What is the most important passage in Animal Farm, pages 1–83? Briefly explain what makes this passage the most important.

Determining the most important passage from pages 1–83 of Animal Farm amounts to a judgment call. Multiple readers will likely select different passages, and so long as they all defend those answers, they will all be valid. Two potential options, both from early in the book, can be found in the initial statement of the Seven Commandments in chapter 2 and the last three paragraphs from chapter 3. However, additional passages can likewise be selected.

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This question requires more of a judgment call than a clear right-or-wrong answer.

Orwell's Animal Farm would contain a multitude of important passages, and in many respects, the cumulative impact of these various passages in how they relate to and build off one another would be even greater than...

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This question requires more of a judgment call than a clear right-or-wrong answer.

Orwell's Animal Farm would contain a multitude of important passages, and in many respects, the cumulative impact of these various passages in how they relate to and build off one another would be even greater than the impact of any single passage taken in isolation.

With that in mind, selecting one passage in particular would be largely based on your own personal opinion, and the key to this question is how you defend that choice, analyzing that passage as to why it is important and how it relates to the rest of the book. You can expect different readers to select different passages, and as long as they are all able to defend their selections with argumentation and analysis, their answers would be correct.

In any case, speaking from the early chapters of the book, two passages immediately come to mind as significant within the larger thematic structure of the book. The first passage is the initial statement of Animalism's Seven Commandments, found near the end of chapter 2. As you see throughout the book, the pigs will systematically rewrite and alter those original commandments to advance their own privileges and interests (essentially rewriting history). Thus, this initial passage is all the more important, for it presents these commandments in their original form before they are corrupted.

The second passage can be found in the three paragraphs that close chapter 3 (beginning with the sentence "The mystery of where the milk went to was soon cleared up"). This represents the first real expression of the pigs' corruption, as they begin to claim special status and privileges for themselves; but it is all the more thematically relevant for just how early within the narrative this can be found and what this means for Orwell's allegory. Note in particular that even Snowball is implicated in this corruption, agreeing with the other pigs and benefiting from their special status. What this suggests is that the corruption was already present from the very early stages, long before Napoleon set up his totalitarian regime.

These are only two examples, both from the early part of the book. Reading through the book, you can certainly find other passages of critical importance. The key will be analyzing why they are important and using that to advance an argument as to why one, in particular, is more important than any other.

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