In chapter one of Animal Farm, Old Major expresses his vision of a society free of human influence and control. Compare and contrast this against what eventually plays out on Manor Farm once the...

In chapter one of Animal Farm, Old Major expresses his vision of a society free of human influence and control. Compare and contrast this against what eventually plays out on Manor Farm once the animals have taken over. What, if any, concepts or goals remain the same?

Asked on by dae-2016

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rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The society that replaces that of Manor Farm (soon to be known as Animal Farm) begins by attempting to live by the precepts spelled out by Old Major and worked out into a philosophy known as Animalism by Snowball. But these principles quickly become corrupted, and it becomes clear to the reader, if not the animals, that even though they are free from human control, being ruled by the pigs is not much better. At first the animals do experience freedom and equality after the revolution, but things rapidly change.

Napoleon becomes a frightening, violent dictator, and the pigs reserve many privileges for themselves, justifying them by the alleged threat of takeover by the humans, who are supposedly in league with Snowball. The pigs even begin walking on two legs, and develop a new slogan to be bleated ad nauseum by the sheep: "FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BETTER!" By the end of the book, the animals cannot tell any difference between the pigs and the humans. Old Major's dream has become a nightmare. 

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gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Old Major's dream of a free, egalitarian farm ruled by animals void of human influence soon becomes realized after the animals on Manor Farm revolt against Mr. Jones. Snowball and Napoleon also work tirelessly to develop the tenets of Animalism from old Major's philosophy, which includes maxims against drinking alcohol, harming other animals, and interacting with humans. Initially the animals live peacefully until the pigs begin taking advantage of their influential positions on the farm. The distribution of power shifts and the pigs begin enjoying special privileges. Eventually Napoleon usurps power by driving Snowball off the farm and begins ruling the animals like a ruthless tyrant. Throughout Napoleon's reign, the pigs break and change each tenet of Animalism as Napoleon's power becomes increasingly oppressive. By the end of the story the animals living on the farm suffer more under Napoleon's rule than they did under Mr. Jones's until they can no longer tell the difference between pigs and humans.

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