The majority of the characters in this novel are animals, and the number of persons (that is, human beings) is very small. The characters may therefore be considered under two heads: "Persons" and "Animals".
(A) PERSONS, OR HUMAN BEINGS
(1) Mr. Jones
Mr. Jones is the owner of Manor Farm in the English countryside near the town of Willingdon. He owns a large number of animals who perform the various tasks connected with the running of his agricultural farm. He is a rather irresponsible kind of man who drinks heavily and does not pay sufficient attention to the well-being of his animals. He lives in his farmhouse with his wife, maintaining a number of men to supervise the working of the farm. (In allegorical terms, Mr. Jones represents Capitalism).
(2) Mr. Pilkington
He is the owner of a neighbouring farm which is known as Foxwood Farm. In the beginning he, like the other human beings owning farms, becomes hostile to Manor Farm which is renamed Animal Farm after Mr. Jones has been driven away by the animals, but subsequently becomes friendly towards Animal Farm. (In allegorical terms, he represents Churchill who was the Prime Minister of England at the time this book was written).
(3) Mr. Frederick
He is the owner of Pinchfield Farm. At first he comes to some sort of understanding with the leader ruling Animal Farm, but he afterwards invades Animal Farm and, during the invasion, his men blow up the windmill which the animals had built with their year-long labour. (Allegorically, he represents Hitler who, after having signed a No-War Pact with Stalin, had invaded Russia and worked a great havoc during the invasion, before being defeated by the Russians).
(4) Mr. Whymper
He is a solicitor who is engaged by Napoleon of Animal Farm as an intermediary between himself and the human beings in connection with the trading and commercial activities of Animal Farm. He does not have much of a role in the story of the novel.
Major is the name of an old boar belonging to, and working under, Mr. Jones. It is he who summons a secret meeting of all the animals of Mr. Jones's farm and incites them to a rebellion against Mr. Jones on the ground that Mr. Jones has been exploiting the labour of the animals without even giving them adequate food to eat. Three days after having delivered his speech to the animals, he dies. But his exhortation to the animals has influenced them so deeply that very soon they rebel against their master Mr. Jones and drive him away from the farm. (Major symbolizes Karl Marx who is regarded as the founder of Communism and whose ideas led to the Russian Revolution of 1917).
Napoleon is the name of one of the leading pigs on Animal Farm. The pigs are the cleverest and the most intelligent of all the animals, and Napoleon is among the two or three most dynamic of the pigs. He soon emerges as one of the leaders of the animals and, after driving away his rival Snowball from the farm, becomes the sole ruler of Animal Farm, gradually acquiring absolute powers and becoming a dictator. (In allegorical terms, Napoleon represents Stalin).
He is another pig who comes into prominence by virtue of his superior intelligence and inventiveness. He differs with Napoleon on almost every issue, thereby becoming his rival so far as power and authority are concerned. However, he is driven away from Animal Farm by the fierce dogs who had privately been reared and trained by Napoleon. (In allegorical terms, Snowball represents Trotsky, the Russian leader who was expelled from Russia by Stalin).
He is the third pig who comes into prominence at Animal Farm. His function is to defend the policies of the administration and to convince the animals that whatever is being done by the leaders, and especially by Napoleon, is right. (Squealer symbolizes the propaganda machinery which every dictator employs to justify his actions and policies. Or, perhaps, Squealer symbolizes the servile Russian press which invariably supports all governmental actions and policies and which, in the days of Stalin, supported him and his deeds with the utmost readiness and diligence).
He is a cart-horse who, after the expulsion of Mr. Jones from the farm, becomes a devoted follower of Napoleon. He is a very hard-working animal and possesses extraordinary strength. He adopts two mottoes: "I will work harder" and "Napoleon is always right." He meets a tragic death when Napoleon, forgetting all Boxer's loyalty and hard work, sells him to a slaughter-house. (Boxer symbolizes the hard-working Russian proletariat under Stalin).
Clover, like Boxer, is a cart-horse. But Clover is a female of the species. She has already given birth to four foals when the story opens. She is very friendly with Boxer. She perceives with deep regret Napoleon's deviations from the Seven Commandments which had been formulated immediately after the expulsion of Mr. Jones from the farm.
Muriel is the name of a white goat on Animal Farm.
He is a cynical donkey who hardly ever laughs because he finds nothing to laugh at. He remains unchanged throughout the story. However, he understands everything that is going on at the farm, though he never gives expression to his ideas and feelings.
She is a white mare on the farm. She is a vain animal, fond of wearing red ribbons in her mane. Soon after the rebellion against Mr. Jones, she defects from Animal Farm and goes to serve human beings.
(10) Jessie and Bluebell
They are the two bitches on Animal Farm. When they give birth to a number of puppies, Napoleon takes the puppies away and brings them up privately to suit his own purposes.
Pincher is the name of a dog on Animal Farm.
Moses is the name of a tame raven who lived at the farm as long as Mr. Jones was there but who leaves when Mr. Jones is driven away from the farm. He had been a tale-bearer and a spy serving Mr. Jones who fed him well in return. He used to keep talking about a paradise called Sugarcandy Mountain to which all the animals would, according to him, go after their deaths. After several years of absence, Moses returns to Animal Farm and again begins to talk to the animals about Sugarcandy Mountain. (In allegorical terms, Moses represents the Roman Catholic Church).
Note. In addition to the above-named animals, there are a large number of pigs, sheep, pigeons, dogs, some cows, a large brood of ducklings, and a cat living on the farm. The sheep symbolize blind followers or yes-men. The pigeons are the secret agents who spread Communist propaganda in non-Communist countries. The dogs are the secret police who use threats and force against the supposed opponents of the Communist regime in
(1) Manor Farm
Manor Farm is the name of an agricultural-and-poultry farm owned by Mr. Jones. All the events of the story take place at Manor Farm—in the barn, in the farmhouse, in the farm buildings, in the fields, in the pasture, etc. The whole drama is enacted on this farm which, after the expulsion of Mr. Jones, is given the name of "Animal Farm" but which is again called "Manor Farm" when Napoleon has established his undisputed dictatorship over the Manor Farm symbolizes
(2) Foxwood Farm
This farm is situated in the neighbourhood of Animal Farm and is owned by a man called Mr. Pilkington. Foxwood Farm is not the scene of any of the happenings in the story and we are never taken to this farm. (In allegorical terms, Foxwood Farm seems to represent
, and its owner Mr. Pilkington then represents Churchill). Britain
(3) Pinchfield Farm
This is another farm situated in the neighbourhood of Animal Farm. None of the incidents of the story takes place there. This farm is owned by a man called Mr. Frederick. (Mr. Frederick represents Hitler, and Pinchfield Farm represents Germany under Hitler. The name “Pinchfield" is significant because "to pinch" means “to steal”; and Hitler was a usurper who annexed several countries of Europe).