Notes on Characters from Animal Farm

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Animal Farm Major Characters

Mr. Jones: The farmer. In previous years, while he worked the animals hard, he used to be a capable farmer. Recently, though, he lost money in a lawsuit, became depressed, and started drinking heavily. He no longer gets much done and he spends a lot of time drinking and reading the newspapers in the kitchen.

Old Major: The prize Middle White boar, always called Old Major although at pig shows he was exhibited under the name Willingdon Beauty. At the time of his death he was twelve years old, quite stout and majestic-looking with a wise and benevolent appearance

Boxer: The male cart-horse, is very large and as strong as any two ordinary horses put together. He has a white stripe down his nose, which makes him look slightly stupid, and in fact he isn't highly intelligent, but he is steady, very hard-working and respected by all.

Clover: the female cart-horse, is very kind and motherly. She is stout, never having gotten her figure back after her fourth foal. She is devoted to Boxer.

Benjamin: The donkey is the oldest and worst-tempered animal on the farm. He doesn't seem to care who is in charge of the farm since he says it makes no difference in his life. He is very cynical, he seldom talks and never laughs. He is also very intelligent and insightful. He is devoted to Boxer in his own way, and the two of them usually spend their Sundays together grazing side by side.

Snowball: A boar. Vivacious, creative and quick in speech, but not considered as 'deep' as Napoleon. After he is expelled from the farm, Napoleon and Squealer identify him as the 'enemy' and blame him for everything that goes wrong.

Napoleon: A Berkshire boar (Berkshires are large, black pigs). He is rather fierce-looking. He doesn't talk much, but has a reputation for getting his own way. Later he becomes the Leader of Animal Farm and is hero-worshipped by the other animals.

Squealer: A porker, small and fat with round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements and a shrill voice. He is very persuasive, can convince anyone of anything, and when arguing a difficult point he has an almost hypnotic way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail.

Minor Characters

The Dogs: Become the 'police' for Napoleon. Originally there are three dogs on the farm, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher. When Bluebell and Jessie give birth to nine puppies between them, Napoleon says he will educate the young puppies and secludes them in a loft in which he trains them to be his personal guard. The dogs become his weapon of terror, tearing out the throats of his political opponents.

The Pigs: The cleverest animals on the farm, find it easiest to learn to read and write and understand Animalism, and so they teach the other animals. They do not produce food by their own labor, but say they are the 'brain-workers' and become the leaders of the farm. Of the male pigs, only Snowball and Napoleon are boars (kept for breeding) and the others are porkers (i.e. have been castrated so as to be raised for meat).

Muriel: The white goat. She learns to read even better than the dogs can, and sometimes reads to the others in the evenings from scraps of newspaper which she finds on the rubbish heap.

Mollie: The white mare is very pretty and shallow. She loves sugar and plaiting her mane with ribbons, and she doesn't understand or care about political ideas.

The Cat: She is always looking for the most comfortable place to sleep and disappears whenever there is work or danger around.

Moses: The tame raven. He is Mr. Jones's special pet, is a spy and does no work - the other animals don't like him. He tells the animals about a special place called Sugarcandy Mountain where all animals go when they die. Moses likes beer - Mr. Jones sometimes feeds him on beer-soaked crusts of bread.

Mrs. Jones: The farmer's wife.

Pilkington: An easygoing upper-class farmer who lets his farm run down and get neglected, spending most of his time hunting or fishing.

Frederick: A tough, shrewd farmer. He is money-minded, drives hard bargains and is always taking people to court.

Minimus: A pig with a special talent for composing songs and poems, who becomes the official poet.

Mr. Whymper: The solicitor. He is a sly-looking little man with side whiskers, a solicitor with a very small business, but clever enough to realize before anyone else that Animal Farm will need a broker and the commissions will be worth having.

The Sheep: Probably the stupidest animals on the farm. They become Napoleon's most brainlessly devoted followers.

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