La novela empieza cundo el señor Jones, propietario y capataz de la granja Manor, llega a casa y tropieza borracho a la cama después de olvidarse de asegurar correctamente los pabellones de la granja. Tan pronto como la luz de la habitación se apaga, todos los animales de la granja, excepto Moisés, cuervo amaestrado del señor Jones, quien se encargará de convocar en el graneroprincipal para escuchar un discurso del Viejo Mayor, un jabalí de premios y pilar de la comunidad animal. Sintiendo que su larga vida está a punto de llegar a su fin, el comandante desea transmitir al resto de los animales de la granja, una destilación de la sabiduría que ha adquirido durante su vida.
As the animals listen raptly, Old Major delivers up the fruits of his years of quiet contemplation inhis stall. The plain truth, he says, is that the lives of his fellow animals are “miserable, laborious, and short.” Animals are born into the world as slaves, worked incessantly from the time they can walk, fed only enough to keep breath in their bodies, and then slaughtered mercilessly when they are no longer useful. He notes that the land upon which the animals live possesses enough resourcesto support many times the present population in luxury; there is no natural reason for the animals’ poverty and misery. Major blames the animals’ suffering solely on their human oppressors. Mr. Jones and his ilk have been exploiting animals for ages, Major says, taking all of the products of their labor—eggs, milk, dung, foals—for themselves and producing nothing of value to offer the animals inreturn.
Old Major relates a dream that he had the previous night, of a world in which animals live without the tyranny of men: they are free, happy, well fed, and treated with dignity. He urges the animals to do everything they can to make this dream a reality and exhorts them to overthrow the humans who purport to own them. The animals can succeed in their rebellion only if they first achieve acomplete solidarity or “perfect comradeship” of all of the animals against the humans, and if they resist the false notion spread by humans that animals and humans share common interests. A brief conversation arises in which the animals debate the status of rats as comrades. Major then provides a precept that will allow the animals to determine who their comrades are: creatures that walk on twolegs are enemies; those with four legs or with wings are allies. He reminds his audience that the ways of man are completely corrupt: once the humans have been defeated, the animals must never adopt any of their habits; they must not live in a house, sleep in a bed, wear clothes, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, touch money, engage in trade, or tyrannize another animal. He teaches the animals a songcalled “Beasts of England,” which paints a dramatic picture of the utopian, or ideal, animal community of Major’s dream. The animals sing several inspired choruses of “Beasts of England” with one voice—until Mr. Jones, thinking that the commotion bespeaks the entry of a fox into the yard, fires a shot into the side of the barn. The animals go to sleep, and the Manor Farm again sinks into quietude.Chapitre 2
El oponente de cerdo más problemático resulta ser Moisés, el cuervo, que vuela sobre la difusión de cuentos de un lugar llamado Monte Caramelo, donde los animales cuando mueren, un lugar de gran placer y la abundancia, donde el azúcar crece en los setos. A pesar de que muchos de los animales desprecian el Moisés locuaz y ociosa, sin embargo encontrar un gran atractivo en la...