Discuss if Animal Farm argues that human beings are divided into leaders and followers.

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

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I think that the book does display a clear division between leaders and followers.  However, I think that the book shows very well what how individuals can lose sight of how they create their leaders.  The book displays how individuals can be easily bullied into making their leaders possess vast control over them.  For example, at one of the most intense moments of human cruelty and political expediency, Clover sees it and still cannot bring herself to taking action, instead resting with the knowledge that things might have been worse under human rule.  In this moment, Orwell is showing that individuals choose to give their ascent to leaders.  If the animals in the work had sincerely believed in cohesive action, designed to bring about social and political change, they would have been leaders and not followers.  Individuals give their ascent to power, and one of the themes of the novel is how individuals in the position of political control seek to consolidate their own power so that the dichotomy between leaders and followers is preserved.  When individuals fail to heed the voice inside them that recognizes political reality as wrong, they become followers.  I don't see Orwell as seeing all human beings as representing one end or another.  Yet, he sees human beings as capable of being both.  Their own actions determine what they are.  The animals do this, as well.  The pigs like Napoleon and Squealer choose to be leaders.  Clover, in her moment of agony, choose to be a follower.

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