Animal Farm Chapter 6

Animal Farm Chapter 6 Summary

Animal Farm Chapter 6: The animals continue to work hard on the windmill, putting in 60-hour work weeks through the spring and summer. Boxer is especially helpful as his powerful strength and incredible work ethic are used to the utmost. As the work is getting done, they still enjoy access to enough food.

Napoleon announces that he will start trading with humans in order to procure items that they need but cannot make themselves with Mr. Whymper acting as the intermediary.

The pigs move into the farmhouse and start living and sleeping there.

The rest of the animals seem to remember interacting with humans and living in the farmhouse being things that were not allowed, but they cannot procure proof of that having been the case, and Squealer convinces them otherwise.

Squealer also makes the case that the pigs need comfortable beds so that they can use their powerful brains to the utmost, something that is only being done for the good of the farm.

After the animals start feeling real pride in the work that they had done on the windmill, a storm runs through the area, and their work is destroyed. Napoleon blames the destruction on Snowball.

Animal Farm Chapter 6

The animals work like slaves but don’t mind as knowing that all of their work is going to benefit them and not lazy humans is more than worth the sacrifice.

Much of that work is spent on building the windmill. This includes figuring out a way to break up the stones, deliberations that take weeks, and then doing the work necessary once a solution had been realized. All of the animals use ropes and their strength to pull the large rocks to a higher elevation before dropping them over the edge so that they would shatter into pieces, which they usually did.

Boxer is a tremendous help in getting the windmill built. His strength is compared to that of the rest of the animals put together as he puts one of his slogans, “I will work harder,” into practice without reservation.

But concern is starting to be felt in regards to expected shortages of things that they cannot produce like nails, iron and strings. Napoleon solves that problem by declaring that he would be trading with other farms on behalf of Animal Farm, which results in a vague uneasiness being felt by the rest of the animals. This is partly due to them remembering something about the animals engaging in trade and using money not being allowed but not being able to prove it. Squealer puts their minds at rest when he explains that this is simply their imagination and that nothing had been passed or even discussed. He adds that perhaps the animals had listened to and believed lies that Snowball had circulated.

However, the animals feel a sense of pride seeing their four-leg leader, Napoleon, delivering orders to a two-leg human, Mr. Whymper, when the two meet.

As this is going on, the pigs move into the farmhouse. That uneasiness amongst the rest of the animals resurfaces. In this case, Clover is especially sure that one of the commandments had outlawed any animal doing this. However, when she checks, the fourth one reads, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.” She does not remember those final two words being part of it, but there they are. Squealer points out that there couldn’t have been a ruling against beds. That would’ve been silly. Also, the pigs need to be rested given how important their brainwork is to the farm. Nobody wants Mr. Jones back, right? Of course, by this time, Mr. Jones had given up on reacquiring his farm and relocated elsewhere.

In November, after months of hard work had been put in towards the building of the windmill, a storm tears through the area. The windmill is destroyed. However, Napoleon blames Snowball for the destruction and will give apples to anyone who brings him in dead or alive. This declaration is quickly accepted, and the animals start thinking of ways that they can catch him.

Napoleon then declares that the windmill will be rebuilt through the winter regardless of weather conditions so that Snowball learns that their work cannot be so easily undone.

Analysis

Throughout this chapter, we further see that the animals with the exception of the pigs are selflessly giving of themselves because they feel such pride that humans are not responsible for overseeing them or for mistreating them. However, what they don’t see is that the pigs are starting to treat them in a similar manner.

Early on, Napoleon uses the word, “voluntary,” in an interesting and manipulative way. There is work to be done on Sundays, but this is completely voluntary, and the animals don’t have to do it. However, if they don’t, their rations will be cut in half, so it really isn’t voluntary at all unless they don’t mind going hungry.

Napoleon also utilizes, “sacrifice,” in a manipulative manner. Engaging in trade with humans is a sacrifice that will result in the building of the windmill. Hens giving up their eggs to help Napoleon negotiate is a sacrifice. In an earlier chapter, the pigs sacrificed when they consumed milk and apples.

Boxer is the perfect animal from Napoleon’s perspective with his two slogans, “I will work harder,” and, “Napoleon is always right,” both of which he wholeheartedly follows. His need to narrow thoughts into short slogans for them to make sense to him is also indicative of how the animals allow the pigs to do the thinking for them and how mentally malleable they are.

History continues to be rewritten. “No animal shall sleep in a bed” is altered so that it now reads, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.” According to Squealer, there was no discussion of the animals never engaging in trade, handling money or sleeping in beds. Those thoughts were either the result of active imaginations or Snowball spreading lies.

At the end, Napoleon refuses to accept any responsibility for what had happened to the windmill and immediately blames Snowball despite there being little to no evidence pointing in that direction.

It should also be noted that Snowball is not around to defend himself against these lies that are being said about him. In other words, the rest of the animals are only hearing one side of the story. Napoleon repeatedly spreading lies about Snowball is also reminiscent of the famous saying, “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”

One of the benefits that Napoleon enjoyed with the destruction of the windmill was that it allowed the animals to continue to be focused on a major project and not able to have much opportunity to consider what was happening – the pigs taking control in a manner similar to how Mr. Jones had when he ran the farm – or how they might be able to change those negative circumstances.

 

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Animal Farm Chapter 6 Questions and Answers

What would happen to any animals that did not take part in “voluntary” work on Sundays?

Their rations would be cut in half.

What was the most significant difficulty that the animals experienced while attempting to build the windmill?

The stones were too large and needed to be broken up.

How did the animals break up the stones?

They used ropes, dragged them to the top of the quarry and sent them toppling over the edge. More often than not, this resulted in them being shattered into much more manageable pieces.

Who was the hardest worker when it came to pulling the stones up the hill?

Boxer.

Who warned Boxer to not overstrain himself? What was his reaction to that warning?

Clover. Boxer did not listen, instead continuing to follow one of his slogans, “I will work harder.”

What farm-related job could the animals do more efficiently than humans?

Weeding.

What were some of the items that were needed on the farm but could not be produced there?

Iron, dog biscuits, string, nails and paraffin oil.

What sacrifice were the hens expected to make to help get the windmill built?

Lay and give up their eggs.

Which animal or animals met with Mr. Whymper to exchange in trade?

Napoleon.

According to Squealer, what likely caused the animals to falsely believe that trade was not allowed?

Snowball spreading lies.

What made the animals proud when they saw the interactions between Napoleon and Mr. Whymper?

Seeing a four-leg animal give orders to a two-leg human.

What happened to Mr. Jones in this chapter?

He gave up hope of regaining control of Animal Farm and now lives elsewhere in the county.

How was the farmhouse used differently in this chapter?

The pigs started living in and sleeping there.

Which commandment appeared to have been broken in the farmhouse?

The fourth one: “No animal shall sleep in a bed.” But it now reads, “No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,” and no sheets were being used.

Did the animals finish building the windmill?

No.

Who was the only animal not excited about the progress that they were making on the windmill?

Benjamin.

Why did they have to stop building the windmill in November?

The cement could no longer be mixed because it was too wet.

According to Napoleon, who was responsible for the destruction of the windmill?

Snowball.

What reward would Napoleon give to any animal who brought him in alive? Dead?

A full bushel of apples and a half bushel of apples, respectively.