In Animal Farm, how is life under farmer Jones like life under Napoleon?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Life is under Napoleon starts off with great promise, but in the end, it is not much different. One horrible leader has replaced another. If we compare two scenes, we can clearly see that nothing has changed. 

In the beginning, Old Major gives a cogent speech of the evils of humans and Mr. Jones. Men take and never produce. The fate of the animals is death. The woes continue. Here is a quote:

‘And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the lucky ones. I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred children. Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the cruel knife in the end. You young porkers who are sitting in front of me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a year. To that horror we all must come — cows, pigs, hens, sheep, everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate. You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the nearest pond.

When Napoleon gains power, he uses the animals as much as Mr. Jones. In fact, everything that Old Major said in his speech about Mr. Jones, Napoleon has employed perfectly. It is as if Old Major was writing a blueprint for Napoleon. As an example, when Boxer wore out his muscles and served the rebellion and Animal Farm, he was discarded. Boxer is sold to the Knackers to be turned into glue! Here is what the animals saw:

‘Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied.’ Do you not understand what that means? They are taking Boxer to the knacker’s!’ A cry of horror burst from all the animals. 

The irony of this, of course, is that the animals continue to labor for Napoleon. 

The strongest argument that nothing has changed is that the pigs turn into humans. They are Mr. Jones.