'ANIMAL FARM' - WORKSHEET ON THE NOVEL
1- The plot. There are seven turning points in the novel: put them back in the right chronological order.
a- the Battle of the Cowshed
b- the Battle of the Windmill
c- the betrayal of Boxer
d- the expulsion of Snowball
e- the final party
f- the mock confessions and mock trials of Napoleon
g- the Rebellion itself
..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....
2- Write back the seven original commandments
1. Whatever walks upon two legs is an ally.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a fiend.
3. No animal shall carry clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep on the ground.
5. All animals shall drink water.
6. No animal shall kill any older animal.
7. All pigs are equal.
3- Orwell's purposes in writing Animal Farm: he wrote this novel to ...
... expose / to praise / to condemn / to worship the 'Soviet
( For Orwell Stalinist Russia had become a lie / a heaven. it was supposed to be a Socialist Union of States, but it had become a dictatorship / a monarchy.)
... expose / to condemn / to denounce / to reveal the nature of revolution itself. The book "is intended as a satire on dictatorship in general". Orwell is thinking of the French / Industrial Revolution and of the American / Spanish Civil War as well as the Bolshevik Rebellion of 1917 / 1971.
... get his readers to think about the future of socialism / capitalism and the future of Western / Southern society. To warn them about the tyranny in Revolution.
The novel is a powerful parable of the animals' / humans' tendency towards corruption and tyranny. Is Orwell a moral pessimist or a moralistic socialist?
4- What are the advantages of the animal fable?
Orwell can (complicate/simplify) human behaviour and thus
A simplification of (animal / human) action involves an exaggeration of certain aspects of it: the animal fable tends to be serious / funny / stern / humorous.
The fable allows the reader (to stand back from / to get involved in) the issues.
The rural background of the animal fable (gives it / suppresses all) realism and universality.
5- Orwell's irony
The writer makes the reader (or spectator in drama) aware of
something the characters are not aware.
Irony is used for making the characters seem either comic or pathetic but often both together. Can you find precise examples in the book?
There is a moral or satiric overtone to this irony as well. Who is it aimed at?
Orwell uses a (simple / complicated) (prose / poetic) style.
"Good prose is like a window-pane":
He makes his style as plain as possible so that his message may be clear / obscure; he chooses simple/unusual words and uncomplicated/complex phrases in his narration. Sometimes he complicates the dialogue by making the pigs speak a jargon / a dialect , to make their narration seem absurd and ludicrous.
7- Ten possible specimen questions
(1) 'Animal Farm was the first book in which I tried, with
full consciousness of what I was doing, to fuse political purpose
and artistic purpose into one whole.' (George Orwell, 'Why I
(2) 'I write ... because there is some lie that I want to expose, ... and my initial concern is to get a hearing.'
(3) Trace the growth of the power of the pigs in Animal Farm. What lessons does Orwell wish us to draw from this?
(4) Compare the figures of Snowball and Napoleon. What part does each play in the achievement of Orwell's purpose?
(5) Examine the role of Squealer in the development of the new system of control on Animal Farm.
(6) Why did Orwell locate his satire on political power on a farm in the English countryside?
(7) Examine the role of the sheep in Animal Farm.
(8) In your view is Animal Farm an optimistic or a pessimistic book?
(9) How does Orwell contrive to involve us in a story which is about animals?
(10) Examine the humour of Animal Farm. Is it all of the same kind throughout? Discuss Orwell's use of irony in Animal Farm.