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Discuss how the animals in the book act towards each other and speak to one another as...

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kevinjohnson | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 26, 2013 at 8:08 PM via web

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Discuss how the animals in the book act towards each other and speak to one another as important.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2013 at 1:41 AM (Answer #2)

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I reworded the question because the original form did not make sense to me.  I tried to maintain what I perceived to be its intent and if I did not, I apologize.

I think that clearly demonstrates that the way in which the animals speak to one another and act towards one another is important.  For Orwell, this is a reflection of both personal expression and political reality.  For example, Old Major stands on a podium and speaks to the animals in an authoritative and yet almost aloof stature.  This is reflective of Animalism being a theory and Old Major simply wishing to articulate it.  In the early stages, Napoleon does not really speak to any of the animals with endearment and sense of camaraderie. His actions towards the other animals are driven by power and control, such as when he takes the puppies for his secret police and in his elimination of "Comrade" at the end of the novel.  His desire to remain separate from the animals in his own quarters and with his banning of weekly meetings also reflects such distance.  Using Squealer as his primary force of deception, Napoleon's speech and actions regarding the other animals represents distance, a desire for control, and a view of the animals as objects as opposed to subjects.

In contrast, Snowball networks with the other animals, speaking to them in direct terms and in speech that is directly impacting their being.  Snowball speaks with the presence of the Revolution in his interactions with the other animals, seeking to make committees, and ensure that as many animals as possible have a voice of understanding in the political system.  Clover speaks to the other animals with a sense of maternal guidance, such as how she tries to bring Mollie back and the confusion she experiences after seeing Napoleon kill so many animals in the public executions.  Boxer seeks only to help and not to harm "not even a human life."  Both Boxer and Clover represent how there can be a sense of goodness and decency even when it is noticeably absent in social settings.  The goodness that these characters display might be a reason why they lack power in the final analysis.  Orwell might be saying that modern political structures are predicated upon those in the position of power who are fairly cruel in how they interact with others, justifying the need for public vigilance in securing their removal from power.

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mickidee | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 26, 2013 at 9:32 PM (Answer #1)

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The important thing to realize is that the animals begin to treat each other like the humans did. There is a hierarchy among the animals once they gained power. Some treated the other as inferior. The book really is showing how power currupts. It is a metaphor for the Russian revolution that led to communism in the 1900's. Look for instances where the pigs talk and treat the other animals badly.

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