Curriculum Vital

The Education Umbrella Guide to Animal Farm 
Chapter five summary and analysis

This page is part of the Education Umbrella Guide to Animal Farm. Free to download or store in our Education Cloud, the guide contains a summary and analysis of every chapter, as well as character profiles, clasroom activities and an introduction to George Orwell's life and work. 

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Mollie works less and less and eventually runs away. She is rumoured to be in a nearby farm, where she wears ribbons and is fed sugar. The other animals never speak of her again.

It is decided that the pigs will rule on all questions of farm policy, but that their decisions will be put to a vote. Napoleon and Snowball continue to have bitter disputes, most notably about the windmill.

Snowball designs plans for a windmill, arguing that, although it will be costly, it will in the long-term be of great benefit. Napoleon is firmly against it. Just as the animals look set to vote in favour, Napoleon suddenly 

unleashes his nine dogs on Snowball. Snowball escapes just in time and is chased off the farm. The animals realise that the dogs are those that Napoleon adopted as puppies and reared in secret. Now huge and aggressive, they obey Napoleon in the same way as the other dogs used to obey Mr Jones.

Napoleon assumes total control of the farm and announces that the morning Meetings will end. When some of the pigs try to protest, the dogs growl angrily, and the pigs keep quiet. Squealer tells the animals that Snowball was a criminal whose role in the Battle of the Cowshed is exaggerated. Boxer is at first skeptical, but eventually believes Squealer. He even adopts a second motto, 'Napoleon is always right.'

Several weeks later Squealer announces that the windmill is to be built. When the animals express confusion, Squealer convinces them that it had been Napoleon's idea all along.

Analysis of key passages and events

The plight and flight of the bourgeoisie – Mollie disappears

Three days later, Mollie disappeared. For some weeks nothing was known of her whereabouts, then the pigeons reported that they had seen her on the other side of Willingdon. She was between the shafts of a smart dogcart painted red and black, which was standing outside a public-house. A fat red-faced man in check breeches and gaiters, who looked like a publican, was stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar. Her coat was newly clipped and she wore a scarlet ribbon round her forelock. She appeared to be enjoying herself, so the pigeons said. None of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again.

As we have learnt, sugar-loving, ribbon-wearing, narcissistic and dim-witted Mollie represents 

the bourgeoisie. Her refusal to embrace Animalism and eventual fleeing to a neighbouring farm represent the decline of the Russian bourgeoisie and their exodus from Russia following the Revolution of 1917. As Robert Service writes in his History of Modern Russia:

[The] fundamental changes in politics and economics demoralised the middle and upper social classes... Many went into hiding; others were so desperate that they hurriedly emigrated. They took boats across the Black Sea, trains to Finland and hay carts into Poland. Panic was setting in. About three million people fled the country in the first years after the October Revolution. Their exodus caused no regret among the Bolsheviks.

Read the full summary and analysis of this and every chapter, as well as character profiles, classroom activities and more, by downloading our free guide.

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Further reading

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Clash of the Titans: Antony Beevor's The Second World War and Max Hastings' All Hell Let Loose: The World at War, 1939-1945

Book review: Red Shadow, by Paul Dowswell

Book review: The Penguin History of Modern Russia, by Robert Service

Book review: Maggot Moon, by Sally Gardner

Think on these things: A comparison of Christopher Hitchens' 'God Is Not Great' and Peter Hitchens' 'The Rage Against God'

Lesson plan: 'Less Nonsense', by Sir Alan Herbert – 'In 1940, when we bore the brunt, / We could have done, boys, with a Second Front.'

Lesson plan: 'The Morning After' by Tony Harrison – 'The Rising Sun was blackened on those flames.'

Lesson plan: 'September 3rd 1939: Bournemouth' by Anthony Thwaite – 'My summer ends and term begins next week.'