What is the significant about how the animals arranged them selves as they gathered to hear Old Major in Animal Farm?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Old Major announces he is going to give a speech about a dream he had, all of the animals come, but they are not all equally interested in the proceedings.  The animals enter and arrange themselves according to their status and personalities on the farm.

Old Major, the guest of honor, is on a raised platform at one end of the barn “ensconced on his bed of straw” (ch 1, p. 2).  The dogs come in first, and sit “in the straw immediately in front of the platform” (p. 2) along with the pigs.  Other animals that come in next also arrange themselves as best fits their species.

The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons uttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud. (ch 1, p. 2)

The bigger animals, the horses, pony, and donkey, come in next.  When the brood of ducklings that has lost their mother comes in, the motherly clover makes a wall with her hooves for them to nestle in.  Mollie, the self-centered horse, comes in “at the last moment” and the cat is last of all.  The raven does not show up.

The higher status animals come in first and sit up front.  The animals that care about each other stay together.  The ones that don't care come in last and don't pay attention.

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Animal Farm

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