Animal Farm Chapter 4

Animal Farm Chapter 4 Summary

Animal Farm Chapter 4: Snowball and Napoleon start spreading the word of what happened at Animal Farm and sharing, “Beasts of England,” utilizing pigeons for the purpose.

Mr. Jones spends his time complaining about how unfair it was, him being run off of the farm by the animals. Mr. Pilkington and Mr. Frederick, both from adjacent farms, are outwardly sympathetic but inwardly wondering if what happened would help them. However, they are also concerned that the same thing might occur on their farms. Their concern is warranted as this did start taking place in small measures.

That fall, Mr. Jones and his workers plus some from the neighboring farms attempt to recover control of Animal Farm, but Snowball, who had taught himself war strategies, lead the animals to a rebuttal of those takeover attempts.

When the melee concludes, Boxer is heartbroken as he believes that he had killed a human. Snowball would have none of that sentimentality. Also, Mollie is missing, but it turns out that she had simply gone into hiding during the battle.

Snowball and Boxer receive “Animal Hero, First Class” medals while a sheep who had died in the battle is posthumously given “Animal Hero, Second Class” honors.

Animal Farm Chapter 4

Thanks to Napoleon and Snowball sending out pigeons to spread the word of what had happened on Animal Farm, the news starts spreading across the country. Also thanks to those pigeons, “Beasts of England” starts to be sung at several other farms as well.

While this is going on, Mr. Jones complains about what had happened to him and how unjust it was that the animals now run his farm. Others appear to sympathize but instead are hoping that this could somehow turn into a positive for them. However, this quickly ends up not being the case as animals start resisting what they had always done after being informed about what had happened on Animal Farm. But what was perhaps most troubling to the humans was how quickly, “Beasts of England,” spread and how it seemed to really motivate the animals to not simply accept their previous place in the world. The humans even took to flogging animals caught singing it, but that didn’t stop it from being sung.

That fall, Mr. Jones had had enough, and his men plus six from neighboring farms start marching to Animal Farm, determined to retake what had been theirs. The pigeons warn the rest of the animals of this impending attack, and Snowball, who had expected this and is well prepared for it after studying Julius Caesar’s war strategies, quickly gets the animals in place to react to this invasion.

The pigeons are first to act as they attack the men. The geese are next. Snowball, Benjamin, Muriel and the sheep follow. However, the humans are able to repel these attacks. This is followed by celebrations as they had thought that they had won and much more easily than they thought it would be. However, this was exactly what Snowball was expecting to occur and set the stage for the next step of his plan.

The men are cut off at the rear by several other animals, including pigs, cows and horses. Snowball goes right for Mr. Jones who quickly raises his gun and fires, grazing Snowball and killing a sheep. That doesn’t stop Snowball’s momentum at all, and he strikes Mr. Jones with such force that he is hurled into some dung, losing his gun in the process. As this is going on, Boxer kicks a boy in his head and knocks him out. The rest of the men, including Mr. Jones, attempt to run away upon seeing these latest developments but are continuously beaten by the animals until, finally, an opening allows them to escape Animal Farm.

The unconscious boy appears dead, and Boxer is distraught with tears in his eyes. However, Snowball is not affected at all, even demanding, “No sentimentality, comrade!” adding that the only good humans are dead ones. However, the boy wakes up and escapes when the animals are distracted, searching for Mollie. She had disappeared and was feared stolen or hurt, but she had only run from the commotion.

After the animals celebrate, the sheep is buried, and Snowball states that all animals need to be ready to die as well if doing so is necessary to save Animal Farm. He and Boxer are then awarded “Animal Hero, First Class” honors and brass medals while the deceased sheep receives “Animal Hero, Second Class” honors. The animals name the just-completed battle the Battle of the Cowshed and decide to fire the gun that Mr. Jones had left on Oct. 12, the anniversary of this battle, and on Midsummer Day, the anniversary of the Rebellion.


Perhaps the most ironic part of this entire novella was when all of the animals on Animal Farm were fighting against oppression from the humans only to keep the momentum going towards the pigs oppressing them in a similar manner.

It’s also telling how every animal should now be ready and willing to sacrifice his or her life for Animal Farm. It’s fascinating how the pigs manipulated this situation to cause the animals to not balk at the idea of sacrificing their lives for the pigs’ benefit. However, it should be pointed out that Snowball appeared to be very willing to put his own life in danger during this battle.

After the battle concludes, it becomes clear that martial law is starting to take the place of the commandments. Military medals are given out – “first class” to Snowball and Boxer and “second class” to the sheep who had sacrificed her life – and military salutes would now take place twice a year with the shooting of Mr. Jones’ gun on the anniversaries of the Battle of the Cowshed and the Rebellion. Martial law naturally takes the rights of citizens away and gives more of it to those in power, so it’s clear that this type of society works in the pigs’ favor.

Also of note was how both sides attempted to spread the message that they wanted spread. The pigs used the pigeons to pass on to as many other animals as possible what happened at Animal Farm and “Beasts of England.” Conversely, the humans spread as much negative information about the happenings at Animal Farm as possible, starting with not believing that it would last more than a couple of weeks and then going on to say that the animals there were constantly fighting and starving. Reports of torture and cannibalism followed. These communication strategy tactics are similar to how governments in the past and today use propaganda to influence others.

Boxer’s emotional response to believing that he had killed a human completely contrasted Snowball’s callousness. However, given that the pigs are in power, it should be clear which direction the farm would be heading in the future, and having compassion for others was not it.

After being mentioned with Snowball as one of the two animals sending out the pigeons to spread the message of Animal Farm at the beginning of this chapter, Napoleon’s name is not mentioned again, signifying that his role in the battle paled in comparison to the roles that Snowball and Boxer had.


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Animal Farm Chapter 4 Questions and Answers

Which animals did Napoleon and Snowball send to tell the story of Animal Farm and teach, “Beasts of England”?

The pigeons.

What are the names of the owners of the farms that are adjacent to Animal Farm?

Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington.

Did the owners of the farms adjacent to Animal Farm get along?


What did the humans say about Animal Farm in the weeks and months that followed the animals kicking out Mr. Jones and his men?

They said that animal control of it would be over in a couple of weeks, the animals were constantly fighting each other, they were starving, they tortured each other, and they practiced cannibalism.

What punishment did the humans on the other farms give any of their animals who were caught singing, “Beasts of England”?

A flogging.

Did the punishment that animals singing, “Beasts of England,” receive stop the song from spreading across the country?


When the men went to take Animal Farm back, how many guns did they bring?

One. It was carried by Mr. Jones.

What month did this battle take place?


How did Snowball learn so much about military strategy?

He had studied a book about the military strategies that Julius Caesar had used.

Who were the first animals to attack the humans during this battle?

The pigeons.

One animal died during the battle. Which type was she?

A sheep.

Who else was hit by that same bullet and was hurt by it?


What happened to Mr. Jones’ gun?

When Snowball flung himself against Mr. Jones’ legs, it flew out of his hands and ended up being left there when the humans ran out of the farm in defeat.

Why was Boxer so sorrowful when the battle ended?

He thought he had killed a boy.

Which animal was initially missing and feared dead?


What was the name of the military decoration that Snowball and Boxer were awarded after the battle?

Animal Hero, First Class.

What was the name of the military decoration that the sheep who sacrificed her life received?

Animal Hero, Second Class.

What did the animals decide to call the battle?

The Battle of the Cowshed.

What will Mr. Jones’ gun be used for?

It will be fired on Oct. 12, the Battle of the Cowshed anniversary, and on Midsummer Day, when the Rebellion took place.

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