Assess the significance of the shift to "Comrade Napoleon" from "Beasts of England."

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In a way, the shift in songs reflects how conditions on the farm have changed.  "Beasts of England" clearly established that humans were the enemy.  Old Major's song was infectious because it enabled the animals to unify in their collective resentment and empowerment over the human beings.  In Old Major's song, all creatures are equal and there is no specific advancement of one set of animals over the other.  This is not the cast in "Comrade Napoleon," which clearly assigns importance to the pigs, in particular Napoleon, over the other animals.  Whereas Old Major's "Beasts of England" valued all animals equally, "Comrade Napoleon" establishes a hierarchy where Napoleon, and by extension all of the pigs, are able to assert their own control and authority over the other animals.  In this, a power system within the animals is established, something that Old Major's song lacked.  In this shift, it becomes clear that the central focus of the farm is not Animalism, but rather Napoleon's manipulation of it for his own benefit.  The idea behind "Comrade Napoleon" and the shift that results helps bring to light how different the reality of Animalism as envisioned by the pigs is from the notion that Old Major advocated at the start of the narrative, symbolized by "Beasts of England."

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