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Describe Old Major's speech in "Animal Farm." What significance does it have?

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sammy1234567 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM via web

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Describe Old Major's speech in "Animal Farm." What significance does it have?

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sboeman | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted May 15, 2011 at 10:46 AM (Answer #1)

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Old Major was a well-respected boar on Animal Farm. He recently had a dream and felt the need to share this "vision" with the other animals on the farm, a vision of the animals overthrowing their human oppressors and running the farm themselves.

He began to describe to the animal assembly that man is their enemy and no animal is free until they rid themselves of him: "Man is the only enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever" (29).

He continue his disapproval of man and rallies the animals to begin planning for a rebellion-maybe not anytime soon, but he stressed the need for it sometime in the future. He teaches them the rally song "Beasts of England" during the meeting, which gets the animals all excited, awakening Mr. Jones, the farmer.

It can be argued that Old Major represents Karl Marx, and that his speech motivated the animals to take action and rebel against their oppressors.

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