In Old Major's speech in Animal Farm by George Orwell, there are three major claims, one of which is that man consumes without producing. I am looking for a counter argument that is quoted in the...

In Old Major's speech in Animal Farm by George Orwell, there are three major claims, one of which is that man consumes without producing. I am looking for a counter argument that is quoted in the book, but cannot find one. What would be the counterargument?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In his speech Major never gives a counterargument to his idea that man consumes without producing. His purpose was to rally the animals to rebellion by stating the hardships they faced at the hands of Farmer Jones. He warns them that if a rebellion is successful to never adopt the traits of man, such as living in houses, sleeping in beds, wearing clothes or drinking alcohol.

The counterargument comes later when the pigs are holding meetings expounding their system of animalism. Some animals reject the idea of rebellion and animalism. They fear what might happen and argue that they would starve if the farmer were gone:

At the beginning they met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the animals talked of the duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones, whom they referred to as ‘Master,’ or made elementary remarks such as ‘Mr. Jones feeds us. If he were gone, we should starve to death.’ Others asked such questions as ‘Why should we care what happens after we are dead?’ or ‘If this Rebellion is to happen anyway, what difference does it make whether we work for it or not?’, and the pigs had great difficulty in making them see that this was contrary to the spirit of Animalism. 

Much later in the novel, right before the pigs morph into men, Squealer argues that even though the pigs and dogs consume without producing they have very important jobs. Squealer explains:

"...the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called ‘files,’ ‘reports,’ ‘minutes,’ and ‘memoranda.’"

The pigs eventually break every commandment of animalism, and by the end they are walking on two legs, sleeping in beds and drinking alcohol. 

Read the study guide:
Animal Farm

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