In George Orwell's Animal Farm, who is "Pinkeye"?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Animal Farm is George Orwell's second-most famous novel, after 1984. It deals with many of the same themes, but it is a more overt allegory for the failures of fascism, socialism, and uptopian ideals.

After the removal of the farmer and the establishment of a farm utopia in which all animals are equal and all work for the common good, the pigs Napoleon and Snowball take positions of command, and start to abuse their power. Napoleon in particular uses dirty politics to get his way, eventually declaring himself leader and pigs of greater status. During this time, he becomes paranoid, and takes precautions against revolt; one precaution is a food-taster, a small pig named Pinkeye. Pinkeye has no larger role in the story, instead serving the purpose of illustrating the eventual, final Law of Animalism: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." In this case, although Napoleon and Pinkeye are both pigs, Napoleon is "more equal" than Pinkeye, who is expendable and may die if he eats poisoned food; Napoleon will not care, and simply replace him.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Towards the beginning of Chapter 8, Napoleon is engaged in complicated negotiations between Frederick and Pilkington over a pile of unsold timber. Despite Frederick's interest in buying the pile of timber, rumors begin to circulate that he is plotting an attack on Animal Farm in hopes of destroying the windmill. In addition to the threat that Frederick poses to the farm, three hens confess that they entered into a plot with Snowball to murder Napoleon. Immediately after the three hens are executed, the animals begin to take further precautions to protect Comrade Napoleon. Four dogs are stationed next to Napoleon's bed and a young pig named Pinkeye is given the task of tasting all of Napoleon's food before he eats it to make sure it is not poisoned. Pinkeye's only role throughout the novel is testing Napoleon's food for poison. Napoleon is essentially acting like a monarch with expendable subordinates who ensure his safety.