The seven commandments are the mantra by which the animals will live on the newly named Animal Farm and represent Animalism. It doesn’t take long before the commandments do not suit the pigs and changes begin to creep in. Exploiting the fact that the other animals are not well-educated the pigs make subtle changes and even though Clover knows in her heart that something is not right, she is easily convinced of her own oversights due to her ignorance. Squealer, the manipulator, has no trouble exposing the animals fear or returning to a life under the humans:
Surely, comrades, surely there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?
This is enough to make them accept the changes. Pigs drinking milk, doing only admin work and generally ‘leading’ is all explained away. Clover remembers the commandment
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
but thinks she overlooked the reference to ‘sheets’ when she sees the wall
No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets.
Even trading and communicating with humans is explained away by Squealer.
No animal shall kill any other animal without cause
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
Once again, despite Clover questioning the killings, she accepts the commandment when she sees what’s written on the wall. As Clover is the motherly figure, others would not be concerned it she is not.
The trend continues and the animals discover that
5. No animal shall drink alcohol
No animal shall drink alcohol to excess
The ultimate betrayal comes with the deletion of the Seven Commandments, replaced with just one
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
The animals are confused and shocked but their ignorance and fear prevent them from taking steps to remedy the complete corruption that is evident on Animal...or should I say...Manor Farm.
The eNotes summaries that you can navigate to from the study guide will provide insight into all the aspects, meaning and double meanings to be found in Animal Farm.