In addition to the pigs, which other animal does not actually seem to complete any substantial physical labor in Animal Farm and why?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The cat does not contribute anything to the farm.  He is generally depicted as lazy, milking off the other animals and finding ways to get out of work whenever he can.  The cat represents the “fat cats” who do not pull their own weight in a communist society and take advantage of others.

At the beginning, the cat comes to Old Major’s speech but does not listen. He looks for the warmest place and lays there and “purred contentedly… without listening to a word of what he was saying” (ch 1).  The cat also does not really participate in the democratic process in other ways.  When they vote, the cat votes on both sides.  She also tries to take advantage of joining the “re-education committee” in order to get closer to the sparrows.

The cat’s behavior is also “peculiar” because the animals soon realize that “when there was work to be done the cat could never be found.” (ch 3)

She would vanish for hours on end, and then reappear at meal-times, or in the evening after work was over, as though nothing had happened. (ch 3)

The cat always makes “excellent excuses” and purrs, so no one finds fault because “it was impossible not to believe in her good intentions” (ch 3).  In this way, the cat represents those who take without contributing.  She uses policies and only makes a contribution in a way that directly benefits her.  When the cat does make a contribution, the other animals are usually surprised.


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