Assess the animals' rebellion in chapter 7 of Animal Farm.

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

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I would say that a significant example of the animals' rebellion in chapter 7 would center on the Minorca pullets.  Their rebellion against Napoleon's orders are significant in that they show to what ends the animals are angry at what Napoleon is doing and his abuse of leadership.  Rather than hand over their eggs in accordance to Napoleon's orders, they lay them on the rafters and then smash them to the floor.  Orwell's language in describing this is fairly important as it reveals the extent of the hens' activism:

They were just getting their  clutches ready for the spring sitting, and they protested that to take the eggs away now was murder. For the first time since the expulsion of Jones,
there was something resembling a rebellion.

The animals voiced their opinion and it was evident that dissent is present in the farm.  In this light, the protest was significant and important.  Equal in magnitude was how Napoleon dealt with it.  He demands they stop and ensures that there will be no support of them.  In blockading them, withering their resolve through lack of food in cutting off rations, Napoleon is able to bring the surrender of the pullets.  This is one phase of his response.  Another dimension of his response is the public execution of the pullets.  The use of brute and sheer force to quell any dissension or hint of it in the future is significant.  The actions of the pullets will be the last of its kind in the novel.  There has to be some aspect of failure attributed to the actions of the animals in chapter 7 in trying to initiate a secondary revolution or change because there was no follow through to it.  Napoleon had succeeded in both putting down the actions and ensuring that no future actions like it could be taken.  In this, the animals' rebellion in chapter 7 is limited, subject to Napoleon's force and quelling of dissent.

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