George Orwell's Animal Farm uses animals as stand-ins for humans. Orwell's classic is an allegory for the Stalinist machinations that led to the deaths of tens of millions of Russians as a direct result of the Soviet dictator's ruthlessness and skill at political intrigue. The novel, however, does...
George Orwell's Animal Farm uses animals as stand-ins for humans. Orwell's classic is an allegory for the Stalinist machinations that led to the deaths of tens of millions of Russians as a direct result of the Soviet dictator's ruthlessness and skill at political intrigue. The novel, however, does not ignore the presence of humans; it merely focuses on the animals on a farm and how they, employing human-like thought-processes, attempt to organize a utopian society only to see their efforts undermined by the pigs, the stand-ins for the Stalinists who subverted revolution and imposed an even more draconian dictatorship. The story's main human, Mr. Jones, the brutal farmer, represents the czarist dictatorship against which the animals legitimately rebel, only, as noted, to see their efforts at establishing a democratic political system undermined by the pigs.
So, we know that the human is evil. We also learn, as Animal Farm proceeds, that the pigs become increasingly conspiratorial and tyrannical until eventually they become essentially human. Which brings us to Chapter 10 of Orwell's novel. As Chapter 10 begins, a number of years have gone by, and most of the original animals/revolutionaries have since passed away, their places in Animal Farm taken by the next generation. The pigs and their militia, the dogs, have, over time, assumed a superior position among the different species of animals, and the pigs become more and more human-like in their activities and demeanor. Explaining the way in which the pigs are as hard-working as the other animals despite the fact that the pigs actually produce nothing, Squealer says that there is much involved in running the farm:
"There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organization of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labors every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda."
With this description of their administrative responsibilities, the pigs are displaying human-like qualities. Their bureaucratic duties are entirely unproductive from the perspective of the other animals, who toil tirelessly to produce the food upon which all depend for survival.
Another manner in which the pigs become more human-like is the revelation that they have begun by walking on two legs instead of four. As Orwell's narrator describes the good news/bad news situation on the farm, with hard work and continued food shortages offset by the equitable arrangements under which all lived ("No creature among them went upon two legs. No creature called any other creature 'Master.' All animals were equal,"), very suddenly the pigs are walking on two legs, with Squealer the first to be observed so doing. This, then, is the second way in which the pigs develop human-like characteristics.
A third way in which the pigs adopt human-like characteristics is the discovery by the other animals that the pigs have, essentially, made common-cause with the very species against whom they had all rebelled: the humans. Once again, as described by the narrator, the other animals, intrigued by the sounds they hear coming from the house, approach cautiously and peer through the window:
"There, round the long table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent pigs, Napoleon himself occupying the seat of honour at the head of the table. The pigs appeared completely at ease in their chairs. The company had been enjoying a game of cards but had broken off for the moment, evidently in order to drink a toast. A large jug was circulating, and the mugs were being refilled with beer."
The pigs have become that which they had previously opposed: humans. Their transition is complete. They have succeeded in usurping power over all of the other animals, and have become the very thing they had once despised.