Intoxication figures prominently in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In the very first sentence we learn that ‘Mr Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes’. 1 It is this drink-induced negligence that allows the animals to gather in the barn to hear Old Major give his prophetic diatribe against humanity. Old Major concludes his rousing speech by warning the assembled animals

that in fighting against Man, we must not come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not adopt his vices. No animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or engage in trade. All the habits of Man are evil. 2

Sometime later it was because Jones, descending into alcoholism,...

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