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Animal Farm
A novel of ideas
Take out your Reading Journals
What animal best represents
• Write your name at the top of a piece of
paper (you can rip a piece up to share).
• Write the type of animal on your paper, but
don’t tell anyone or let them see your
choice. Here are your choices:
• Donkey, Cat, Horse, Pig—don’t show
anyone and pass in.
• These are your political parties for the
duration of the novel.
Animal Farm is a story of
• What are the top 3 reasons that people rebel
against their governments?
• 1. Sustained periods of economic decline
• 2. Commodity price volatility and increases in
food prices
• 3. Political change, either toward democracy or
• Let’s consider some volatile situations:
Imagine a country of 100 people
with a yearly GDP of 100 dollars
Is it right that the richest 1% own 90% of a
country’s wealth?
--This would mean that 1 person would have
90 dollars and 99 people would have 10
--Would you like to live here?
--What social problems could arise from
such great inequality of wealth?
Imagine a country of 100 people
with a yearly GDP of 100 dollars
Is it right that the richest 5% own 80% of a
country’s wealth?
--This would mean that 5 people would have
16 dollars and 95 people would have 21
--Would you want to live here?
Imagine a country of 100 people
with a yearly GDP of 100 dollars
Is it right that the richest 10% own 70% of a
country’s wealth?
--This would mean that 10 people would have 7
dollars and 90 people would have 33 cents.
--In the U.S., in 2010, the top 5% owned 74% of
everything. The top 1% owned 38% of
everything (equivalent of 1 person having 38
dollars and 99 people having 62 cents each).
--Is this fair?
A single top income could buy housing
for every homeless person in the U.S.
• On a winter day in 2012 over 633,000 people were
homeless in the United States. Based on an
annual single room occupancy (SRO) cost of $558
per month, any ONE of the ten richest
Americans would have enough with his 2012
income to pay for a room for every homeless
person in the U.S. for the entire year .
• Should this person be forced by the government to
help the homeless?
• Let’s consider two opposing philosophies that try
to answer these questions (you’ll be writing about
Should the government have the right to compel
people to work for the good of society?
• In the U.S., we have a Progressive Tax System. The
government taxes higher income earners at higher
percentages than lower income earners.
• The goal of this system is to redistribute the wealth of the
highest earners more equally through our society,
usually through social services (public education, food
stamps, unemployment insurance, fire and police
departments, military, bridges and roads, etc.)
• Some are taxed more for the good of all. The millionaire
is forced to help the homeless through taxation.
• This idea that the government has a role in maintaining
equality of opportunity is called Progressivism.
Libertarian Philosophy
Opposing View to Progressivism and is against the idea that the government
should tax the affluent to help the needy
• I own myself. (Starts with the tantalizing idea of
complete freedom)
• What I produce or purchase through my labor is
my private property.
• If the government taxes me on my labor and
private property, I am no longer working for
myself, but for someone else’s benefit.
• A person forced to work for someone else’s
benefit is a slave.
• Government paternalism and moralism reduces
a man’s freedom.
Libertarianism vs. Progressivism
• Reading Journal #1: Is it fair for the government
to tax some people more than others, based on
their income? Do these wealthier people, who
have benefited greatly from society, owe more to
society than poorer people?
• The situation in 1917 Russia can be
compared to the aforementioned situations
of wealth inequality: there was a Czar and
ruling class and the poor. The poor
revolted and set up a Communist
government (Bolshevik Revolution).
Bolshevik Progressivism
(based on ideas of Karl Marx (a character in Animal Farm) and Friedrich
• Karl Marx:
– Where was he from?
– Dialectic Materialism
– Labor theory of value and critique of capitalism
• Proposed Government by the Bolsheviks: The
government plans and controls the economy:
– a single political party holds power
– all people are assigned jobs they are suited for
– all goods (wealth) are shared equally by the people
• Reading Journal #2: Do you support this idea or not? Be
specific and address each part of the idea.
Animal Farm
• Fable: a short, usually simple tale that teaches a
moral and sometimes uses animal characters.
• Allegory: the representation of ideas by
characters or events in a narrative; a symbolic
• A novel of ideas more than character or plot.
• Animals are used to represent the historical
figures and political philosophies.
• Important motif: Personal Liberty vs. What we
owe the state
Chapter 1 Discussion
• Major Characters:
– Old Major
– Boxer
– Mollie
– Benjamin
• Old Major’s ideals from his dream (Animalism)
• Allegorical reading:
– Man/Humans=Upper class/Investor class
– Animals=Proletariat/Working class
Reading Journal #3
• Old Major taught the animals the song
“Beasts of England,” a song of faithfulness
towards their ideals.
• Why are we encouraged as children to
learn patriotic songs like “The Star
Spangled Banner” and patriotic recitations
like “The Pledge of Allegiance”? Why does
our government want this?
Election time! It’s time to see which political
party will rule our Animal Farm
• Gather in your political parties!
• Each group must prepare a one-paragraph (5
sentence maximum, so choose your words
wisely) speech stating why their Political Party
should be the leading party of our Animal Farm.
• The party is to also choose a party leader, who
will give the speech and persuade the voters (all
of you) to vote for them.
• Once all speeches have been given, we will vote
by secret ballot. Group will have ten minutes to
write the speech.
Responsibilities of the Ruling
• Ruling party will distribute the harvest after
each chapter, beginning today.
Chapter 2 Discussion
• Major Characters:
– Snowball (Intellectual)
– Napoleon (Brutal politician)
– Squealer
• Why were the pigs immediately accepted as leaders?
• Mollie’s concerns
• Moses the Raven and Sugar Candy Mountain
• Is Jones a good farmer?
• Who formulated the idea of Animalism and The Seven
Commandments? Do these ideas represent Old Major’s
Responsibilities of the Ruling
• Ruling party will decide where each party
is to sit in the classroom for the duration of
our study of the novel.
• Upon entering the classroom each day,
the political parties must go to their
designated area and sit down immediately.
• Ruling Party, distribute the harvest!
Chapter 3 Discussion
• Role of the pigs in the harvest
• Who did the animals admire the most? What
was his slogan?
• Which two animals weren’t considered good
• What happened at the Sunday meetings?
• Snowball’s work with the committees
• How literate were the animals? Connotations of
Snowball’s Committees
The ruling party will create committees to help our Animal Farm run efficiently
and productively. It is the responsibility of the ruling party to decide which of the
other political parties will assume the following duties:
– Writing Passes Committee: one of the parties is assigned this job and
the leader of the party chooses someone to do it, or starts a rotation.
– Taking Attendance Committee: one of the parties is assigned this job
and the leader of the party chooses someone to do it, or starts a
rotation. This person will call out names and mark the rank book.
– Straightening Up Room Committee: one of the parties is assigned the
job of lining up the desks and picking up any debris on the floor.
The ruling party will make sure the committees are doing their jobs well.
(I represent the dogs, and I will stop protecting the rulers if they don’t keep
me happy).
All committees will begin their work tomorrow. See that it happens, ruling
Distribute the harvest.
Reading Journal #4
• How will the differing levels of education
affect this society that is based on equality?
• The animals on Animal Farm now have their
Constitution, their written laws of the land,
The Seven Commandments.
• Why is it important for a society to have
specific, written laws, rather than just a
general idea of what the laws are?
How does Squealer use logic to convince the animals that the pigs
should get all the milk and apples?
– Syllogism: deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from
two premises
Premise 1: Milk and apples are necessary for a pig’s health
Premise 2: The pigs are responsible for the farm and animals’ well
Conclusion: If the pigs don’t get the milk and apples, Jones will come
-Syllogistic Fallacy: when the logic of the syllogism is flawed. What is
wrong with Squealer’s syllogism?
Another example:
1. The number of pirates in the world has decreased.
2. The global temperature of the world has increased.
3. The decrease in pirates is responsible for global warming.
”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves
neither liberty nor security.” –Benjamin Franklin
Squealer has already used specious logic on the animals. What other tactic
is he using to control the animals by saying, “Jones would come back”?
Government’s use of enemies and fear to control citizens.
– President Reagan—Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran/Russia
– President Bush—Iraq and Saddam Hussein
– President Clinton—Lybia and Khaddafi
– President Bush—Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Osama Bin Laden
– President Obama—Osama Bin Laden, ISIS, Syria
Quote from Peter Ludlow, Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern, in New
York Times about our misplaced fear, “We are conditioned to fear
persons in caves in Pakistan but not the destruction of our water
supply by frackers, massive industrial accidents, climate change or
the work-related deaths of 54,000 American workers every year. Fear
of outside threats has led us to ignore the more real dangers from
within.” Why is our fear directed toward enemies outside of our country?
• Reading Journal #5
• Identify the different types of propaganda
and explain how the image meets the
Chapter 4 Discussion
• Neighboring farms: Foxwood run by
Pilkington and Pinchfield run by Mr.
• Why were these neighboring farmers
frightened of the rebellion that took place
on Animal Farm?
• The Battle of the Cowshed: what part did
Snowball play? Who was honored with
Reading Journal #6
• At the end of Chapter 4, the animals
decide to fire Mr. Jones’ gun twice a year
to celebrate the anniversaries of the Battle
of the Cowshed and the Rebellion. In our
culture, what patriotic celebrations are
similar to these anniversaries? How are
they important to our culture? Who
benefits from these traditions?
Which citizens on our farm should be honored?
• Boxer, Snowball, and one of the sheep were
honored with medals after the Battle of the
• The Ruling Party will now pick three people from
any of the parties whom they believe have done
their duties well and been excellent citizens on
our farm .
• These exemplary comrades will each be issued
a Homework Pass to be used when they see fit.
• Distribute the harvest!
Chapter 5 Discussion
What did Mollie do wrong? Where did she go? Is she better off?
Describe the tactics used by Snowball and Napoleon during their debates.
Whom does Napoleon get on his side? Is this a good idea?
The windmill: Why would the animals be in favor of it? Who was against it
and why?
When Napoleon and Snowball disagreed on anything, with whom did the
other animals agree?
What happened just as Snowball had the animals on his side about the
Where did the dogs come from? What do the dogs represent?
How does Squealer explain the necessity of cancelling public discussion of
farm policy?
Three weeks after Snowball’s expulsion, what do we learn about Napoleon
and the windmill?
Who helped Squealer persuade the animals that Napoleon was right?
Distribute the harvest.
The Power Struggle Between
Snowball and Napoleon
• Our class will vote for a new leader from the
ruling party (represents the power struggle
between Napoleon and Snowball).
• Everyone make a secret ballot. Write your name
and your choice from the ruling party to be the
leader of our Animal Farm.
• If a change in leadership occurs, the disgraced
leader will be ignominiously expelled from his
political party. The ruling party will decide what
party the deposed leader will be forced to join.
Chapter 6 Discussion
The workweek has increased to 60 hours and there is now voluntary work
on Sundays. However, what happens if an animal doesn’t work on Sunday?
Are the animals happy with this increased work?
Regarding the construction of windmill, is Boxer a good worker?
What are Boxer’s two slogans?
What new policy does Napoleon announce regarding obtaining items that
the farm needs?
What does Squealer tell the animals about this policy? How does he
convince them?
Where do the pigs move? Why is this important?
How does Squealer manipulate the language of the Fourth Commandment?
How is it possible that he can do this?
Why do the pigs get up an hour later than the other animals?
What happened to the windmill? Who is being blamed?
Distribute the harvest.
Reading Journal #7
• History: the retelling and study of past
• Explain whether or not you think it is
possible to change history?
• Does point of view (gender, social class,
country your’e from) influence the creation
of history?
• How did the pigs change history in Animal
More Privileges for the Ruling
• For all passes outside of class:
– Students in the ruling party must ask Mr.
Chiasson’s permission.
– Students of other parties must first ask
permission from the leader of the ruling party
to ask Mr. Chiasson.
Chapter 7 Discussion
• Why is Napoleon so concerned that the outside world think Animal
Farm is thriving? How does he go about this?
• A rebellion takes place! Describe what happened.
• Where is Snowball said to be living now?
• What animal disagreed with the explanation that Snowball was
Jones’ secret agent from the beginning?
• What explanation does Boxer accept?
• The confessions and executions. Why does government want their
citizens to live in fear?
• What is Boxer’s answer to the executions?
• How does Squealer explain the banning of “Beasts of England”?
What replaced it?
• What always drowned out any animals who might have protested?
• Distribute the harvest
Write a Poem About Your
• Just like Minimus has done for Napoleon, each
party (including the ruling party) will write a haiku
about our farm’s leader.
• Someone from the Ruling Party who is not the
leader will recite the first poem, as an example
to us all.
• The leaders of the other parties will then recite
their poems.
• Haiku: First line 5 syllables; second line 7
syllables; third line 5 syllables
Comrades, there are traitors
among us!
• Great Purge takes place: leading party
selects those that have not done their
duties well or who have not demonstrated
their complete loyalty to our great society.
• Those who are selected will be cut out of
the harvest and lose all voting privileges
forever (both within their parties and in
Animal Farm as a whole).
• 1 minute to decide.
Chapter 8 Discussion
• How has the Sixth Commandment been changed?
• Are the animals working more than they had been under Jones?
Eating more?
• Analogy of the selling of the timber.
• Analogy of Mr. Frederick’s cruelty towards his animals.
• Pigeons no longer spreading ideas of rebellion to all farms.
• Analogy of selling the pile of timber to Mr. Frederick, and Mr.
Frederick’s betrayal.
• What is ironic about the animals’ victory celebration? Does the
celebration make the animals feel better?
• How has the Fifth Commandment changed? What prompted the
pigs to change it?
Educational Privileges for
Ruling Party!
• For Chapters 9-10, homework is optional
for Ruling Party members.
• You will get credit if you do it, but don’t
worry, you will not be marked down if you
• Distribute harvest
Chapter 9 Discussion
Food is scarce on the farm; however, rations aren’t reduced for the pigs and
dogs. Why?
How does Squealer describe the reductions in rations? What type of
propaganda is this?
Do the animals believe they are better off now than they were under Jones?
What special rights do pigs gain in this chapter?
What is a Spontaneous Demonstration? Who enjoys this the most? Would you
be impressed?
What new propaganda is spread about Snowball’s role in the Battle of the
Why do the pigs allow Moses the Raven to return to the farm?
What happened to Boxer? Why did the pigs do it? What does Boxer represent?
How do the pigs continue to use Boxer, even after his death? Real life
examples: Letters from soldiers; Pat Tillmann. What is the irony of the banquet
held in Boxer’s honor?
Reading Journal #8
• In Animal Farm, a schoolhouse is built for pigs only;
meaning, in the future, pigs will receive the best
education while other animals will have to educate
themselves as best they can.
• What does this decision mean for the future of their
• In our own society, do the children of the upper classes
have better educational opportunities? Explain whether
or not you think this system is good for our country.
Another Purge!
• To represent the sale of Boxer to the gluemaker, there will be another vote on who
should be expelled from our farm.
• Those who are selected will be cut out of
the harvest and lose all voting privileges
(Both within their parties and in Animal
Farm as a whole).
• Distribute the (meager) harvest.
Chapter 10 Discussion
Have any animals retired? What has happened to the promised rewards for
building the windmill?
Which classes of animals are prospering? What was their work? Remind
you of anyone from Ch. 1?
How come the animals can’t remember if they are better off now than they
were under Jones? What does Benjamin say about their situation? What
does he represent?
What new slogan does Squealer teach the sheep? Why?
What does the wall of commandments now say?
Similarities between Napoleon and Jones?
When the humans are invited to Animal Farm, are they impressed? Owell’s
description of Pilkington.
What does Napoleon announce about the name of their farm?
What is ironic about the end of the novel?
Reading Journal #9
• In most of the novel, Orwell uses animals
in place of humans to tell the story. Why
did he do this?
• Explain whether or not you found his use
of the fable format effective?
Reading Journal #10
• The Ruling Party’s Reign Comes To An End!
• Reflection on our classroom experiment: Please help me out. Your
responses below are important, regarding whether or not I attempt
this again.
• Did you see any connections between the behavior of the animals or
humans in the novel and what happened in our classroom?
• For the ruling party: How did having power over your classmates
make you feel about our class and your position in it?
• For non-ruling party members: How did being subservient to the
ruling party make you feel about our class and your position in it?
• Suggestions to make the experiment more effective?
Reading Journal #11
• In both Animal Farm and V for Vendetta, why are the
common people unwilling to question the authority of the
tyrannical ruling party? What similar tactics are used by
the government to control the citizens in both the book
and the film?
• -In Animal Farm, the animals do not rebel against their
government; however, in V for Vendetta, the citizens do
rebel. Explain why the animals in the novel were unable
to rise up against their oppressors, while the citizens in
the film did revolt. What was the difference between the
two situations?