Discuss Old Major's commandments as it relates to human failures in Animal Farm.

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

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I think that Old Major's commandments recognize human beings are creatures of deliberate cruelty.  Old Major's commandments speak to the corrupting nature of human beings, construing human beings as forces that are only capable of destruction or cruelty and little else that is positive.  The commandments of Animalism are ideas that ensure that Animals never resemble the corruptibility of human beings.  Along these lines is the idea that power corrupts or changes human beings for the worst.  Part of the commandments' attraction to the animals is that they stress the ideas that power for humans is a source of their evil because they become evil through the use of political power.  In this light, Old Major's commandments speak to the idea that perfection is possible and that the Animals can set right what the humans have made wrong.