"Animal Farm," Vocabulary from Ch's 9-10

A fable about the establishment of government and how easily power corrupts, George Orwell's "Animal Farm" features warring factions of farm animals and a struggle for power.

As you read the 1945 allegorical novella, learn these word lists: Ch's 1-2, Ch's 3-4, Ch's 5-6, Ch's 7-8, and Ch's 9-10.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. poultice
    a medical dressing spread on a cloth and applied to the skin
    Clover treated the hoof with poultices of herbs which she prepared by chewing them, and both she and Benjamin urged Boxer to work less
  2. pension
    regular payment to allow a person to subsist without working
    Liberal old-age pensions had been agreed upon.
  3. superannuated
    too old to be useful
    Now that the small field beyond the orchard had been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that a corner of the large pasture was to be fenced off and turned into a grazing-ground for superannuated animals.
  4. readjustment
    the act of correcting again
    For the time being, certainly, it had been found necessary to make a readjustment of rations (Squealer always spoke of it as a “ readjustment,” never as a “reduction”), but in comparison with the days of Jones, the improvement was enormous.
  5. piebald
    having sections or patches colored differently and brightly
    The young pigs were piebald, and as Napoleon was the only boar on the farm, it was possible to guess at their parentage.
  6. tureen
    large deep serving dish with a cover
    And the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a ration of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself, which was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen.
  7. spontaneous
    said or done without having been planned in advance
    Napoleon had commanded that once a week there should be held something called a Spontaneous Demonstration, the object of which was to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of Animal Farm.
    Note the irony of a planned Spontaneous Demonstration
  8. caption
    brief description accompanying an illustration
    Boxer and Clover always carried between them a green banner marked with the hoof and the horn and the caption, “Long live Comrade Napoleon!”
  9. complicity
    guilt as a confederate in a crime or offense
    On the same day it was given out that fresh documents had been discovered which revealed further details about Snowball’s complicity with Jones.
  10. accumulate
    get or gather together
    He did not care what happened so long as a good store of stone was accumulated before he went on pension.
  11. medicine
    something that treats or prevents symptoms of disease
    The pigs had sent out a large bottle of pink medicine which they had found in the medicine chest in the bathroom, and Clover administered it to Boxer twice a day after meals.
  12. banquet
    a ceremonial dinner party for many people
    And in a few days’ time the pigs intended to hold a memorial banquet in Boxer’s honour.
  13. uproarious
    marked by boisterous merriment or convulsive laughter
    That night there was the sound of uproarious singing, which was followed by what sounded like a violent quarrel and ended at about eleven o’clock with a tremendous crash of glass.
  14. beak
    horny projecting mouth of a bird
    “Up there, comrades,” he would say solemnly, pointing to the sky with his large beak—“up there, just on the other side of that dark cloud that you can see—there it lies, Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country where we poor animals shall rest for ever from our labours!”
  15. desperation
    a state in which all hope is lost or absent
    In desperation the animals began appealing to the two horses which drew the van to stop.
  16. inebriate
    a chronic drinker
    Jones too was dead—he had died in an inebriates’ home in another part of the country.
  17. morose
    showing a brooding ill humor
    Only old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
  18. taciturn
    habitually reserved and uncommunicative
    Only old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s death, more morose and taciturn than ever.
  19. install
    set up for use
    The animals were hard at work building yet another windmill; when that one was finished, so it was said, the dynamos would be installed.
  20. insoluble
    admitting of no solution or explanation
    There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now.
  21. sapling
    young tree
    One day in early summer Squealer ordered the sheep to follow him, and led them out to a piece of waste ground at the other end of the farm, which had become overgrown with birch saplings.
  22. terrify
    frighten greatly
    It was just after the sheep had returned, on a pleasant evening when the animals had finished work and were making their way back to the farm buildings, that the terrified neighing of a horse sounded from the yard.
  23. stroll
    walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
    A little awkwardly, as though not quite used to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but with perfect balance, he was strolling across the yard.
  24. subsist
    support oneself
    He would end his remarks, he said, by emphasising once again the friendly feelings that subsisted, and ought to subsist, between Animal Farm and its neighbours.
  25. witticism
    a message whose ingenuity has the power to evoke laughter
    Here it became apparent that Mr. Pilkington was about to spring some carefully prepared witticism on the company, but for a moment he was too overcome by amusement to be able to utter it.
  26. subversive
    in opposition to an established system or government
    For a long time there had been rumours—circulated, he had reason to think, by some malignant enemy—that there was something subversive and even revolutionary in the outlook of himself and his colleagues.
  27. suppressed
    manifesting or subjected to forceful prevention
    Hitherto the animals on the farm had had a rather foolish custom of addressing one another as “Comrade.” This was to be suppressed.
  28. dregs
    sediment that has settled at the bottom of a liquid
    There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs.
  29. unalterable
    not capable of being changed
    Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse—hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.
  30. incumbent
    necessary as a duty or responsibility; morally binding
    But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent upon him to say.

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