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Animal Farm

Animal Farm

by George Orwell

Violence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

He was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his heels. Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he was up again, running faster than ever, then the dogs were gaining on him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball's tail, but Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge and was seen no more. (5.14)

Apparently pigs can run fast? Who knew. Anyway, this is the first instance of animal-on-animal violence—but it's just about the last animal-on-pig violence we see, since pigs quickly make themselves bulletproof with their escort of attack dogs. Hey, if you can't beat them… hire some dogs to do it for you.

Quote #5

To the amazement of everybody, three of them [the dogs] flung themselves upon Boxer. Boxer saw them coming and put out his great hoof, caught a dog in mid-air, and pinned him to the ground. The dog shrieked for mercy and the other two fled with their tails between their legs. Boxer looked at Napoleon to know whether he should crush the dog to death or let it go. Napoleon appeared to change countenance, and sharply ordered Boxer to let the dog go, whereat Boxer lifted his hoof, and the dog slunk away, bruised and howling. (7.24)

After the dogs get a taste for blood during the first of the show trials, they turn on Boxer—but Boxer quickly puts a stop to that. So why doesn't he put a stop to Napoleon, too? Why does he let all this violence happen?

Quote #6

When they had finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had anything to confess. (7.25)

Yikes. You would have thought Orwell would spend a little longer with this, but instead he just tosses it out there: "the dogs promptly tore their throats out." It's as though he wants us to experience this violence as shocking—and shockingly matter-of-fact.

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