Explain the irony and satire in ch.3 of "Animal Farm."

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lit24 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In Ch.3 Orwell wittily and sardonically mocks at the functioning of the state apparatus of Communist Russia soon after it had captured power by overthrowing the Tsarist regime.

A striking instance of parody is when Snowball condenses the 'Seven Commandments' into the maxim, "FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD." Orwell is not only making fun of the Communists who were adept at coining catchy slogans but more significantly he is also mocking at Christianity. In the Old Testament of the Bible, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments. In the New Testament these Ten Commandments were condensed by the Lord Jesus Christ into two commandments, namely "love God" and "love man." So, Snowball's condensation of the 'Seven Commandments,' corresponds to Jesus' condensation of the "Ten Commandments" of the Old Testament into the two commandments of the New Testament.

Orwell's harshest satire, however is reserved for the manner in which the pigs led by Napoleon, Snowball and Squealer gradually gain control over the gullible animals and transform "Animal Farm" into their personal fiefdom. From the beginning the pigs 'are more equal' than the other animals. Unlike all the other animals they do not do any manual work, they only supervise the work of the others:

"The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership."

The irony of situation is self explanatory, the animals who fought hard and won their freedom from Mr.Jones have now allowed themselves to be exploited and oppressed by the pigs.

All the other animals especially Boxer, work hard to make the 'animal farm,' a great success:

"He [Boxer]had been a hard worker even in Jones's time, but now he seemed more like three horses than one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest on his
mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest."

The reformatory zeal of newly elected governments is made fun of by Orwell when he mocks at Snowball's numerous committees and his failure to tame the wild animals. But Orwell is at his sarcastic best when Squealer explains to the other animals why the pigs are fed on a nutritious diet of milk and apples:

"Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brain workers. The whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, Jones would come back! Surely, comrades," cried Squealer almost pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, "surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?"

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