With reference to George Orwell’s ‘The Animal Farm’, answer the following questions:
(i) What decisions were made regarding the retiring age of the animals at the beginning when the laws of Animal Farm were being formulated?
(ii) What ‘improvements’ in their lifestyle compared to the days of Jones did Squealer point out to the animals when a reduction in their rations was announced to the animals during the next winter on Animal Farm?
(iii) What stories did Moses the raven tell the farm animals?
What effect did these stories have on the animals?
What does this tell us about their living conditions?
(i) • Horses and pigs to retire at 12 years, dogs at 9 years, sheep at 7, hens and geese at 5 years.
• Liberal old age pensions were agreed upon
• A corner of the field was to be fenced off and reserved as grazing ground for superannuated animals.
• Pension was fixed as Horses – 5 pounds of corn a day / in winter 15 pounds of hay with a carrot or an apple on public holidays.
(ii) • The animals now had more oats, hay and turnips than in Jones’ day.
• They worked shorter hours
• Their drinking water was of better quality.
• They lived longer
• A larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy.
• Had more straw in their stalls
• Suffered less from fleas.
• They had been slaves under Jones and now they were free.
(iii) • Talked about Sugar Candy Mountain
• Sugar Candy Mountain (on the other side of the dark cloud) was a happy country where poor animals could rest forever form their labours.
• Moses said he had visited the mountain and seen the everlasting fields of clover and linseed cake and lump sugar
• Many animals believed in his stories – their present lives were full of labour, hunger andmisery – they were happy to believe in a better after world.
• Pigs were contemptuous of Moses and his stories – called them lies.
• Yet they allowed him to stay on the farm – Without working – with a daily allowance of beer.
• Clearly the animals were suffering untold hardships – lack of food, proper rest.
• They needed Moses’ stories to sustain them through the misery of their daily lives.