In the opening of Chapter 6, Orwell writes: "All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that...

In the opening of Chapter 6, Orwell writes: "All that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack of idle, thieving human beings."

How are these linesĀ ironic?

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The irony is that, although they are no longer working like slaves for humans, they are in fact working, and will continue to work, like slaves for Napoleon and the pigs. Things are still going quite well for Animal Farm in Chapter Six, but we already see signs that Napoleon is perverting the ideals of the farm for his own private benefit. The pigs have begun to negotiate trade deals with humans on outside farms, a violation of the founding ideals of the farm. They have also taken up residence in the farmhouse, where they have begun eating in the kitchen and sleeping in the beds. They are not sharing in the sacrifices of the other animals, and Squealer uses his powers of propaganda to alter the Seven Commandments to suit their needs. By the end of the chapter, the windmill has been destroyed, a disaster that Napoleon blames on Snowball. He uses this event to further consolidate his power by engaging in bloody purges.

Read the study guide:
Animal Farm

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question