Animal Farm

“What Connell Guides do is bring immediacy and clarity: brevity with depth.
They unlock the complex and offer students an entry route.”

Colin Hall, Head of Holland Park School

Christened Louis-Dieudonné, meaning “gift of God”, Louis XIV came to the throne at the age of four and ruled France for 72 years, the longest reign of any monarch in European history. He took as his emblem the sun, believing France revolved round him as the planets revolved round the sun, and that he ruled by divine right. When the Sun King died, his reputation was in ruins, and he was widely seen as a warmonger who had inflicted decades of misery on Europe. Voltaire, however, believed the age of Louis XIV was one of the great ages of the world, comparable only, if not superior to, ancient Athens or Augustan Rome.

Introduction

A summary of the plot

What is Animal Farm about?

Why did Orwell write Animal Farm?

Is Animal Farm an allegory?

Why did Orwell have trouble publishing the novel?

Why are Napoleon and Snowball enemies?

How close are the parallels between the characters in Animal Farmand real historical figures?

How do the events of Animal Farm relate to the history of the Soviet Union?

How does Orwell use satire in Animal Farm?

What does Orwell think about revolution?

What is special about the style of Animal Farm?

Perspective and dramatic irony

What are we to make of Benjamin?

NOTES

Orwell and Hobbes  
Five facts about Animal Farm
Orwell’s experience
Orwell on socialism
A short chronology
Eight quotes from Animal Farm
Bibliography