What pig replaced "Beasts Of England?"
Minimus, a pig we are told is talented at poetry and music, composes a new song to replace "Beasts of England." Though he hardly appears in the book, we are told that,
Napoleon, with Squealer and another pig named Minimus, who had a remarkable gift for composing songs and poems, sat on the front of the raised platform.
The new song lacks the vivid imagery and hopeful theme of a better future that runs through the original, with its lines such as:
Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel−wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.
Instead, Minimus composes the flat and uninspiring:
Animal Farm, Animal Farm, Animal Farm/ Never through me shalt thou come to harm! and this was sung every Sunday morning after the hoisting of the flag.
Not surprising, the animals think the following:
But somehow neither the words nor the tune ever seemed to the animals to come up to Beasts of England.
The word "minimus" in Latin means little or least, and Minimus does strip language of its poetry and inspiration. Although the animals might be told Minimus is a talented poet, we as readers can see the irony in that: his lyrics are terrible. However, Minimus's poetry reflects a recurring theme in Orwell's work: Orwell connects the diminishing of language with the loss of the ability to think in nuanced ways. Without an ability to think, people are much less likely to be able to resist tyranny. One of the great lessons of this book is to keep a vigilant eye out to make sure words are not twisted, changed, or misused.
Minimus is the pig credited with replacing "Beasts of England" with the new song about "Animal Farm." While Minimus is credited with writing the new song, it is clear that Squealer had his hand in the construction of the new anthem. In the wake of the terror caused by the executions, Squealer is the first to announce that "Beasts of England" will no longer be needed on the farm:
"'Beasts of England' was the song of the Rebellion. But the Rebellion is now completed. The execution of the traitors this afternoon was the final act. The enemy both external and internal has been defeated. In 'Beasts of England' we expressed our longing for a better society in days to come. But that society has now been established. Clearly this song has no longer any purpose."
For Squealer, the need to replace "Beasts of England" coincides with the need to consolidate Napoleon's power over the other animals. In ensuring that the song which praises Animal Farm is sung, a new form of history is constructed in which memory is wiped out. It is a selective vision of the truth that Squealer embraces in order to ensure that the pigs' control of Animal Farm is absolute and without question. While Minumus is credited with the writing of the new song, Squealer had his hand in its construction. Minimus replaces "Beasts of England" with "Animal Farm." Squealer offers the rationale behind it and one can even surmise that he had a hand in commissioning the song to replace "Beasts of England."