Animal Farm

Characters

Pigs

  • Old Major – An aged prize Middle White boar provides the inspiration that fuels the Rebellion in the book. He is an allegorical combination of Karl Marx, one of the creators of communism, and Lenin, the communist leader of the Russian Revolution and the early Soviet nation, in that he draws up the principles of the revolution. His skull being put on revered public display recalls Lenin, whose embalmed body was put on display.[10][11]
  • Napoleon – "A large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way".[12] An allegory of Joseph Stalin,[10] Napoleon is the main villain of Animal Farm. In the first French version of Animal Farm, Napoleon is called César, the French form of Caesar,[4] although another translation has him as Napoléon.[13]
  • Snowball – Napoleon's rival and original head of the farm after Jones' overthrow. He is mainly based on Leon Trotsky,[10] but also combines elements from Lenin.[11]
  • Squealer – A small, white, fat porker who serves as Napoleon's right-trotter pig and minister of propaganda, holding a position similar to that of Vyacheslav Molotov.[10]
  • Minimus – A poetic pig who writes the second and third national anthems of Animal Farm after the singing of "Beasts of England" is banned.
  • The piglets – Hinted to be the children of Napoleon and are the first generation of animals subjugated to his idea of animal inequality.
  • The young pigs – Four pigs who complain about Napoleon's takeover of the farm but are quickly silenced and later executed. Based on the Great Purge of Grigori Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Nikolai Bukharin, and Alexei Rykov.
  • Pinkeye – A minor pig who is mentioned only once; he is the pig that tastes Napoleon's food to make sure it is not poisoned, in response to rumours about an assassination attempt on Napoleon.

Humans

  • Mr Jones – The former owner of the farm, Jones is a very heavy drinker. The animals revolt against him after he drinks so much that he does not feed or take care of them. He is an allegory of Russian Tsar Nicholas II,[14] who abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 and was murdered, along with the rest of his family, by the Bolsheviks on 17 July 1918.
  • Mr Frederick – The tough owner of Pinchfield, a small but well-kept neighbouring farm, who briefly enters into an alliance with Napoleon. He is an allegory of Adolf Hitler,[15][16][17][18] who enters into a neutrality pact with Joseph Stalin's USSR only to later break it by invading the Soviet Union.
  • Mr Pilkington – The easy-going but crafty and well-to-do owner of Foxwood, a large neighbouring farm overgrown with weeds.
  • Mr Whymper – A man hired by Napoleon to act as the liaison between Animal Farm and human society. At first he is used to acquire goods needed for the farm, such as dog biscuits and paraffin, but later he procures luxuries like alcohol for the pigs.

Horses and donkeys

  • Boxer – A loyal, kind, dedicated, hard working, and respectable cart-horse, although quite naive and gullible. Boxer does a large share of the physical labor on the farm, adhering to the simplistic belief that working harder will solve all the animals problems. He has been described as "faithful and strong";[19] he believes any problem can be solved if he works harder.[20] However, when Boxer is injured, Napoleon sells him to a local knacker to buy himself whisky.
  • Mollie – A self-centered, self-indulgent and vain young white mare who quickly leaves for another farm after the revolution. She is only once mentioned again, in a manner similar to those who left Russia after the fall of the Tsar.
  • Clover - A gentle, caring female horse, who shows concern especially for Boxer, who often pushes herself too hard. She seems to catch on to the sly tricks and schemes set up by Napoleon and Squealer.
  • Benjamin – A donkey, one of the oldest, wisest animals on the farm, and one of the few who can read properly. He is skeptical, temperamental and cynical: his most frequent remark is, "Life will go on as it has always gone on—that is, badly."[21] The academic Morris Dickstein has suggested there is "a touch of Orwell himself in this creature's timeless skepticism"[22] and indeed, friends called Orwell "Donkey George", "after his grumbling donkey Benjamin, in Animal Farm."[23]

Other animals

  • Muriel – A wise old goat who is friends with all of the animals on the farm. She, like Benjamin and Snowball, is one of the few animals on the farm who can read.
  • The puppies – Offspring of Jessie and Bluebell, they were taken away at birth by Napoleon and reared by him to be his security force.
  • Moses – The raven, "Mr. Jones's especial pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker." Initially following Mrs. Jones into exile, he reappears several years later and resumes his role of talking but not working. He regales Animal Farm's denizens with tales of a wondrous place beyond the clouds called "Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest forever from our labours!" Orwell portrays established religion as "the black raven of priestcraft—promising pie in the sky when you die, and faithfully serving whoever happens to be in power." Napoleon brings the raven back (Ch. IX), as Stalin brought back the Russian Orthodox Church.[22]
  • The sheep – They show limited understanding of the Animalism and the political atmosphere of the farm; yet nonetheless they blindly support Napoleon's ideals with vocal jingles during his speeches and meetings with Snowball.
  • The hens – The hens are among the first to rebel against Napoleon.
  • The cows – Their milk is stolen by the pigs, who learn to milk them. The milk is stirred into the pigs' mash every day, while the other animals are denied such luxuries.
  • The cat – Never seen to carry out any work, the cat is absent for long periods and is forgiven; because her excuses are so convincing and she "purred so affectionately that it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions."[24] She has no interest in the politics of the farm, and the only time she is recorded as having participated in an election, she is found to have actually "voted on both sides."[24]

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