In Animal Farm, how do the animals explain the change that Napoleon makes to the 6th commandment? 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In Chapter 6, Napoleon's enemies confessed their crimes and were executed for it. It is possible that the animals were coerced to confess, but there is no clear evidence for this. In any case, at the beginning of Chapter 7, some animals remember a commandment that states "No animal shall kill any other animal." Recalling the executions, the animals see that this is an obvious contradiction. Clover asks Muriel to read the commandment for her to see if her memory is correct. Muriel reads, "No animal shall kill any other animal WITHOUT CAUSE." The animals, still believing that they were better off under Napoleon's rule than Mr. Jones's, reasoned that they must have forgotten the last two words. 

But they saw now that the Commandment had not been violated; for clearly there was good reason for killing the traitors who had leagued themselves with Snowball. 

The animals begin to accept the idea that even if Snowball was initially good, it is possible that he had been working with Mr. Frederick all along. Therefore, any animal working with Snowball was, by association, a traitor and therefore could be justifiably executed. Napoleon continues to blame any bad fortune on Snowball and attributes all good fortune to his own leadership. 

The praises of Napoleon, notably from Squealer and Minimus, continued. "It had become usual to give Napoleon the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune." Constant propaganda proclaimed that Napoleon was always right and only had the animals' best interests in mind; this inhibited the animals from questioning Napoleon. This also inhibited the animals from questioning their own memories of the commandments. Napoleon used fear and propaganda to command and brainwash the animals into submission. 

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