Animal Farm

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Animal Farm Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It's late summer and news of the revolution at Animal Farm spreads. Snowball and Napoleon send out flights of pigeons to teach "Beasts of England" to the animals of nearby farms.
Soviet Communists also spread propaganda, hoping to make Communism global.
Themes
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Mr. Jones spends his time getting drunk and complaining about his fate. The owners of the farms neighboring Animal Farm, the gentleman farmer Mr. Pilkington of Foxwood and the shrewd Mr. Frederick of Pinchfield, are concerned that the revolution might spread to their own farms. But they dislike each other so much that they can't even agree on defending themselves. Instead, the Frederick and Pilkington spread rumors about the misery of life on Animal Farm. No animals anywhere believe them. "Beasts of England" spreads across England with incredible speed.
Pilkington and Frederick symbolize the capitalist Allies and Fascist Germany. These nations feared the rise of Communism because it threatened their own countries: what if their own working classes, inspired by Communism, revolted? But these nations hated and feared each other too much to band together against the Soviet Union.
Themes
Class Warfare Theme Icon
One day in October, pigeons fly into Animal Farm with news that Jones, along with men from Pilkington and Frederick, are headed to attack the farm. Snowball has a defense planned out: he draws the men into an ambush, then leads the charge against the men. Jones scars Snowball with a blast from his shotgun, but Snowball still manages to knock Jones down. Boxer's strength, meanwhile, terrifies the other men. The animals rout the men with just a single casualty: a sheep that Jones shot dead.
In 1918, anti-Communist forces (Jones), helped by Western nations (Frederick and Pilkington), attacked the Russian Communists (the animals). After two years of Civil War, in which Trotsky (Snowball) showed great bravery, the Communists defeated the anti-Communists.
Themes
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Boxer is dismayed to learn that one of his kicks seems to have killed a stable boy. To console him, Snowball responds that the only good man is a dead man. Just then the animals realize that Mollie is missing: she hid in the stable throughout the fighting. When they return, it turns out the stable boy was only stunned, and has run off.
Unlike Boxer, Snowball thinks the enemies of Animalism deserve death. Napoleon will later kill animals for "opposing" Animalism. It's a small step from Snowball's position to Napoleon's.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
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As the animals bury the sheep, Snowball emphasizes that animals must be willing to die to defend Animal Farm. Snowball and Boxer receive the award of Animal Hero, First Class. They name the battle the "Battle of the Cowshed," and agree that twice each year they'll fire Mr. Jones's gun, which they found lying in the mud, to celebrate both this battle and the anniversary of the revolution.
Snowball's position seems noble: the animals should be willing to die for Animal Farm, right? But the implication is that whatever Animal Farm does must always be right, even if it results in the killing of animals..
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon