In Chapter Six of Animal Farm, when and why do the animals begin to feel a vague uneasiness? What does this symbolize? Give two examples of how things are changing?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Two, the "vague uneasiness" occurs after Napoleon declares that the farm will trade with humans. The animals are dumbfounded by this declaration: 

Never to have any dealings with human beings, never to engage in trade...had these not been among the earliest resolutions passed at that first triumphant meeting after Jones was expelled? 

This episode symbolizes the transformation of the pigs, particularly Napoleon, into tyrannical leaders. As we see in the text, Napoleon silences any hint of protest by flexing his muscle, through the medium of his canine bodyguards. By eliminating free speech and contravening the Seven Commandments (by doing business with humans), the pigs demonstrate their selfish and oppressive nature. They do not care about the welfare or opinion of the other animals, their only interests are in making money and establishing themselves to the outside world.

We see further examples of this idea later in the chapter when Squealer tells the animals that trade with humans was never prohibited. Some animals accept this but those who do not are challenged to prove it in writing. Knowing that the vast majority of the animals are illiterate, they are unable to prove any such resolution and have little choice but to drop the matter.

In addition, when the pigs move into the farmhouse, many of the animals express discontent:

Again the animals seemed to remember that a resolution against this had been passed in the early days.

While the animals are correct in their belief, Squealer tells them that the pigs need a quiet place to work in because they are the "brains of the farm." Clover and Muriel are not satisfied with Squealer's justification and go themselves to read the commandments. To their horror, they find that the relevant commandment has been amended to say that "no animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets." Once again, the pigs use a combination of intelligence and propaganda to control the other animals and to further their own selfish interests. 

 

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Animal Farm

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