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What "commandment" does Old Major give to the animals in Animal Farm?  

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glittergirlz | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 5, 2008 at 9:47 PM via web

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What "commandment" does Old Major give to the animals in Animal Farm?

 

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everod | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 4, 2009 at 10:58 AM (Answer #1)

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THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.

2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.

3. No animal shall wear clothes.

4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.

5. No animal shall drink alcohol.

6. No animal shall kill any other animal.

7. All animals are equal.

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 6, 2008 at 2:51 AM (Answer #2)

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During his speech to the animals, Old Major says,“All men are enemies.
All animals are comrades.” This is the beginning of the philosophy of Animalism. Later, Snowball and Napoleon will turn this principle into eight "commandments" of Animalism. Ironically, all eight commandment will be broken and changed during the course of the novel.

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 14, 2015 at 1:02 AM (Answer #4)

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This is a good question. I think you might be mistaken in your question. I think you are referring to the commandments, which the first answerer has given to you. However, these commandments come later. The best we can do is say that Old Major planted the seed of the commandments. 

Old Major did not give any commandments before he died. However, he did set the stage by making some points about the nature of their poor lot in life. 

Old Major gathers the animals and clears his voice and says:

"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short."

He continues:

"Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals."

The conclusion for Old Major is rebellion. The animal must do something now. He says:

Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished for ever.

So, although Old Major did not give an explicit commandment, he is the catalyst of what is to follow. 

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