Describe Old Major's speech in Animal Farm. What significance does it have?

Old Major's speech describes the terrible conditions the animals suffer under their human masters and enlightens them to their tragic circumstances. He also identifies man as their primary enemy and elaborates on the wicked deeds of humans. Old Major then offers the animals a solution by instructing them to rebel against their masters. He ends the speech by singing Beast of England, which is a revolutionary song promoting animal independence. His speech influences the animals to rebel against Mr. Jones.

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Old Major's speech represents the original teachings that inspire the ideology of Animalism. His speech is an indictment of the human agricultural system that oppresses and brutalizes animals for the gain of humans alone. As he states, life as a farm animal is nothing but misery and exploitation.

However, at the same time, Old Major states that reality does not have to be this way and that the basic agricultural conditions of England would suffice to support all the animals that live on the farm and more. It is not necessity that drives this exploitation but rather human greed alone. In this, Old Major's speech carries with it a revolutionary and utopian dynamic: if the animals were to rebel and humanity were to be removed, then the animals would at last be able to thrive, free of exploitation. Thus, Old Major insists that the animals work towards overthrowing humanity, while taking all pains not to become like their oppressors. All animals are equal, he says, and they must avoid adopting the habits of humankind. He ends his speech by commenting on his dream of a world free of humans, and singing the song Beasts of England for the other animals to hear.

This speech is important, both in the degree to which it represents the original statement of the revolutionary and utopian ideals from which Animalism is sprung, but also in establishing the sheer depths to which the pigs will later sink over the course of the book (particularly once Napoleon takes over) as they take humanity's place as the oppressors of the farm.

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In the opening chapter of the novella, Old Major gives a moving, passionate speech which influences the animals to examine their tragic plight and motivates them to rebel against Mr. Jones. Old Major begins his memorable speech by expressing his obligation to share his wisdom before he passes away and enlighten the animals about the nature of their miserable lives. He states that all animals experience arduous lives before they are eventually slaughtered by humans.

Old Major makes it clear that no animal in England is free and the "life of an animal is misery and slavery." He then poses a hypothetical question regarding whether or not their terrible lives are simply the order of nature before asserting that Man is the sole reason for their suffering. According to old Major, "Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever."

Old Major goes on to give numerous examples of the way humans cheat, manipulate, and torture animals for their own benefit while the animals suffer. After describing the wicked deeds of humans, Old Major offers a solution to dramatically improve their lives by rebelling against their masters. He challenges the animals to imagine a life without humans or suffering before giving them several valuable tenets to follow.

After Old Major warns the animals not to resemble humans or behave like them, he recalls his magnificent dream. Old Major describes his dream about living in a world free of humans, which reminds him of a song that was "sung by the animals of long ago." He proceeds to sing Beast of England, and the animals join in.

Old Major's speech is significant because it enlightens the animals to their tragic circumstances, identifies Man as their true enemy, and motivates them to rebel. His speech also lays the foundation for Animalism, which is a "complete system of thought" that allegorically represents communism. The animals are inspired by old Major's speech and eventually rebel against Mr. Jones on Midsummer's Eve.

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Old Major makes his speech to the other animals in Chapter One of Animal Farm. To begin, his speech is inspired by two facts: firstly, Old Major thinks that he does not have long left to live and, therefore, wishes to pass on his knowledge and wisdom. Secondly, he has had a strange dream which he would like to share with the animals.

Old Major goes on to explain to the animals that their life is "miserable" and "short" because Man, the only animal who "consumes without producing," has made it that way. Man is tyrannical, cruel and self-interested: he does not care about the animals on his farm, only about taking the fruits of their labor. As such, Old Major believes that the only possible solution is for the animals to overthrow Man. This idea is linked to his dream, in which Man had vanished and the world was very different. It also reminds him of a song that his mother used to sing to him called "Beasts of England," which Old Major teaches to the others.

Old Major's speech is significant because it plants the idea of rebellion in the minds of the other animals. For the first time, they start to see Man as the true enemy and themselves as the victims of real oppression. As such, the speech is both educational and inspiring. 

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Old Major was a well-respected boar on Animal Farm. He recently had a dream and felt the need to share this "vision" with the other animals on the farm, a vision of the animals overthrowing their human oppressors and running the farm themselves.

He began to describe to the animal assembly that man is their enemy and no animal is free until they rid themselves of him: "Man is the only enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever" (29).

He continue his disapproval of man and rallies the animals to begin planning for a rebellion-maybe not anytime soon, but he stressed the need for it sometime in the future. He teaches them the rally song "Beasts of England" during the meeting, which gets the animals all excited, awakening Mr. Jones, the farmer.

It can be argued that Old Major represents Karl Marx, and that his speech motivated the animals to take action and rebel against their oppressors.

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