideals.

The only character whose thoughts were given in detail.

Not as strong as Boxer, but she is slightly more intelligent.

She checks the commandments as the pigs take control over the farm (SQUEALER ALTERS THEM) BUT NEVER ACTS UPON HER DOUBTS!

She trusts the pigs and doubts her own memory.  Her obedient nature is easily exploited by Squealer.

Clover sees the ppigs walking on her hind legs and the farmers playing cards with Napoleon. 

By the end of the story, she is exhausted and overworked - but still works as hard as at the start.  Her journey in the story shows how how ordinary people lose their freedom in little steps.  At the book'd conclusion, it is through CLover's eyes that we see the blurring between pig and man. 

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  • Compassionate, maternal mare.  When the animals were frightened, they 'huddled about Clover'.
  • Loyal and faithful disciple.  Absorbs and passes on what she is taught.  When she grows suspicious of the pigs' behavious, she blames herlef for misremembering the commandments.
  • Even when Animalism disappoints her, ('these scenes of terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to') she contu=inues to be obedient and accepts Napolean's leadership.

LOYAL: 'She would remain faithful'

MATERNAL: 'Stout motherly mare'

DIM: she 'could not put words together'

Not intelligent enough to speak out even when she doubts the motives of Napoleon. 

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Dogs - The dogs represent the military/police. In the beginning of the book, they voted against accepting the rats & rabbits as 'comrades'. Shortly after the revolution, several 'pups' are stolen from their mothers. Later in the book, these pups (now fully grown - and fully trained) protect Napoleon from a second potential revolution, and help to enforce his decrees.

Stalin's secret police.

From the start, they are loyal animals (traditionally!).  They are closely linked to the pigs and later wag their tails at Napoleon in the same way that they did at Mr Jones.

During Major's speech the dogs chase the rats and are prevented by Major from harming them as he says it is contrary to the rules of Animalism.

Along with the pigs, the dogs are rewarded for dealing ruthlessly with any objectors and murdering Napoleon's oppositin.

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Jessie, Bluebell, Pincher

Jessie, Bluebell, Pincher - The only three dogs that are mentioned by name. They do not have a very active role in the novel. All three are mentioned as being present at old major's meeting, but Pincher is never mentioned again (except in the 'epilogue', when it is mentioned that all three dogs are dead) - Jesse and Bluebell are the mothers of the 'pups' which serve as Napoleon's bodyguards (and I assume Pincher is the father). Jesse and Bluebell also participate in the 'Battle of the Windmill'

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Birds, Cat

Birds Farmers, Clergy, And other 'non-labour' groups.

The Cat - Voted on both sides of the 'rat-comrade' question. "The cat joined the Re-education Committee and was very active in it for some days. She was seen one day sitting on a roof and talking to some sparrows who were just out of her reach. She was telling them that all animals were now comrades and that any sparrow who chose could come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept their distance." The Cat disappeared right before the 'purges'.

The cat seems to represents some of the more 'shady' members of Russian society, but it is unclear exactly who Orwell had in mind. Con Men? Circus Folk? Gypsies?

Don't hear much about hte cat once N is in power.

She appears to represent the forces of self interest and hypocrisy - sparrow situation. 

She has as little as possible to do with the revolution, but is willing to enjoy its benefits.

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The Hens

Hens - Peasant Farmers. In Chapter seven, Napoleon calls for the hens to 'surrender their eggs'. This is a reference to Stalin's attempt to collectivize the peasant farmers of Russia. The hens attempted to resist the order at first, just as the peasant farmers of the Ukraine. But, just as in real life, they were eventually starved into submission. In the book, 9 hens died during the incident. In real-life, it is estimated that somewhere between 4 and 10 million Ukrainian peasants were starved to death by Stalin.
In the book, it was also said that the Hens smashed their own eggs to protest Napoleon's actions. In real-life, Ukrainian farmers would slaughter their own livestock before joining a collective as a form of protest. So many farmers engaged in this practice, that livestock in the Ukraine dwindled by 50%-80% between 1928 and 1935. The problem got so out of hand that Stalin eventually executed any farmer found guilty of engaging in this practice. Even the act of 'neglecting' your livestock was punishable by death

  • The only group that attempts to show any resistance to N.
  • In his speech, Major specifically criticises the taking of hens' eggs.
  • They retaliate by smashing their eggs, like some farmers destroyed their own farms rather than letting Stalins gov take over.
  • N's treatment of the hens shows his willingness to use violence to achieve his aims.
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The Sheep

Represent the most stupid elements of society, the 'mob'.  Usually referred to as an anonymous group - there is no names individual who stands out.

Their understanding of the aims of the rev is limited to mindlessly bleating the slogan 'four legs good, two legs bad', and when Squealer changes this, it takes them less than a week to learn the new version.

The damage that such indoctrination can do is apparent at the Sunday meetings, when they DROWN OUT Snowball's speech and when the stifle the only likely moment of protest when N is seen carrying a whip.

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When the pigs first begin talking up their ideas about Animalism, they have to "counteract the lies put about by Moses, the tame raven" (2.8). Moses is the Joneses' favorite pet, a clever talker who tells the animals about a mysterious country called "Sugarcandy Mountain." One day, he says, their labor and suffering will come to an end and they'll all live happily ever after on Sugarcandy Mountain. (2.8).

During the Rebellion, Moses flies off after Mrs. Jones and disappears for years. But he returns after the Battle of the Windmill and starts spreading the myth of Sugarcandy Mountain again. What's weird is that the pigs still insist that his stories are lies, but they "allowed him to remain on the farm, not working, with an allowance of a gill of beer a day" (4.7).

Moses is a symbol for the Russian Orthodox Church. (Quick Brain Snack: the Orthodox Church broke from the Catholic Church in 1054; the Russian Church became independent from the main Orthodox Church in 1448). For centuries, the Russian Orthodox Church was buddy-buddy with the Russian monarchy (the tsars). When the Bolsheviks took over in October 1917, they declared that church and state would be separate for the first time in Russian history.

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When the pigs first begin talking up their ideas about Animalism, they have to "counteract the lies put about by Moses, the tame raven" (2.8). Moses is the Joneses' favorite pet, a clever talker who tells the animals about a mysterious country called "Sugarcandy Mountain." One day, he says, their labor and suffering will come to an end and they'll all live happily ever after on Sugarcandy Mountain. (2.8).

During the Rebellion, Moses flies off after Mrs. Jones and disappears for years. But he returns after the Battle of the Windmill and starts spreading the myth of Sugarcandy Mountain again. What's weird is that the pigs still insist that his stories are lies, but they "allowed him to remain on the farm, not working, with an allowance of a gill of beer a day" (4.7).

Moses is a symbol for the Russian Orthodox Church. (Quick Brain Snack: the Orthodox Church broke from the Catholic Church in 1054; the Russian Church became independent from the main Orthodox Church in 1448). For centuries, the Russian Orthodox Church was buddy-buddy with the Russian monarchy (the tsars). When the Bolsheviks took over in October 1917, they declared that church and state would be separate for the first time in Russian history.

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But Stalin wasn't satisfied with just kicking the Church out of power. Under his reign, the Soviets actively persecuted religion and religious authorities. Priests were executed; churches were defiled. However you feel about religion, it was pretty nasty.

Stalin declared that religion was obsolete; he wanted to replace religion with science and reason. His justification came straight from communism's founder Karl Marx (see Old Major's "Character Analysis" to learn more about this guy). Karl Marx famously referred to religion as "the opiate of the masses." He thought of religion as a drug that kept workers calm so that capitalists could take advantage of them—Moses's "lies" that allow the farm animals to be exploited.

But guess what? When Stalin was attempting to drum up patriotic support for the war effort against Germany in 1941, he re-instituted the Church. Turns out, not only do a lot of people really like religion, it's also pretty useful to a totalitarian leader.

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Like Stalin, like Napoleon: when things get worse, Napoleon lets Moses back in. It's easy to be cynical. Now that Napoleon and his dogs have become the oppressors, they once again see a need for the raven to go on and on about Sugarcandy Mountain, and they're all too happy to buy him off for "a gill of beer a day" (9.8).

But most people don't realize that Marx's quotation doesn't end with "the opiate of the masses." It continues: religion is a "heart in a heartless world."

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Communism/ Animalism against religion:

need to have a revolution - people won't be so eager to bring about change if they belive they'll have a good life in heaven anyway

church seen as a way of silencing the porr and making them behave. 

a way of the rich controlling the poor.

communist leaders wanted to be the only one in power - dont want to have to compete with church

For it:

realises that it will keep people loyal, determined, well behaved in times of harship when they want to give up

something to work for, only get in if you are well behaved etc

NEEDED to keep the people going

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Rats & Rabbits - The rats and rabbits are the wild animals that live on the farm. The seem to represent beggars, thieves and gypsies. During the first animal meeting, a vote is taken on whether or not these creatures should be considered as 'comrades'. It is decided that they should be included as 'animals'.

It is also mentioned that Jones' men went out 'Rabbitting' shortly before the revolution Perhaps a reference to the Czars' attempt to maintain 'law & order' when he sensed that a revolt was near.

Cows - The cows are another animal that is scarcely mentioned in the book, so they too are difficult to pin down. All that is said about them is that during the revolution "One of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from the bins." After the revolution, Napoleon creates a re-education program for the cows called "the Clean Tails League". To me, this makes it sound like the cows represents prostitutes. The 'clean tails' thing could be a reference to a anti-VD campaign, but that could just be my imagination running away with me. They could simply represent Milkmaids.

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Fox - When Jones heard the Animals singing 'Beasts of England' at old major's meeting, he feared that there was a 'Fox in the yard '. The fox is probably just a metaphor for revolutionaries.

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Pigeons - The pigeons, who fly out each day to spread the word about 'animalism' to the other farms in Willingdon, represent the "Communist World Revolution" - The Communist International, or Comintern, as it is widely known.

Other Animals

Old Benjamin, the donkey - " Benjamin could read as well as any pig, but never exercised his faculty. So far as he knew, he said, there was nothing worth reading." (Old Men?)

Muriel, the white goat - Literate. (Old Ladies?)

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INTRO AS: 'the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered'

Orwell uses B to show what happens to those who see wrongdoing but do nothing to stop it.

Unlike the others, he questions whether the animals really will be better off as a result of the revolution.

At Batlle of the Cowshed he is in the thbk of the fighting.

He repeatedly refuses to read the commandments, believing that it will cause trouble.

Refuses to interefere when he sees the pigs' wrongdoing.

When Boxer is driven to his death, B alerts the others, but by that time it is too late to help.

B and Clover are outside the farmhouse when the true extent of the pigs' betrayal is revealed.

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