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Why don't the pigs like the pet raven Moses?

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millielovell | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM via web

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Why don't the pigs like the pet raven Moses?

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William Delaney | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM (Answer #1)

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The pigs who take over leadership at Animal Farm are intended to represent the higher-ups in the Soviet Communist Party. They dislike Moses because he is intended to represent the orthodox religious leaders who supported the old czarist regime and in return were supported by that regime. Moses is always preaching about a big Sugarcandy Mountain where animals went when they died. "In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and linseed cake grew on the hedges." Communists consider religion "the opium of the people." Their ideology is materialistic and antithetical to the teaching that people, or animals, will be rewarded in the afterlife if they meekly tolerate wretched working and living conditions while they are alive. Communists preach improving the standard of living  for everybody in the here and now through hard work and cooperation. The Soviets tried to stamp out orthodox religion but were not successful, and the Russian Orthodox Church has become an accepted institution since the Soviets were forced to abandon hard-line communism due to the fact that it was causing economic chaos. Orwell may have chosen a raven to represent orthodox religion because priests traditionally wear black.

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 17, 2012 at 5:59 PM (Answer #2)

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Moses the Raven isn't liked by any of the farm animals. Simply put, he's a tricky, malicious and sneaky raven, who cannot be trusted.

In my belief, the reason why Orwell depicted Moses the Raven like such is because of connotations. A connotation is a word with multiple meanings that we, as readers apply. For example, 'home'. By the dictionary, a home is a place where one lives. But it's so much more! When we think of 'home', we think of security, warmth, freedom and so on. Connotations can be negative, positive or neutral. The word 'home' is a positive connotation, as the extra meanings are happy, blithe ones. However, the word 'raven' is a negative connotation, as the words we associate with 'raven' are often negative.

When we think of ravens, we think of large black birds who are often cruel. Some depict them as night creatures, and usually animals associated with the night aren't nice! Unlike dogs, sheep and cattle who are supposedly 'nice' creatures, ravens aren't, and Orwell has to live to that expectation for his readers!

So the answer to your question is that none of the animals really like Moses, because ravens are depicted as cruel, mean birds who aren't meant to be liked.

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amne | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 18, 2012 at 12:02 AM (Answer #3)

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Moses made the pigs lives very difficult. He kept making lies up about a country called SugarCandy Mountain where all animals go when they die so the pigs had a job of counteracting the lies he made.

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