Animal Farm

The Windmill Symbol Icon

The windmill represents the massive infrastructure construction projects and modernization initiatives that Soviet leaders instituted immediately after the Russian Revolution, specifically Joseph Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. The way that the animals go hungry in order to build the windmill in the first place mirrors how the Five Year Plans, while intended to create enough food for everyone, were wildly unsuccessful and led to widespread famine in the early 1930s. Later in the novel, the windmill also comes to symbolize the pigs' totalitarian triumph: the other animals work to build the windmill thinking it will benefit everyone, but even after it benefits only the pigs, the animals continue to believe that it benefits all of them.

The Windmill Quotes in Animal Farm

The Animal Farm quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Windmill. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet Classics edition of Animal Farm published in 1996.
Chapter 5 Quotes

At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws.

Related Characters: Napoleon, Snowball, The Dogs
Related Symbols: Character Names, The Windmill
Page Number: 52-53
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 6 Quotes

“Comrades, do you know who is responsible for this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!”

Related Characters: Napoleon (speaker), Snowball
Related Symbols: The Windmill
Page Number: 69-70
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Windmill Symbol Timeline in Animal Farm

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Windmill appears in Animal Farm. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...but quietly insists that Snowball’s schemes are silly. Their biggest dispute, however, is over the windmill. Snowball proposes that they build one on the highest point on the farm, as it... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Snowball is upfront that building the windmill will be difficult. They’ll have to carry stone, build walls, and somehow procure cables, but... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Snowball finishes his plans for the windmill and brings it to a vote at the Sunday meeting. He makes his case logically.... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...looking at the pigs. Three weeks after Snowball’s departure, Napoleon announces that they’ll build the windmill. It will take two years and will require everyone’s rations to be reduced. (full context)
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Later, Squealer explains privately that Napoleon never opposed the windmill—it had been his idea and Snowball stole his plans. Napoleon only appeared to oppose the... (full context)
Chapter 6
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Construction on the windmill proves difficult as well. There’s a quarry on the farm and a stash of other... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...They all believe that Animal Farm will go bankrupt at some point and that the windmill will fail—but against their will, they do develop a grudging respect for the animals’ efficiency.... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
...for the winter are low after the sale of the hay and corn, but the windmill is almost halfway done and that bolsters their spirits. After the harvest, the animals dedicate... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
...He suddenly stops and quietly says that Snowball came in at night and destroyed the windmill. Napoleon sentences Snowball to death and announces rewards for anyone who captures him. They discover... (full context)
Chapter 7
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
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The winter is bitter and cold, but the animals toil on the windmill knowing that the humans will be thrilled if they don’t finish on time. The humans... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...bloodshed on the farm. The animals—except for the cat, who disappeared—lie down together near the windmill while Boxer paces. Boxer announces that he wouldn’t have believed that this could happen on... (full context)
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
Clover and the other animals remain by the windmill. They look out over Animal Farm and remember that they own all of it. Tears... (full context)
Chapter 8
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
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The animals work harder than they ever have. The windmill, in addition to regular farm work, means they sometimes wonder if they work harder now... (full context)
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...good price—and rumors still circulate that he wants to attack Animal Farm and destroy the windmill. Pinchfield supposedly still houses Snowball too, and in the summer, three hens confess that Snowball... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
The animals finish the windmill in the fall, though Mr. Whymper is still in the process of negotiating for the... (full context)
Class Warfare Theme Icon
Language as Power Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
Mr. Frederick and his men gather around the windmill. At first it looks like they’re going to try to knock it down, but Benjamin... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
...feels the pellets in his leg and begins to mentally prepare himself to rebuild the windmill. It occurs to him that he’s 11 now and maybe isn’t as strong as he... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...a long time to heal. He refuses to take time off from work on the windmill, but in the evenings, he shares with Clover that his hoof is painful. Clover and... (full context)
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
...but Boxer ignores them. One summer evening, however, Boxer falls while dragging stone to the windmill. The animals rush to him and Boxer weakly tells Clover that his lung has collapsed,... (full context)
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
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...he was with Boxer to the end. Boxer’s last words were in support of the windmill, Napoleon, and Animal Farm. (full context)
Chapter 10
Totalitarianism Theme Icon
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...of whom are intelligent. The farm is prosperous, bigger than ever, and better organized. The windmill is done, but they use it for milling profitable corn, not for electricity as Snowball... (full context)
Revolution and Corruption Theme Icon
Class Warfare Theme Icon
The Soviet Union Theme Icon
...neighboring farmers drive up to the farm for a tour. They admire everything, especially the windmill. The animals aren’t sure whether to be more afraid of the pigs or of the... (full context)