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In Animal Farm, what is the significance of the gun's placement at the foot of the...

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natashas11 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM via web

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In Animal Farm, what is the significance of the gun's placement at the foot of the flagpole symbolize?

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

Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:12 AM (Answer #1)

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For the animals, the flagpole represents several elements.  On one hand, it is the meeting place on every Sunday where the animals not only discuss the upcoming assignments for the week ahead, but to reflect and pay homage to the revolution and to their freedom. The flagpole and the flag that flies over it is testament to what the animals did in successfully running Jones off of the farm and being the first of its kind:  A farm run by animals, for animals, and catering to the interests of animals.  The flagpole is the physical representation of the animals efforts and their symbolic accomplishment.   The gun at the bottom of the flagpole is also symbolic.  It is a reminder that the revolution could not have been accomplished without bloodshed and violence.  On one hand, it is a reminder to the animals of how far they have come and how much physical and emotional struggle was needed to get what they wanted.  Yet, it is also significant because it shows that violence is something that is a part of the DNA of Animal Farm, so that when Napoleon assembles his "comrades" in Chapter 7 at the same location for forced confessions, the resulting violence and savagery is something that becomes freshly placed in the mind of the animals.  It is here where the gun at the base of the flagpole is highly significant and meaningful.

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