Why is it applicable that Orwell lets Clover be the first animal to see a pig walking on its hind legs?

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

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It makes sense for Clover to be the first animal to see a pig walking on its hind legs because she represents one of the final links between the revolution's formation and what it has become today.  Clover has been an example of "living history" in that she is one of the few animals left who has seen the growth of the farm from when it was under Jones' time to how it is under the pigs' rule.  She should be the one to see the pigs physically manifest into the humans.  It represents how the revolution has come full circle.  At different points in the narrative, Clover has wondered openly about the nature of the revolution and whether or not it has betrayed its original goals.  Certainly with seeing the pigs walk on their hind legs, Clover has been able to appropriate the idea that the revolution has in fact changed little.  Orwell recognizes the full irony that Clover, one who openly fought for and supported the revolution from the start, is one of the first to actually see it betrayed so openly.  In enabling Clover to see the pigs walk on its hind legs, Orwell is able to construct a sad irony through Clover's eyes and thus relaying that to the reader about the nature of political leadership and change.


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