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In chapter one of Animal Farm, Old Major expresses his vision of a society free of...

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dae-2016 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM via web

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In chapter one of Animal Farm, Old Major expresses his vision of a society free of human influence and control. Compare and contrast this against what eventually plays out on Manor Farm once the animals have taken over. What, if any, concepts or goals remain the same?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The society that replaces that of Manor Farm (soon to be known as Animal Farm) begins by attempting to live by the precepts spelled out by Old Major and worked out into a philosophy known as Animalism by Snowball. But these principles quickly become corrupted, and it becomes clear to the reader, if not the animals, that even though they are free from human control, being ruled by the pigs is not much better. At first the animals do experience freedom and equality after the revolution, but things rapidly change.

Napoleon becomes a frightening, violent dictator, and the pigs reserve many privileges for themselves, justifying them by the alleged threat of takeover by the humans, who are supposedly in league with Snowball. The pigs even begin walking on two legs, and develop a new slogan to be bleated ad nauseum by the sheep: "FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER!" By the end of the book, the animals cannot tell any difference between the pigs and the humans. Old Major's dream has become a nightmare. 

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