What are the amendments and their abuses to the seven commandments in Animal Farm?

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adrigon's profile pic

adrigon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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As the commandments begin to chafe the ruling class, the amendments appear as extra words that most of the illiterate animals never notice. "No animal shall kill any other animal" is tempered by "without cause", in order to justify the slaughter of the dissedents. "No animal shall drink alcohol" grows the addendum "to excess" to excuse the pigs' abuse. Finally, the amendments become, simply "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others. "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others", which justifies every evil thing the pigs and dogs do.

timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The key point of changing  the commandments is that it demonstrates the malleability of "truth."  It is a nice demonstration of the Golden Rule:  "Who has the gold, makes the rules."  But I don't believe that the actual changing of the rules is what is most significant.  It is the reaction, or lack thereof, of the animals (people) to the changes.  They seem not to notice, or just to assume that they must have been wrong in their recollection of what was there.  This is an excellent preamble to "1984" where history is totally malleable and can be changed to whatever is convenient to the present government.  

It is also an excellent demonstration of propaganda.  The pigs originally promise whatever they think the people want/need when they start the revolution in order to get their support.  After they have the support they need, their promises (embodied in the commandments) are changed or forgotten --- and, suprisingly, no one holds them accountable.

Sound familiar?

givingiswinning's profile pic

givingiswinning | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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1. Whatever goes upon 2 legs is an enemy. 
 
At the end pigs started walking on 2 legs.


2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 

The friends are seen as lesser beings later on.


3. No animal shall wear clothes. 

The pigs are wearing clothes.


4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 
Pigs sleep in bed.


5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 
Pigs drink alcohol

6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 
Pigs kill other animals.

7. All animals are equal. 
Pigs get more power.

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

1. Whatever goes upon 2 legs is an enemy. 
 
Near the end pigs started walking on 2 legs.


2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 

These so called "friends" are seen as lesser beings later on.


3. No animal shall wear clothes. 

At the end pigs are wearing clothes.


4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 
Changes to "No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets".

5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 
Changes to "No animal shall drink alcohol to excess". 

6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 
Changes to "No animal shall kill any other animal without cause".

7. All animals are equal. 
Changes to "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others". 

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