Mr. Jones, the owner of ‘Manor Farm’;, was an irresponsible farmer. He was too drunk to take good care of his animals. The barn animals were fed up with the way Mr. Jones treated them; thus they would occasionally have secret meetings at night.
Old Major, their leader, had organized a meeting that would be held in the big barn. That night, the pigs Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer, the hens, the ducks the two horses Boxer and Clover, Muriel the goat and Benjamin the donkey and the rest all came just to hear what the old pig had to say about the strange dream he had the previous night.
He dreamt about an ideal world. He talked to them about life, about their situation in life and the problems in life. Their only problem was Man. Man used them for his own purposes: his own needs. That, to them, seemed wrong and they knew that they had to do something about it. Old Major mentioned a Rebellion and it was all the animals hoped for. But it was up to them to rebel. Then he thought them a song ‘Beasts of England’; that they sang on and on to memorize.
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegory* it concerns the toppling of the Russian Imperial rule and its replacement by the communist regime.
In this light, the characters introduced in Chapter I represent real, historical figures: Mr. Jones is the Czar, Old Major is Lenin and Marx at the same time and as for the rest of the animals, their role will become clear as the story progresses.
The animals on Manor Farm (Imperial Russia) ended live in unacceptable conditions, as is evidenced.
One of the ironies in this chapter is that the animals are not aware of their lamentable living conditions. This is shown the night that Old Major organized the meeting in the big barn. The animals are surprised and shocked when they realize that they shouldn’t be treated like that.
A couple of days after the barn meeting, Old Major died. The animals of the farm where preparing for the revolution. Snowball and Napoleon assumed leadership and began giving them speeches about Animalism; everything Old Major had talked about.
The animals only rebelled when Mr. Jones went away for a couple of days and his men forgot to feed them. The starving animals broke the store-shed’s door and ate from the bins. Eventually, Mr. Jones and his men came to stop the animals from eating their food but were attacked by the furious animals. They had successfully kicked them out of Manor Farm thus starting the revolution.
Now that the farm was theirs they destroyed everything that reminded them of Mr. Jones. Starting with the name ‘Manor Farm’; which was renamed to ‘Animal Farm’;. Snowball thought of seven commandments that he wrote on the big barn so the others could memorize. Basically, all animals were equal and mankind was, to them, enemy.
In this chapter, we can tell that the main characters of the story will be Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer, the three pigs. The character of the pigs, of Moses, of Molly and of Boxer develops.
Napoleon is smart but not so obvious; he is silent but strong. Snowball is honest, strong and faithful to the principles of animalism; throughout the story he is always pure in his ideology and true in his ideas. Squealer is an equivocator: he could convince the animals of anything he or Napoleon desires. Moses represents the clergy. Molly is materialistic: she is more interested in material things than in the new life that Animalism has provided. Boxer is a hard working and honest animal he represents the working class and the mouzlik society.