In Animal Farm, explain the deeper meaning of "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This commandment appears that the end of the novel.  It is at a point where there is a definite hierarchy in the animal life on the farm.  Pigs exist at the top of this structure, with dogs next, and then all the other animals. The challenge, of course, is that one of the principles of Animalism, the guiding philosophy of Animal Farm, is that "all animals are equal."  Led by Squealer, the pigs are masters at being able to rewrite and reinterpret the commandments of the farm to ensure their benefit and control.  In this, Squealer modifies this commandment to read that while there is general equality, some animals are "more equal than others."  The other interesting element about this commandment is that all the other commandments that started Animalism are now gone.  Only this remains as a testament to the control that the pigs have now and for the foreseeable future of the farm.  Given how most of the animals on the farm are illiterate or so obedient to the system that they would never question it, the commandment stands as an example of both the lengths of the pigs' power and how their rule is an unquestioned one.  Other commandments have been rewritten in the book such as killing other animals or drinking alcohol.  Yet, it is this one that speaks to both how far the revolution has come and how little has changed as a result of it. The fact it is the only one standing of all reflects what the Status Quo wants and what it gets.  This particular commandment embodies such a reality on Animal Farm.

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Animal Farm

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