What is the most important statement Old Major makes about humankind in Chapter 1?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The most important statement that Old Major, an old boar, makes about humankind in Chapter 1 is the following: "Man is the only creature that consumes without producing." Old Major believes that the English soil is fertile enough to provide for the animals with abundance, but the animals can't enjoy this abundance because humans take a large share of the produce without doing any of the actual work. Instead, man provides the animals with the minimum they need and keeps the rest for himself. Old Major blames the problems in the animals' lives on the "tyranny of human beings." He suggests that if the animals get rid of humans, the animals will become free and rich. To remind the animals of their need to overthrow humans, he comes up with a handy saying: "Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend."

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial