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Study Guide : Animal Farm: Characters

Major Characters


The primary antagonist of the novel; a pig who is one of Old Major’s disciples, along with Snowball. At first, Napoleon and Snowball work together to develop the ideology of Animalism and spread… (read full character analysis)


At first, a friend and companion of Napoleon’s. Together, Snowball and Napoleon develop the theory of Animalism from the ideas of Old Major’s speech, and later they distill these ideas down into the… (read full character analysis)


A huge, gentle carthorse. Boxer isn’t especially intelligent—he only learns the first four letters of the alphabet—but Old Major’s speech and the equality expressed in the Seven Commandments appeals to his generous nature. Because… (read full character analysis)


A jaded donkey with the skeptical view that life will always be difficult and painful. Because of this outlook, Benjamin isn’t surprised when the pigs corrupt the revolution and transform Animal Farm into a totalitarian… (read full character analysis)


A fat pig who’s a skilled orator. Squealer works closely with Snowball and Napoleon at first—and later, just Napoleon—to interpret or distill what the pigs’ plan is for the other animals. Squealer is purportedly able… (read full character analysis)

Old Major

A revered old boar who, at the beginning of the novel, gathers the animals together to speak to them about what’s wrong with their world. He proposes that humanity is their one true enemy, as… (read full character analysis)


A gentle, motherly, and powerful carthorse. She supports the revolution, as she naturally takes it upon herself to protect those weaker than she is, and she recognizes this kind of communal spirit echoed in the… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Jones

The original owner of Manor Farm. Once a strict and fierce master, in the years before the story begins, Mr. Jones became drunk, careless, and ineffective, as well as casually cruel and arrogant. Mr. Jones’s… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Pilkington

The gentleman farmer who owns Foxwood, one of Animal Farm’s neighbors. Foxwood is large, sprawling, and old-fashioned, and Mr. Pilkington himself spends more time hunting and on leisure activities than he does farming. Though Napoleon… (read full character analysis)

Mr. Frederick

The owner of the neighboring farm of Pinchfield. He’s vicious, cruel, and calculating, and rumors circulate that he’s especially horrible to his farm animals. After suffering abuse from Napoleon, Mr. Frederick ultimately purchases timber… (read full character analysis)

The Cat

A greedy and self-serving farm cat. She’s only interested in participating in the rebellion when there’s no cost or danger to do so, and she’s only willing to support Animalism when it might help her—though… (read full character analysis)


A vain, white horse who, prior to the rebellion, pulls Mr. Jones’s cart. She loves sugar and wearing pretty ribbons in her mane, and she never cares much for the revolution—supporting it would mean… (read full character analysis)

The Sheep

Some of the least intelligent animals on Animal Farm. They never become fully literate and can’t remember the Seven Commandments, but Snowball teaches them the maxim “Four legs good, two legs bad,” which they love… (read full character analysis)

The Hens

Unintelligent laying hens on Animal Farm. They’re initially fully behind the rebellion and the ideals of Animal Farm but become somewhat disillusioned—and terrified—when Napoleon insists that they must surrender their eggs. The hens’ rebellion is… (read full character analysis)

The Dogs

Jessie, Bluebell, Pincher, and the nine attack dogs provide the pigs with the brute force necessary to terrorize the other animals. In return, the dogs receive special privileges and often sit close to the pigs… (read full character analysis)


A white goat; one of the few animals who becomes fully literate. While Muriel doesn’t correspond to any one person, she can be seen as a representation of educated individuals who are able to interpret… (read full character analysis)


Character Map

Minor Characters

Minor Characters
A tame raven and Mr. Jones’s special pet. The animals dislike him because he doesn’t work, but many of them do believe his stories about Sugarcandy Mountain, a wonderful place where animals go when they die. Moses represents organized religion, and specifically the Russian Orthodox Church.
Mr. Whymper
The solicitor whom Napoleon hires to represent Animal Farm to the outside world. He’s shrewd and calculating, and by the end of the novel, has done well for himself. Mr. Whymper represents the capitalists who got rich doing business with the USSR.
A pig who writes propaganda poems and songs praising Napoleon and Animal Farm. Minimus represents the takeover of art by propaganda in a totalitarian state that aims to control what its citizens think.
Mrs. Jones
Mr. Jones’s wife.

Animal Farm - Visual Representation of Characters

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