Animal Farm: Plot Summary

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Animal Farm Chapter 1: Summary

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 ''Animal Farm''
  • 0:37 Battle of the Cowshed
  • 1:14 Snowball vs. Napoleon
  • 1:51 Animals vs. Animals
  • 2:49 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kaitlin Oglesby

Kaitlin has a BA in political science and extensive experience working in the business world as Director of Marketing and Business Development at a financial advice firm.

This lesson details the plot summary of George Orwell's dystopian novel, 'Animal Farm.' See how Orwell used farm animals as allegories to describe what happened in the early years of the Soviet Union, then test yourself with a quiz!

Animal Farm

'Oh those poor animals on Mr. Jones's Manor Farm. They work all day and don't get any respect. In fact, it's like they exist solely to strive for him.'

That's how George Orwell's Animal Farm begins; a work that, through the extensive use of allegory, compares a small farm to the last years of Imperial Russia and the first years of the Soviet Union. One of the oldest pigs on the farm, Old Major, calls the animals together. In order to improve their lives, he convinces them to get rid of the farmer, Mr. Jones.

Battle of the Cowshed

Old Major dies, leaving two other pigs in charge, Snowball and Napoleon. United in their common cause, they work to drive Mr. Jones off his land. The farmer flees his property, while the animals celebrate their success. However, Mr. Jones refuses to accept defeat and eventually returns with more humans.

The pigs convince the rest of the animals that the humans have joined Mr. Jones out of fear. If they can't take back Manor Farm, other animals on other farms may revolt against their owners. Snowball leads a masterful charge at the Battle of the Cowshed, and the animals emerge victorious.

Snowball vs. Napoleon

For a while, the animals enjoy a bit of a utopia, not unlike the early days of Soviet progress. They all work together towards common goals, as outlined in their Seven Commandments, which state that all animals are equal. Snowball even goes as far to teach the animals to read and write. However, Napoleon is jealous of his colleague's success and begins to train the dogs to be loyal only to him.

When Snowball wants to build a windmill to increase productivity, the dogs attack and drive him out. Napoleon then claims that the windmill was his idea all along and that Snowball was an enemy to the animal cause.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account