In Animal Farm Chapter 10, years have past and the animals’ lives are more miserable than ever. No animal has actually reached retirement but the pigs are more content and fatter than ever: “Napoleon was now a mature boar of twenty-four stone. Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see out of his eyes.”
The farm has become richer than ever without actually making the lives of the animals any better. “Somehow it seemed as thought the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer—except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs.”
The windmill has been completed but, rather than providing luxuries for the animals, it is used for milling corn which generates a great deal of income for the animals: “But the luxuries of which Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer talked about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard and living frugally.”
The older animals can’t remember whether or not they’re better or worse off than they were under Farmer Jones. Squealers figures keep telling them that their lives are getting better and better. The animals continue to take great pride in the fact that theirs is the only farm in England owned and run by animals: “It might be that their lives were hard and that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled; but they were conscious that they were not as other animals. If they went hungry, it was not from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they worked hard, at least they worked for themselves. No creature among them went upon two legs. No creature called any other creature “Master.” All animals were equal.”
One day, the pigs emerge from the farmhouse walking on two legs and carrying whips in their trotters, the sheep mindlessly bleating, “”Four legs good, two legs BETTER! Four legs good, two legs BETTER!” When Benjamin and Clover go to the barn, they find that the final commandment has been changed to, “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The pigs start wearing clothes and smoking pipes. In the closing scene of the novel, the animals peer into the farmhouse window where they see the pigs entertaining Mr Pilkington who notes that he’s impressed that the animals on the farm do more work and receive less food than any animals in the country. Napoleon declares that from now on the hoof and horn will be removed from the flag and its name will be changed back to Manor Farm. An argument breaks out and, in the last sentence of the novel, the animals are unable to distinguish pig from human: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
Animal Farm Chapter 10: COMMENTARY
The final chapter of the novel emphasises Orwell’s disillusionment with the revolution in the USSR and the dictatorship that followed. Although life under Farmer Jones was brutal and short, their lives become much more miserable under the rule of Napoleon. In the end, the pigs – who walk on their hind legs and carry whips in their trotters – are indistinguishable from humans.
But as I’ve said throughout this series, we’re still reading Animal Farm because it’s about more than just the Soviet Union. It’s a cautionary tale about not letting democracy and equality slip through our fingers. It’s about Orwell’s desire for a society of free and equal human beings. It’s about greed and corruption and holding our elected officials to account. It’s about preserving our freedom and civil liberties. It’s about working together for the welfare and betterment of all. And it’s about the price of being passive and not becoming involved in politics.
After reading Animal Farm Chapter 10, it’s time to write an essay on the novel. You can choose one of the following topics.
- In the end, there is little difference between Napoleon and Farmer Jones. Do you agree?
- Although Squealer “could turn black into white”, propaganda is not the only way that Napoleon controls the animals. Discuss.
- Animal Farm is actually a novel about the worst of human nature. Do you agree?
Before you get started with this essay, break down the topic by highlighting key terms and writing a plan. This typically involves deciding on three main points that you will develop in the body of your essay. With the third topic, for example, you might decide that the three attributes you wish to discuss include ignorance, greed and passivity. In your plan, you’d find scenes, quotes, characters and examples that you could use to support a discussion of these ideas.
The introduction to a text essay should include a discussion of the topic and whether you agree with it or not, and the main points that you will discuss in the body of your essay.
Every paragraph should be written using TEEL structure. Begin with a topic sentence that explains the idea you’re about to discuss and how it relates to the topic. Go onto explain the ideas, support your discussion with close reference to events, characters and scenes in the novel. Along the way, you can support your discussion by using short quotations from novel in sentences of your own.
At the end, restate your ideas in a final paragraph that brings your discussion to a resounding and convincing conclusions.