What was it about Mr. Jones in the second chapter that causes the animals to rebel in Animal Farm?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Once Old Major dies "peacefully in his sleep," the second chapter features a combination of factors that lead to the animals' rebellion.  On one hand, the Pigs' taking up the leadership mantle that Old Major left was a part of this process.  Orwell shows that the pigs were going around the farm and fomenting the revolutionary flair and feel, almost to the point where it seemed inevitable that the animals would rebel against Mr. Jones.  As a result, it is not one exact and specific event that results in revolution.  Napoleon, Snowball, and Squealer hold meetings, "several times a week," to continue the fight of Animalism and to convince the animals that a change is needed on the farm.  Their discussions with animals both in general and specific manners help to spread the word that revolution, or the fight against "slavery" is something that benefits all of the animals.  When Jones gets drunk one night and does not tend to the duties of the farm and the cows are not milked and the animals are not fed, the call for change becomes inevitable and the animals take matters into their own hands.  The combination of Jones' incompetance and the Pigs' manipulation causes the "sudden uprising of animals."  It is here whereby the rebellion starts.

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