What does the different ways in which the animals behave as they come into the barn during before Old Major's speech tell us about them?In Animal Farm

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The way the animals come into the barn during the meeting does say a lot about them.  Old Major is lying on a bed of straw on a platform with a lantern lighting him.  This demonstrates both his age and his respected position among the animals.

The dogs come in first, which demonstrates their energy and eagerness.

The pigs come second, and they sit in the straw, right in front of the platform.  By doing this, they are putting themselves up to the standing of Old Major, associating themselves with him as his equal and sharing in his support.

The hens and pigeons both perch, on the windowsill and in the rafters, because they are always on the periphery of activity throughout the book.

The horses come in carefully and slowly, in case they might trample another animal.  This represents their strength and compassion, as does Clover creating a nest for the ducklings.  Mollie, on the other hand, is one of the last to enter and is more interested in her sugar and ribbons that the other animals or the meeting.  Muriel and Benjamin come in together, and throughout the story usually remain together.