Animal Farm: Exploring Chapter Four

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Monday 1st February 2021
Animal Farm: Exploring Chapter Four

Learning Purposes
• Revisit chapter four of Animal Farm • Consider key characters, themes and events within the novella • Develop an understanding of Orwell’s intentions

Prior learning:
1. How was the idea of socialism (‘Animalism’) presented through the harvest?
2. Why did Orwell present Boxer in the way that he did?

Future learning: Continue to revisit the novella whilst focusing on setting, characters and themes.
Develop analytical writing skills for Section B.


Napoleon Mr Jones

Snowball Boxer

Squealer Mollie

Link the following quotations to the correct character: 1. ‘He had become disheartened ... and had taken to drinking more
than was good for him’ 2. ‘He was universally respected for his steadiness’ 3. ‘More vivacious pig than Napoleon’ 4. ‘Not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting his own way’ 5. ‘The stupidest questions of all were asked by [her], the white mare’ 6. ‘Whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive’

Key Words
• Oppression – prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority.
• Hierarchy – a system in which members of an organisation or society are ranked.

Read through the fourth chapter.
Whilst reading, consider the following: • Ideas surrounding violence • How Snowball is presented and why Orwell presents him this way • The importance of the battle


Mr. Jones and several men from town attempt to ______________ the farm, but _______________ leads the animals to defend it. Jones scars Snowball with a blast from his shotgun, but Snowball still manages to knock Jones down. ________ strength terrifies the other men. The animals defeat the men with just a single casualty: a sheep that Jones shot dead. Medals for bravery are awarded to _________, _____________, and the ___________ who died. Jones’s gun is set up at the foot of the ________, to be fired on the anniversaries of the ‘__________ ____ _____ ______________’.

flagpole Snowball

Cowshed sheep

Boxer’s Battle

Snowball the

Boxer of

Why is this chapter important?
• Orwell reminds us of what the animals are revolting against when he introduces the humans. We also see how fragile the new society is, and vulnerable to attack from outside.
• The farmers suppress any signs of rebellion on neighbouring farms. Orwell again reminds us of humans’ oppressive, selfish nature and introduces us to the farm’s violent neighbours.
• We are given another reminder of what is achieved when the animals are united: ‘Even the cat’ fights to protect the farm.
• Snowball is seen as a brilliant strategist.

Why is this chapter important?
• Boxer and Snowball both risk theirs lives to defend the farm and are praised as heroes of the battle. However, we see that – unlike Snowball – Boxer is compassionate, as Orwell emphasises when the carthorse is upset at injuring the stable-lad during the battle.
• There are further signs that a hierarchy is developing: Napoleon and Snowball direct event and some animals are favoured.

1. How does Orwell show the growing popularity of Animalism? 2. Who is awarded a medal for their actions in the Battle of the
Cowshed? 3. Which animals do not take part in the battle?

Character: Snowball

Make notes in your own words as it is more beneficial than copying notes out word for word.

• In the broader sense, Snowball is symbolic of political opposition in the Soviet climate.
• He contrasts Napoleon as he favours meetings and a democratic process.
• Snowball’s role and commendation for his participation in the battle heralds a further rise of his position within the farm.
• Notably, Napoleon takes umbrage with this and, as we see in chapter five, has Snowball removed from the farm.
• Despite being one of the pigs that implemented the ideology of Animalism, Orwell presents Snowball to us as the first major ‘casualty’ of Napoleon’s totalitarian regime on the farm itself.

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Animal Farm: Exploring Chapter Four