Animal Farm Quotes

"The mystery of where the milk went to was soon cleared up. It was mixed every day into the pigs' mash. The early apples were now ripening, and the grass of the orchard was littered with windfalls. The animals had assumed as a matter of course that these would be shared out equally; one day, however, the order went forth that all the windfalls were to be collected and brought to the harness-room for the use of the pigs. At this some of the other animals murmured, but it was no use. All the pigs were in full agreement on this point, even Snowball and Napoleon. Squealer was sent to make the necessary explanations to the others." (Chapter 3)

     Representing an early turning point in the novella, this quote comes from the first instance of the pigs granting themselves special privileges. To suppress the possibility of this unequal treatment causing dissent amongst the other animals, Squealer is utilized to explain this decision, as he will do many more times in the future.

"Four legs good, two legs bad." (Chapter 3, and repeated throughout)

     This phrase is created by Snowball as a simplified version of the Seven Commandments, and is taken up by the sheep as a mindless chant. Throughout the novel, this phrase comes to represent the dumbing down of complex ideas - like Communism - into simple phrases that are used to incite loyalty in the masses. Once the pigs learn to walk on two legs, this phrase no longer serves them, and they are quick to teach the sheep a new version: "Four legs good, two legs better."

"As Clover looked down on the hillside her eyes filled with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race. These scenes of terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to on that night when old Major first stirred them to rebellion. If she herself had any picture of the future, it had been of a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak..." (Chapter 7)

     As Animal Farm is mostly told from an objective perspective, this passage represents one of the few instances in where a character's thoughts are embellished upon for the reader. Following Napoleon's public executions, Clover laments the farm's current state, and how different it is from the original ideals of the rebellion. This explicit statement that the rebellion's intention has been destroyed by Napoleon's rule makes this quotation particularly illustrative of the central theme of power corrupting political ideals.

"Between pigs and human beings there was not and there need not be any clash of interests whatever. Their struggles and their difficulties were one. Was not the labour problem the same everywhere?... 'If you have your lower animals to contend with,' he said, 'we have our lower classes!' This bon mot set the table in a roar; and Mr Pilkington once again congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long working-hours and the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal Farm." (Chapter 10)

     From Pilkington's speech during the meeting of the men and pigs in the novella's final scene, this passage is exemplary of the novel's theme of class disparity existing in various socio-economic systems. Lower animals and lower class people are both exploited, just as the animals were exploited both before and after their own rebellion. As Pilkington is representative of the capitalist governments of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States, this quote also shows Orwell's view that that the working class in these countries are not free from exploitation.

"Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which." (Chapter 10)

     The closing lines of Animal Farm, this passage represents the pigs' complete transformation into that which they originally set to overthrow. This final squabble shows the reader Orwell's opinion on the fragility of alliances between different ruling classes. Since both pigs and men have shown themselves to be untrustworthy and motivated by greed, the question of who cheated at cards is never answered, as Napoleon and Pilkington are equally likely suspects.

Related Links:

Animal Farm Summary
Animal Farm Quiz
Animal Farm Chapters 8-10 Summary
Animal Farm Chapters 1-3 Summary
Animal Farm Chapters 4-7 Summary
Animal Farm Important Characters
Literature Summaries
George Orwell Facts

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