What do we learn about the pigs in the opening 2 chapters of Animal Farm?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the most important things we learn about the pigs from the first two chapters is that they covet power and control.  They wish to be "in the middle of things."  The pigs sit in the front of Old Major's speech in the first chapter.  They are keenly hanging on every word he says in terms of articulation of his new dream of Animalism.  In the second chapter, the pigs are instrumental in sending out the message of Animalism.  They are willing to talk to any and every animal about the need to change and the ideas inherent in Animalism.  These two realities convey to the reader how politically active the pigs are.  They are not passive animals regarding change.  Rather, they are active and forceful in the process of change.  They understand that there is something within Old Major's message and if it can be harnessed amongst the animals, it can represent an entirely new way to perceive reality and to construct it.  For this reason, the pigs' zeal and enthusiasm regarding change has to be evident.  Even though the revolution starts outside of the pigs, it becomes clear that they will have a role in the new farm order that emerges from it.