Explain the meaning of the quote below from Orwell's Animal Farm."The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say...

Explain the meaning of the quote below from Orwell's Animal Farm.

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

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

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This quote comes at the end of Orwell's work.  In this setting, the animals have gathered around the farmhouse to watch the dining/ celebration between the humans and the animals.  As they heard Pilkington's toast and Napoleon's follow- up toast, the celebration and drinking revelry took the animals back to an extent.  Surveying the room of  and humans, the animals on the outside could not tell the difference between the beings on the inside.  This helps to bring out Orwell's fundamental point that politics and the constructs of power are universal, and that those in the position of power have only one primary concern and that is not losing it.  Both the humans and the pigs have found their common ground, which is being able to exploit their workers and become masters of their respective universes.  When the argument over the card game breaks out, the animals look again and see all of them inside, no different from one another.  The dynamic of "insider" and "outsider" has made those who have power, regardless of animal or human, those who are in control and those who do not have power on the outside looking in.  Orwell's main point is to draw the distinction here that "the twelve voices shouting" were not representative of the animals' interest, but rather in protecting their own share and their own hold on power.  There is no more of "animal vs. human" or "Animalism."  There is only power and those who have it are inside the farmhouse and those who don't are on the outside of it.

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