What does the protagonist of Animal Farm learn about the role of society on the individual?

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We can single Napoleon out as the antagonist of Animal Farm, but the protagonists of the story are a collective: the good-hearted farm animals oppressed by the pigs and the dogs.

Despite the high hopes the animals had at the beginning of their new society, the more intelligent pigs—and the most corrupt and ruthless of them—seize power and use propaganda to take advantage of the more innocent animals, who don't fully understand how words are being twisted into lies.

The animals experience that even Boxer, the most loyal to Napoleon and hardest worker of them all, will not get his desired retirement. Instead, he is sold to the glue factory so that pigs have can a drunken party with the money. Society on the farm ends up oppressing most of the animals and robbing them of their individual freedom. They have no economic freedom and no freedom of speech or chance to have a say in how the farm is governed. The narrator states near the end:

Their life ... was as it had always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones's expulsion was still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not remember.

However, though they learn that society oppresses them, the animals do still cling to some ideals of the rebellion, even if they have been betrayed:

And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost, even for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being members of Animal Farm. They were still the only farm in the whole county—in all England!—owned and operated by animals.

We learn, however, that society replicates itself. The "new boss" of the pigs becomes indistinguishable from the "old boss" Farmer Jones, even to walking on two legs and carrying a whip. Thus, it is ironic that the animals think that the farm is owned and operated by animals, when the pigs have become human.

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