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Mr. Frederick in Animal Farm: Character, Allegory & Analysis

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Animal Farm' is an allegory for the Russian Revolution with each of the characters playing a prominent historical figure of that time. Mr. Frederick, the neighbor, is a symbol of the notorious Adolf Hitler.

Making Peace with the Neighbors

Have you ever had a neighbor that you could not get along with? Animal Farm has two neighbors: Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington. They are very different from one another and the animals are unsure about which one to trust. In this lesson, we will learn more about Mr. Frederick in Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Hitler uses film to spread anti-semitic propaganda.
Hitler

Propaganda

Mr. Frederick is the owner and operator of Pinchfield Farm. He is known as 'a tough, shrewd man, perpetually involved in lawsuits and with a name for driving hard bargains.' Mr. Frederick does not get along well with his neighbors, but since both he and Mr. Pilkington feel threatened by the animal's Rebellion on Animal Farm, they each spread similar propaganda about the animals on the farm.

At first, they tell people that the animals are starving, but when that doesn't happen, they say 'that the animals there practiced cannibalism, tortured one another with red-hot horseshoes, and had their females in common. This was what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature,…'

However, both farmers seem anxious to do business with Animal Farm. Napoleon, the dictator of the farm, negotiates the sale of some seasoned timber with both neighbors. Mr. Frederick wants it, but is unwilling to give a fair price for it.

Rumors begin circulating that Snowball, a former Animal Farm leader who was exiled by Napoleon, is hiding at one of the two farms, which just serves to complicate matters. More rumors that Mr. Frederick is working with Snowball and that they plan to attack the farm and take control of it make the animals even more suspicious.

Mistreatment of Innocent Animals

As much as the animals fear doing business with any man, their hatred of Mr. Frederick is magnified when the animals hear about the treatment of animals at Pinchfield. The animals are told that Mr. Frederick 'had flogged an old horse to death, he starved his cows, he had killed a dog by throwing it into the furnace, he amused himself in the evenings by making cocks fight with splinters of razor-blade tied to their spurs.'

At times, the animals were so infuriated by the stories that they wanted to attack Foxwood and liberate the animals, but Squealer, the political propaganda instrument for Napoleon, convinces them to wait for Napoleon's timing.

Death to Frederick

Napoleon claims that he will not do business with Frederick and sends out the pigeons to spread the word to animals on other farms 'Death to Frederick.' The animals are surprised when just a couple of days later, Napoleon announces that he has decided to sell the timber to Frederick and changes the message to 'Death to Pilkington.' However, when Napoleon receives the five-pound notes from Frederick, it is discovered they are counterfeit. In his rage, Napoleon declares that Frederick will be boiled alive.

Realizing that an attack is imminent, guards are placed at the entrances. The next morning, Frederick and his men come onto Animal Farm with firearms and destroy the windmill. The animals attack them and drive the men off the farm, but it is a bloody battle with many casualties.

Mr. Frederick Symbolizes Adolf Hitler

Mr. Frederick symbolizes Adolf Hitler, the head of the Nazi regime in Germany. Much of Hitler's power came from spreading propaganda that promoted antisemitism by describing Jews as morally depraved and a threat to Germany in the same way that Mr. Frederick spread rumors about Animal Farm.

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