Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In the novel Animal Farm something happened to the seven comandments right... Well, what does that foreshadow in Animal Farm? Sheesh why is Napoleon so Jealous of Snowball anyways.. Snowball is way more reasonable.

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,189 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Originally, the pigs adapt old Major's tenets and develop the Seven Commandments to prohibit the animals from behaving like corrupt, malevolent humans. The Seven Commandments also champion the values of an egalitarian society ruled by animals, where every animal is considered equal and every human is labeled an enemy. After Napoleon successfully usurps power, he begins to rule the farm like a tyrant and cleverly employs Squealer to subtly change specific commandments in order to correspond to his current political agenda. The subtle changes made to the commandments give the ruling-class pigs more privileges, and the disparity between the lower-class animals and upper-class pigs on the farm increases. The minor changes foreshadow the collapse of the animals' original dream of establishing a democratic, egalitarian society ruled by themselves and hint at the return of an oppressive society ruled by a selfish leader. By the end of the novella, the Seven Commandments have been reduced to one single commandment, which reads,


This commandment gives the pigs complete authority over the other animals and allows them to enjoy exclusive privileges while simultaneously oppressing the others.

Since the novella is an allegorical tale of the Russian Revolution and the early years of the Soviet Union, Napoleon represents Joseph Stalin and Snowball represents Leon Trotsky. Historically, Trotsky was Stalin's political enemy and fled the Soviet Union after Stalin assumed power. Orwell's decision to make Napoleon jealous of Snowball and threaten his life corresponds to historical records. Also, Napoleon planned to rule as an absolute leader, which is why he initially opposes everything Snowball created.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

jtantalo eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2003

write4 answers

starTop subject is Literature

The number seven has been used throughout history to mean completeness or spiritual perfection. In the 6th century, Pope Gregory described the seven deadly sins as the seven worst things a person could do during life--they are the opposite of spiritual perfection. Orwell used seven for the commandments to reflect the original meaning--the spiritual perfection of Animal Farm. When the pigs begin to change the commandments, they reflect the seven deadly sins--pride, envy, wrath, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust--and these seven deadly sins foreshadow the downfall of Animal Farm.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

alexb2 eNotes educator | Certified Educator


bookB.A. from Georgetown University

calendarEducator since 2004

write726 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

The commandments are first shown by the pigs to be something that will last forever and show that they are different from humans by having clear rules.

When the commandments are changed, this foreshadows that the pigs will eventually be just as corrupt as the humans.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial