Before reading chapter 3, we will learn some of the literary terms used in the study of English Literature.
Narrator is the person who tells the story.
FIRST PERSON narrator is the person who tells the story from their own perspective ("I") and they are also a character in the story.
Sometimes the story is told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator. This is a narrator who relates the events of the novel, but is not themselves a character. This third person narrator may know all the events of the novel and have access to the inner thoughts of all the characters.
THIRD PERSON narrator
A story told using the Third Person form. These types of stories use the characters names and the appropriate pronouns for example: ‘Sarah said’ or ‘He walked.’
Third Person (Omniscient)
The narrator is an uninvolved third person (or possibly third creature) who we know nothing about and never see, and who apparently has no feelings one way or another on the whole thing. He weaves in and out of the creatures' heads, cluing us into things like Clover's distress about the executions.
One thing to notice. The narrator spends a lot of time being aggressively neutral with the passive voice. Take this instance: "It was noticed that they were especially liable to break into "Four legs good, two legs bad" at crucial moments in Snowball's speeches" (5.8).
Uh, okay. But who's doing the noticing? The narrator? The animals?
Well, most likely the animals. But the cool thing about this technique is that the narrator gives us the animals' perspective, showing us that they notice things but don't really get it. They can't put it together. It's up to us—the readers and the Westerners—to figure it out.
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Animal Farm Narrator Point of View. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from
Animal Farm (narrator)
News of the rebellion spreads. The animals try to promote the revolutionary ideas of Animal Farm across the countryside.
The farmers of the two neighbouring farms, Mr Frederick and Mr Pilkington, take steps to prevent an animal uprising.
Mr Jones attempts to recapture Animal Farm with the help of men from Pinchfield and Foxwood farms.
Snowball’s brilliant tactics lead the animals to victory in what the animals decide to call the Battle of the Cowshed.
Why is this chapter important?
Orwell reminds us of what the animals are revolting against when he introduces the humans. We also see how fragile the new society is, and vulnerable to attack from outside.
The farmers suppress any signs of rebellion on neighbouring farms. Orwell again reminds us of humans’ oppressive, selfish nature and introduces us to the farm’s violent neighbours.
We are given another reminder of what is achieved when the animals are united: ‘Even the cat’ (p. 26) fights to protect the farm.
Snowball is seen as a brilliant strategist.
Boxer and Snowball both risk their lives to defend the farm and are praised as heroes of the battle. However, we see that – unlike Snowball – Boxer is compassionate, as Orwell emphasises when the carthorse is upset at injuring the stable-lad during the battle.
There are further signs that a hierarchy is developing: Napoleon and Snowball direct events and some animals are favoured.
Animal Farm is commonly read as a political allegory. Orwell draws parallels between events in Russian history and those on Animal Farm: Lenin’s (Napoleon) revolution was threatened by invading forces in the same way as the farm is threatened in this chapter – and it was Trotsky’s (Snowball) strategy that was central to the Bolshevik’s victory.
Like his allegorical counter-part, Trotsky, Snowball is seen as a capable leader. He anticipates the humans’ attack and devises a carefully planned campaign in which the invaders are ambushed.
However, we also notice Snowball’s ruthless dismissal of human suffering: ‘The only good human being is a dead one’ (p. 26).
Now write a paragraph about how Orwell presents the rising inequality of Animal Farm.
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