InĀ Animal Farm, are the questions asked by the animals in their education classes foolish?

1 Answer | Add Yours

belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

When the animals are formulating Old Major's teachings into a philosophy of rebellion, the pigs hold classes for the other animals, who have a hard time understanding the need for revolt and the consequences of acting or not acting. They ask seemingly meaningless questions, such as Mollie's about the availability of sugar and ribbons, and the pigs try to convince them that what they think of as luxuries are actually symbols of oppression:

Others asked such questions as "Why should we care what happens after we are dead?" or "If this Rebellion is to happen anyway, what difference does it make whether we work for it or not?" and the pigs had great difficulty in making them see that this was contrary to the spirit of Animalism.
(Orwell, Animal Farm,

While the pigs viewed these questions as foolish, they serve to prove a larger point in the story. The first is understandable since the animals have no understanding of leaving a better world to their children; they are used to having their children removed and death being routine. The second is more practical; Old Major viewed the rebellion as more organic when human endeavors fail, while the animals end up revolting deliberately. In fact, neither question is foolish, but obvious considering that the animals do not yet have a framework with which to understand these new ideas; the Laws of Animalism are an attempt to create that framework.


We’ve answered 317,653 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question