Animal Farm

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Animal Farm Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One day, Clover spots Mollie at the boundary of Foxwood letting one of Mr. Pilkington's men stroke her nose. On a hunch, Clover searches Mollie's stall and finds sugar cubes. Mollie denies all of it, but three days later she disappears. Weeks after that, a pigeon spots Mollie pulling a man's cart, with ribbons in her hair. No one on Animal Farm ever mentions Mollie again.
Mollie, like the Russian middle-class, chooses comfortable slavery over less comfortable freedom, which makes all the other animals hate her. But later in this same chapter the other animals also choose comfortable slavery over less comfortable freedom.
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The pigs plan for the next year throughout the winter. All the animals now accept that the pigs will decide all farm policy, subject only to a farm-wide majority vote.
Class differences continue to take hold. The animals allow the pigs to take nearly absolute power.
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In the Sunday meetings, Snowball and Napoleon now argue about everything. The most intense point of disagreement between the two is Snowball's plan to build a windmill. He says the windmill will produce electric power to warm stalls and run electrical tools that will make everyone's life easier. Napoleon, though, argues that the farm should focus on more pressing needs like food production.
These disputes mirror Trotsky and Stalin's main disagreement: Trotsky favored modernizing the USSR while Stalin emphasized more immediate concerns. Note that the disagreements intensify only after the human threat is gone.
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The animals take sides: some support Snowball's windmill, while others favor Napoleon and food production. Only Benjamin refuses to join sides, observing that no matter who wins, life will go on as it always has—badly.
Benjamin believes that in the relationship between individual and state, the individual always ends up oppressed.
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Snowball finally finishes his plans for the windmill. The next Sunday the animals gather to vote. Snowball speaks passionately about the paradise the windmill will create, while Napoleon just says the windmill is nonsense. Snowball's eloquence prevails.
The rules of Animal Farm and Animalism state that if Snowball convinces the majority, he wins.
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Just as Snowball finishes speaking, Napoleon makes an odd whimpering sound. Suddenly nine vicious dogs, the dogs Napoleon had reared from pups, bound into the barn. The dogs jump at Snowball, who runs. The dogs chase Snowball, who flees through a hole in a hedge that leads out of Animal Farm. Once Snowball is gone, the dogs surround Napoleon like a guard. Napoleon announces to the terrified and silent farm animals that the Sunday meetings are over. A special committee of pigs will now decide all Animal Farm policy and give weekly orders on Sunday morning when the animals gather to salute the flag and sing "Beasts of England."
But Napoleon isn't playing by Animalist rules. By seizing power and denying the non-pigs' right to vote, Napoleon counters the fundamental idea of Animalism: animal equality. If the animals let Napoleon get away with this act, Animal Farm will no longer be Animalist and the animals' freedom will vanish. In the USSR, Stalin defeated Trotsky in a power struggle and exiled him.
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Napoleon's announcement disturbs the animals, but few can muster any counterarguments. Four young pigs protest, but the dogs growl and silence the pigs. The sheep burst into an extended bleating repetition of "Four legs good, two legs bad."
Fear stops the animals from opposing Napoleon. Like Mollie, they choose comfort over freedom.
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Later, Squealer comes around and explains that Napoleon took on the "burden" of leadership and eliminated voting only because he feared that the animals might make the wrong decisions. Squealer also says it was recently discovered that Snowball was a criminal. When the animals say Snowball fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed, Squealer says he thinks Snowball's actions at the battle may have been exaggerated. He adds that bravery is not nearly as important as discipline and obedience. Without those, Jones might return.
Squealer manipulates language in citing secret documents and using fear tactics to make it seem like Napoleon is defending freedom when really he's undermining it. Tricky language effectively misleads a poorly educated, frightened, and idealistic population.
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None of the animals wants Jones back, and Boxer, after heavy thinking, says, "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right."
Boxer thinks that because Animalism is good, Animal Farm must be good.
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Three weeks later, Napoleon announces that they'll build the windmill after all. Squealer explains: Napoleon opposed the windmill just to get rid of Snowball, who was a bad influence on everyone. The animals accept this explanation, especially since Squealer has the attack dogs with him.
After exiling Trotsky, Stalin took many of his ideas. By making Napoleon appear always consistent, Squealers makes him seem all-powerful. Lies backed up by force are hard to resist.
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