Which passage describes one theme in Animal Farm?

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, you have to go to the last chapter or the first to capture a whole passage that would describe the theme that all people are born with human rights and deserve the opportunities to pursue those rights to whatever degree they choose. Quite simply, humans deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, man should be treated equally.

A passage that clearly illustrates this is the beginning of Old Major's speech. He points out that happiness is far from their circumstances as they are bound to serve their master. These living conditions, he says, are unacceptable.

"Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those of us 
who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the plain truth. 

"But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than now inhabit it. This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of 
sheep--and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why then do we continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen 
from us by human beings. There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word--Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and 
overwork is abolished for ever.

Old Major used logic in this second paragraph to prove the fruitfulness of the farm that they work. He then positions the animals to the point on which he wants them to agree: they have a common enemy, Man. Since this is an allegory, we must understand that Man represents a repressive government.

This novel, in particular, gives merit to the questions of the peoples of all nations for their governments. Governments should be able to prove that they are acting on behalf of the people, not becoming fat hogs themselves. The end of the book takes this theme and gives it fair warning: the pigs who caused the revolt actually became human by the end. This means that when people do start to question their governments they may become entirely involved in creating new government, but when they do so, they must remember not to re-create what they had intended to escape.