In Chapter 1 of Animal Farm, what are the different ways in which the animals behave as they come into the barn? What does this tell us about them?

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The processional entrance of the animals hints at the hiearchy which is to follow. The dogs first march in, escorting the pigs following close behind:

At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung from a beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather stout, but he was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tuskes had never been cut. Before long the other animals began to arrive and make themselves comfortable after their different fashions. First came the three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pitcher, and then the pigs who settled down in the straw immediately in front of the platform. The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud. The two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, came in together, walking very slowly and setting down their vast hairy hoofs with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the straw....

The sheep and cows have secondary roles and the chickens and pigeons take their place among the rafters. When Clover the mare settles down next to her mate Boxer, she protects a brood a ducklings from her heavy hoof. Mollie the pony comes in fashionably late, evidently wanting to be noticed. The cat saunters in late too, looking for the most comfortable niche she can find. Moses the raven is not mentioned at all.

The scene with its pastoral charm portrays the farm animals united under duress, and a certain harmony and cohesion of the group is already evident. Old Major distinguishes himself as the leader, but it is also mentioned that Napoleon, an impressive pig simply because of his massive statue, is the only Berkshire boar on the farm. (Therefore, he is not of the offspring of Old Major but 'something else'!) Moreover, the authoritative roles of the pigs and dogs is also present and forebodes trouble to come.