Animal Farm Chapter 9

Animal Farm Chapter 9 Summary

Animal Farm Chapter 9: Boxer continues to work on the windmill as best as he can with his split hoof despite Clover and Benjamin trying to convince him to take it easy.

Food supplies appear to be cut, but Squealer continues to say that they actually have more food now than in Mr. Jones’ time.

Napoleon starts teaching 41 piglets that have recently been born.

Spontaneous Demonstrations are held on a weekly basis, not really being spontaneous at all. They include songs, speeches and processions and help remind the animals of all that they are accomplishing.

Napoleon becomes the first President after Animal Farm is declared a Republic. He had no opponents.

Moses returns after a long time away and talks about Sugarcandy Mountain like he had never left.

Boxer finally succumbs to all of his hard work, and his lung is damaged. Squealer announces that he will be worked on at a hospital. However, the van that takes him away says, “Horse Slaughterer,” on the side, causing panic amongst the animals, and Boxer attempts to escape but is unable to.

Squealer reveals that Boxer died in the hospital and that the van used to belong to a horse slaughterer but no longer does, and the new owner hasn’t had a chance to repaint it. A sense of relief is felt amongst the animals.

A case of whisky arrives, to be enjoyed by the pigs. No one knows where the money came from to pay for it.

Animal Farm Chapter 9

Boxer’s split hoof does not heal easily, but he continues to work on the windmill, refusing to reveal how much pain he’s feeling other than to Clover after the day’s work has been completed. She treats it as best as she can, and she and Benjamin try to convince him to take it easy, but he refuses. He wants to ensure that the windmill’s construction is well under way before he retires, which is expected to occur in a year’s time.

Food rations for all animals besides the pigs and dogs are further cut. However, Squealer describes this as a “readjustment,” not a “reduction,” and says that they aren’t actually short of food despite how it may appear. In fact, they have more food now than when Mr. Jones was around. He adds that equality of rations between the animals does not coincide with Animalism’s principles.

Forty-one piglets join the farm, and a schoolroom will be built for them. In the meantime, Napoleon teaches them in the kitchen. Around this time, it’s announced that all non-pig animals must stand aside to allow a pig to pass whenever they meet on the path.

Soon thereafter, in the midst of tough times financially, beer is brewed for the first time, and all pigs will now receive a pint of it every day with Napoleon receiving half a gallon on a daily basis.

Around this time, Spontaneous Demonstrations start to be held on a weekly basis, providing the animals with dignified celebrations that include processions, speeches and songs. The animals enjoy the reminder that all of the work that they are doing is for their own benefit and not to benefit humans. The celebrations also serve to help them forget that they are hungry.

In April, Napoleon is elected as Animal Farm’s first President. He ran unopposed.

On the same day, it’s revealed that Snowball had not attempted to lose the Battle of the Cowshed while appearing to fight with the animals. Instead, he had actually been the humans’ leader. In addition, Napoleon had caused the wounds on Snowball’s back by biting him.

Moses reappears and once again talks about Sugarcandy Mountain. Although the pigs outwardly say that they don’t agree with this vision, they allow him to remain and even provide him with beer.

Boxer continues to work hard, but, on one summer evening, something happens to his lung, and he collapses, unable to get up. He’s happy with the work that he had done to that point, knows that the rest of the animals can finish the windmill without him and looks forward to his retirement.

The pigs are informed, and Squealer arrives with a sympathetic and concerned look on his face. He states that Boxer will be sent to a hospital to be worked on by humans. The rest of the animals are uneasy about this plan, Boxer leaving the farm, but Squealer puts them at ease, saying that the veterinary surgeon can treat him better there than would be possible on the farm.

A few days later, he’s put in a van that says, “Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler,” on the side of it, known after Benjamin reads it and passes on the information. Boxer attempts to escape but is unable.

Three days after Boxer is taken away, Squealer announces that he died at that hospital. He adds that the van used to belong to a horse slaughterer but was purchased by the surgeon who hasn’t had time to repaint it. The animals are relieved when they hear that piece of news.

Before long, the pigs receive a case of whisky. It’s unknown where the money came from to purchase it.

Analysis

The novella up to this point has really shown how Animal Farm has gradually gone from views of a utopian future to the present situation, a process that has made a mockery of the commandments as they were originally written. In particular, the last commandment, “No animals are equal,” appears to not even remotely be true anymore. An example of this occurred in this chapter when it was decreed that all non-pig animals must stand to the side when coming across a pig on the path.

Squealer’s use of the word, “readjustment,” instead of, “reduction,” when talking about how the food rations are changing is similar to how politicians today and throughout history have used different words to create more neutral images in the recipients’ minds than the negative images that would result otherwise. For example, talking of increasing funding for government programs sounds better than increasing taxes even though both phrases essentially mean the same thing.

It should be noted that Napoleon doesn’t even bother to go see Boxer after he is injured. Then again, why would he? It’s clear that he doesn’t really care about him.

Boxer’s naivety in believing that the pigs have the farm’s best interests at heart combined with his impressive work ethic and loyalty all contribute to his downfall.

By the end of this chapter, it becomes even more clear that the pigs value the animals more for their material worth and do not really have any care for them as living beings. This is no different than how Mr. Jones saw the animals, and this is reminiscent of how some governments get everything that they can out of their workers but leave them with nothing once they are of no use to the state.

The pigs don’t chase Moses off of the farm when he returns, talking about Sugarcandy Mountain. This is probably because, in the past, he undermined the rebellion that the pigs were trying to organize, but now the pigs are trying to quell any talks of a rebellion since they are now the ones in power, and Moses can help with that.

 

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Previous: Animal Farm Chapter 8   Next: Animal Farm Chapter 10

 

Animal Farm Chapter 9 Questions and Answers

Who attempted to talk Boxer into taking it easy as he recovered from his split hoof?

Clover and Benjamin.

Did Boxer take it easy after it was suggested to him?

No.

How old is Boxer, and when is the expected retiring age for horses?

Eleven and 12, respectively.

Which animals did not experience food-ration cuts when the rest of them did?

The pigs and the dogs.

Instead of a “reduction,” what word did Squealer use to describe how the food rations had changed.

“Readjustment.”

How many piglets were born to the four sows?

Forty-one.

Who started teaching the piglets in the kitchen?

Napoleon.

What now must be done when a non-pig animal comes across a pig on the path?

The other animal must step to the side.

How much beer is each pig other than Napoleon being rationed now? How much does Napoleon receive?

A pint and half a gallon, respectively.

What was the name of the weekly celebration of Animal Farm’s triumphs and struggles called?

Spontaneous Demonstration.

Were these celebrations spontaneous?

No.

Did the animals enjoy the Spontaneous Demonstrations? Why?

Yes. They appreciated the reminder that they were in charge of the farm and that what they did was for the benefit of animals not humans. They also allowed them to forget how hungry there were.

Why was there an election for President?

Animal Farm was declared a Republic.

Who ran for President?

Napoleon.

Who won the election?

Napoleon. He was elected unanimously after running unopposed.

What revelation was revealed about Snowball’s role in the Battle of the Cowshed?

He had actually led the humans, yelling, “Long live Humanity!” as he did so.

Which animal suddenly and unexpectedly returned to Animal Farm.

Moses.

Which body part did Boxer hurt as he was dragging a load of stone?

His lung.

Which pig came to Boxer’s side after he was hurt?

Squealer.

According to Squealer, how would Boxer be taken care of?

He would be taken to a hospital to be treated by humans.

How many more years did Boxer expect to live if he made a good recovery from what had happened to him?

Three.

Which mental goal did Boxer want to achieve during his retirement?

Learn the final 22 letters of the alphabet.

Why were Benjamin and Clover not by Boxer’s side when he was taken away?

It was during the day, and they were working.

Who understood what the words on the side of the van said?

Benjamin.

What did the words on the van’s side say?

“Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied.”

According to Squealer, what were Boxer’s final four words?

“Napoleon is always right.”

According to Squealer, why should the animals not worry about what the van said?

It was under new ownership, and the new owners hadn’t had a chance to repaint it yet.

Did the animals believe Squealer’s explanation for the words on the van?

Yes. In fact, they were “enormously relieved.”

What did the pigs receive at the end of the chapter?

A case of whisky.

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