Mr. Jones owns Manor Farm near Willingdon, England. The old boar, the Major gathers at night in a large barn of all the animals that live here. He says that they live in slavery and poverty, because man appropriates the fruits of their labor, and calls for an uprising: one must be freed from man, and animals will immediately become free and rich. Major sings the old song “Beasts of England”. Animals amicably pick up. Preparations for the uprising are taken on by pigs, which are considered to be the most intelligent animals. Among them stand out Napoleon, Snowball and Vizgun. They transform the teaching of Major into a harmonious philosophical system called Animalism and set out its foundations for the rest on secret gatherings. The most loyal disciples are the box horses Boxer and Clover. The rebellion occurs earlier than one would expect, since Jones is drinking, and his workers completely abandoned the farm and stopped feeding the
cattle. The patience of the animals comes to an end, they attack their tormentors and drive them away. Now the farm, the Manor barnyard belongs to animals. They destroy everything that reminds them of the master, and his house is left as a museum, but none of them should ever live there. The estate is given a new name: “Animal Farm”.
The principles of Pig’s Animalism are reduced to the Seven Commandments and written on the wall of the barn. From now on they are obliged to live on the “Animal Farm” animals:
1. All bipeds are enemies.
2. All four-legged or with wings are friends.
3. Animals should not wear clothes.
4. Animals should not sleep in bed.
5. Animals should not consume alcohol.
6. Animals should not kill other animals for no reason.
7. All animals are equal.
For those who can not remember all the Commandments, Snowball cuts them down to one: “Four legs are good, two legs are bad”.
Animals are happy, although they work from dawn to dusk. The boxer works for three. His motto: “I will work harder.”
On Sundays, general meetings are held; resolutions are always put forward by pigs, the rest is only voted. Then everyone sings the anthem “Beasts of England”. Pigs do not work, they lead others.
Jones and his workers attack the “Animal Farm”, but the animals are fearlessly defended, and people are panicking in retreat. Victory drives animals into raptures. They call the battle Battle of the Cowshed, establish the Order of the “Hero-Hero” of the first and second degree and award the distinguished in battle Snezhka and Boxer.
Snowball and Napoleon are constantly arguing at meetings, especially about the construction of a windmill. The idea belongs to Snezhka, who himself performs measurements, calculations and drawings: he wants to connect a generator to the windmill and supply the farm with electricity. Napoleon objected from the outset. And when Snowball convinces the animals to vote at a meeting in his favor, at the signal of Napoleon, nine huge ferocious dogs burst into the barn and attack Sniezka. He hardly fled, and no one ever sees him again. Napoleon cancels any meetings. All questions will now be decided by a special committee of pigs headed by himself; they will sit separately, and then announce their decisions. The threatening growl of dogs drowns out objections. The Boxer expresses the general opinion with the words: “If Comrade Napoleon says this, then it is correct.” Henceforth his second motto is:
Napoleon announces that the wind turbine must still be built. It turns out that Napoleon always insisted on this construction, and Snowball just kidnapped and appropriated all of his calculations and drawings. Napoleon had to pretend that he was against, because there was no other way to get rid of Snezhka, “who was a dangerous person and had a bad influence at all.” The explosion, which was heard one night, destroys a half-built windmill. Napoleon says that this is Snezhk’s revenge for his shameful expulsion, accusing him of a variety of crimes and pronouncing him a death sentence. He calls for the immediate start of the restoration of the windmill.
Soon Napoleon, gathering in the yard of animals, appears accompanied by dogs. He forces the pigs who once objected to him, and then several sheep, chickens and geese to confess to a secret connection with Snezk. Dogs immediately bite their throats. Shocked animals mournfully begin to sing “Beasts of England”, but Napoleon forbids the performance of the anthem forever. In addition, it turns out that the sixth Commandment reads: “Animals should not kill other animals without a reason.” Now it is clear to all that traitors who themselves admitted their guilt, it was necessary to execute.
Mr. Frederick, living next door with fifteen armed workers, attacks the “Animal Farm”, they wound and kill many animals and blow up a newly built windmill. Animals reflect the attack, but they are bloodless and exhausted. But, listening to the solemn speech of Napoleon, they believe that they won the greatest victory in the Battle of the Windmill.
The Boxer dies from overwork. Over the years, there are less and less of those animals who remember life on the farm before the Rebellion. The “farmyard” is gradually becoming richer, but everyone, except pigs and dogs, is still starving, sleeping on straw, drinking from the pond, working day and night in the field, suffering from cold in the winter, and in the summer from the heat. With the help of reports and summaries, Vizgun invariably proves that every day life on the farm is getting better. Animals are proud that they are not like everyone else: after all, they own the only farm in the whole of England where all are equal, free and work for their own good.
Meanwhile, the pigs are moving to Jones’s house and sleeping in bed. Napoleon lives in a separate room and eats from the ceremonial service. Pigs begin to trade with people. They drink whiskey and beer, which they themselves cook. They demand that all other animals give way to them. Having broken the next commandment, the pigs, using the credulity of animals, rewrite it as it is profitable, and on the wall of the barn the only commandment remains: “All animals are equal, but some animals are equal to others”. In the end, the pigs put on Jones’s clothes and start walking on their hind legs, under the approving bleating of the sheep that Vizgun has been drilled: “Four legs are good, two legs are better.”
On a visit to the pigs people come from neighboring farms. Animals peek through the window of the living room. At the table guests and hosts play cards, drink beer and pronounce almost identical toasts for friendship and normal business relationships. Napoleon shows documents confirming that from now on the farm is a joint property of pigs and is again called “Manor Farm”. Then a quarrel flares up, everyone screams and fights, and it is no longer possible to make out where the man is, and where the pig is.