"Animal Farm" by George Orwell, Chapters 7-8

What would happen if the Russian Revolution of 1917 took place on a small English farm? This provocative novella blends fable, satire, and allegory while grappling with some of the twentieth-century's most consequential political ideas.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1-2, Chapters 3-4, Chapters 5-6, Chapters 7-8, Chapters 9-10

Here are links to our lists for other works by George Orwell: 1984, Politics and the English Language, Shooting an Elephant

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. ration
    a fixed portion that is allotted
    The corn ration was drastically reduced, and it was announced that an extra potato ration would be issued to make up for it.
  2. embolden
    give encouragement to
    Emboldened by the collapse of the windmill, the human beings were inventing fresh lies about Animal Farm.
  3. thwart
    hinder or prevent, as an effort, plan, or desire
    Led by three young Black Minorca pullets, the hens made a determined effort to thwart Napoleon's wishes.
  4. decree
    issue an authoritative order
    He ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen should be punished by death.
  5. capitulate
    surrender under agreed conditions
    For five days the hens held out, then they capitulated and went back to their nesting boxes.
  6. duly
    at the proper time
    Whymper heard nothing of this affair, and the eggs were duly delivered, a grocer's van driving up to the farm once a week to take them away.
  7. pervade
    spread or diffuse through
    It seemed to them as though Snowball were some kind of invisible influence, pervading the air about them and menacing them with all kinds of dangers.
  8. categorical
    not modified or restricted by reservations
    "Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon," announced Squealer, speaking very slowly and firmly, "has stated categoricallycategorically, comrade — that Snowball was Jones's agent from the very beginning — yes, and from long before the Rebellion was ever thought of."
  9. frisk
    play boisterously
    When they were all gathered together, Napoleon emerged from the farmhouse, wearing both his medals...with his nine huge dogs frisking round him and uttering growls that sent shivers down all the animals' spines.
  10. countenance
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    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.
  11. secrete
    place out of sight; keep secret
    Then a goose came forward and confessed to having secreted six ears of corn during the last year's harvest and eaten them in the night.
  12. gild
    decorate with, or as if with, gold leaf or liquid gold
    The grass and the bursting hedges were gilded by the level rays of the sun.
  13. retinue
    the group following and attending to some important person
    When he did appear, he was attended not only by his retinue of dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front of him and acted as a kind of trumpeter, letting out a loud "cock-a-doodle-doo" before Napoleon spoke.
  14. skulk
    lie in wait or behave in a sneaky and secretive manner
    Snowball was known to be still skulking on Pinchfield Farm.
  15. machination
    a crafty and involved plot to achieve your ends
    In the late summer yet another of Snowball’s machinations was laid bare.
  16. gander
    mature male goose
    A gander who had been privy to the plot had confessed his guilt to Squealer and immediately committed suicide by swallowing deadly nightshade berries.
  17. privy
    informed about something secret or not generally known
    A gander who had been privy to the plot had confessed his guilt to Squealer and immediately committed suicide by swallowing deadly nightshade berries.
  18. censure
    rebuke formally
    So far from being decorated, he had been censured for showing cowardice in the battle.
  19. beatific
    resembling or befitting an angel or saint
    Smiling beatifically, and wearing both his decorations, Napoleon reposed on a bed of straw on the platform, with the money at his side, neatly piled on a china dish from the farmhouse kitchen.
  20. sentinel
    a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event
    Sentinels were placed at all the approaches to the farm.
  21. conciliatory
    intended to placate
    In addition, four pigeons were sent to Foxwood with a conciliatory message, which it was hoped might re-establish good relations with Pilkington.
  22. wistful
    showing pensive sadness
    Wistful glances were sent in the direction of Foxwood.
  23. impart
    transmit, as knowledge or a skill
    He called the animals together and told them that he had a terrible piece of news to impart.
  24. lamentation
    a cry of sorrow and grief
    A cry of lamentation went up. Straw was laid down outside the doors of the farmhouse, and the animals walked on tiptoe.
  25. contrive
    make or work out a plan for; devise
    A rumour went round that Snowball had after all contrived to introduce poison into Napoleon's food.

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