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We are told straight out in the third paragraph of this chapter "life was hard."
It was a very cold winter, and they didn't have enough food. Every animal on the farm had to have their rations reduced except for the pigs and the dogs. Since they were important, they still got full rations.
To take their minds off their problems, the animals do "spontaneous" speeches and parades in favor of Napoleon and in celebration of how good things supposedly are. There are not in any way spontaneous -- Napoleon wants them to do this stuff so that they will remain loyal to him and they will not think about how things are bad.
the quality of the animal's lives has become more and more dismal with more andmore privileges taken away and making their lives more difficult. The age of retirement had been changes, the rations had been reduced and the stature of the "pigs" had risen so that the pigs were supreme to all the other animals. The ignorance of the animals was most echoed by Boxer's proclamation that "I will work harder." Retirement for the animals became non-existent and as seen by Boxer's demise, when an animal our-lived his usefulness, he was sent away and killed.
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