Animal Farm

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Animal Farm Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Clover and some other animals remember that the Sixth Commandment forbade killing. But when they get Muriel to read it for them, it says: "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause."
The pigs continue to rewrite and corrupt the tenets of Animalism for their own benefit.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The animals work harder than ever to rebuild the windmill with walls twice as thick. Sometimes they feel like they're working harder and getting less food than back when Jones was master. But each Sunday Squealer reads off figures proving the animals are happier and better off than ever.
Now the pigs begin to manipulate facts. The uneducated animals now have no reality they can trust. They trust the pigs just because it's too tiring not too.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Napoleon almost never appears in public anymore, and when he does only with great ceremony. Minimus composes poems that honor Napoleon, Napoleon's birthday becomes a holiday, and all animals are encouraged to praise Napoleon for every good thing that happens.
Napoleon inflates his image through propaganda, making himself bigger than life and all-powerful. Stalin used propaganda similarly to increase his power.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Napoleon's negotiations with Frederick and Pilkington for the wood intensify. Napoleon wavers back and forth between selling the wood to one or the other. Whichever farm falls out of favor in the negotiations is the subject of nasty, and temporary, rumors around Animal Farm. Napoleon at last seems ready to come to a deal with Pilkington, and his mantra of "Death to Humans" is changed to "Death to Frederick!"
As WW II approached, the USSR's negotiations with the Allies and Fascists intensified. When the Soviets leaned toward a treaty with the Allies, the Soviet propaganda machine spouted anti-German rhetoric, and vice versa.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Get the entire Animal Farm LitChart as a printable PDF.
Animal farm.pdf.medium
The animals joyfully finish the windmill in autumn. But Animal Farm still lacks the machinery to produce electricity, and two days later Napoleon announces a deal to sell the wood to Frederick. (His mantra is changed to "Death to Pilkington!"). The sudden reversal shocks the animals. The pigs explain that Napoleon planned all along to play Pilkington and Frederick against each other to raise the price of the wood.
Similarly, at the last minute the Soviet's signed a Non-aggression Pact with the Germans, rather than the Allies. All the propaganda in the USSR changed immediately to favor the Germans over the Allies.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Three days later, Whymper rushes into the farmhouse. The animals hear Napoleon let out a roar of anger. As it turned out, Frederick paid for the timber with fake bills! Napoleon promises Frederick will be killed and warns the animals to brace for the worst.
The Germans signed the Non-aggression Pact as a fake-out, a move intended to mislead the USSR. The Germans then invaded the USSR almost immediately.
Themes
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
The next morning, Frederick and his men attack. All the men have guns and push the animals back into the barn. The animals watch as the men blow up the windmill. The sight drives the animals into a rage, and they attack. Many animals die, and most, including Boxer, suffer injuries. But they manage to drive Frederick and his men from Animal Farm.
About 25-30 million Soviets died while pushing back the Germans. The war annihilated Soviet infrastructure, symbolized in Animal Farm by the destruction of the windmill.
Themes
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Though the animals are tired and bloody, the pigs lead two days of patriotic celebrations of their victory over the men. The animals' spirits rise and the memory of the forged bank notes fades.
The pigs honor their citizens' sacrifices to increase the power of the state—the state that forced them to sacrifice in the first place.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
A few days later, the pigs discover whiskey in the cellar of the farmhouse. There are shouts and revelry that night in the farmhouse. But the next morning the house is silent. When Squealer eventually appears he has awful news: Comrade Napoleon is dying! By evening Napoleon has recovered, and the pigs soon purchase machinery to build a still to produce alcohol.
The pigs make a mockery of the animals' sacrifice by indulging in alcohol. They reveal their inexperience (in comparison to the capitalist humans) by failing to distinguish Napoleon's hangover from imminent death.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Soon after, a crash in the middle of the night wakes the animals. They see Squealer unconscious on the ground next to a fallen ladder and a bucket of white paint beneath the commandments written on the barn. Benjamin seems to understand what's happened, but refuses to say. Muriel later discovers that she's misremembered the Fifth Commandment. It now reads "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess."
The pigs immediately resume rewriting Animalism for their own benefit. The animals are too beaten down and uneducated to realize the pigs' deception even when the evidence makes it obvious. The pigs take power, but the animals let them.
Themes
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon