In chapter 10, how do the animals feel about their social order and their farm?

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The chapter relates the situation on the farm some years after the Rebellion. Only a few of the animals that had participated in the overthrow of the farm were still alive, and no one remembered anything about the time before the expulsion of Jones and his men. All of the newcomers, either born on the farm or procured from elsewhere, had very little knowledge of the Rebellion, and everything they heard about it contained vague details. All they knew was that theirs was the only farm in England run by animals. This made them extremely proud, and they felt honored to be part of such a system.

Since the new arrivals knew very little about why the revolution actually took place and the older inhabitants could not remember much, the status quo on the farm was easily accepted. The social order had become a way of life and was accepted as normal since there was no awareness of abuse or exploitation. It was seen as customary, therefore, for the pigs to be in charge and for them to have the best privileges. The other animals did not question the fact that they worked very hard, slept on hay, and were hungry most of the time; it was simply regarded as the nature of things.

Squealer and Napoleon obviously knew that the animals had no knowledge of the past and decided to exploit their lack of knowledge. The pair replaced all of the commandments with a single maxim:


The sheep were taught to recite, "Four legs good, two legs better!" to replace the original phrase ("Four legs good, two legs bad"). The purpose of these two dramatic changes was to support the fact that the pigs had taken to walking on their hind legs. When Napoleon made his grand entrance, looking haughtily from side to side and walking upright, the animals were aghast to see him carrying a whip in his trotter. All the pigs then took to wearing Mr. Jones's and his wife's clothes. Napoleon wore "a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather leggings, while his favorite sow appeared in the watered silk dress which Mrs. Jones had been used to wearing on Sundays."

Even at that point, there was no protest. There was also no explanation by Squealer. The pigs had taken it for granted that the animals would accept the new order, and they were right. The other farm animals had become completely docile and acquiescent; they accepted what had been done without question. In the end, they could not distinguish who was man and who pig. Everything had come full circle. This time, though, the animals had found in Napoleon and the other pigs much harsher taskmasters than Mr. Jones and his men could ever be.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is still quite a large number of animals that are feeling as though things will finally get better and their hope of the "Republic of the Animals" is still alive.  But their lives are getting more and more difficult, they are often hungry and cold and they see the lives of the pigs getting better and better.

But there has been a more successful effort at indoctrination and the younger animals simply accept everything without question.  And this in turn leads to fewer and fewer protests though the animals do still grumble and notice the absurd way the pigs have become like humans.