What are the top inequalities in Animal Farm?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The top inequalities can best be summed up by the altered seventh commandment, which says,

"ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS" (Orwell, 42).

Throughout the novel, the pigs gradually begin taking advantage of the other animals on the farm by rewarding themselves with special privileges. They initially take the best foods for themselves, which are apples and milk that they mix into their mash under the pretense that they are "brainworkers." The pigs also exempt themselves from physical labor and begin inhabiting the farmhouse.

After Napoleon usurps power, he begins to rule the farm like a tyrant, and the other animals are subjected to extremely arduous work with little compensation. The pigs give orders while the other animals perform difficult, laborious tasks. With the help of Squealer, Napoleon gradually limits the animals' freedoms and alters the tenets of Animalism. Napoleon also begins murdering animals who challenge his rule and even holds public executions as innocent animals confess to crimes they did not commit.

The pigs become wealthy by trading products with other farmers, and they indulge in alcoholic beverages, wear human clothes, and begin walking upright. Only the young piglets are given an education, and the other animals are forbidden from associating with them. Essentially, pigs become the ruling elite while the other animals suffer as poor, marginalized laborers. The other animals on the farm are subjected to harsh treatment and have difficult lives, while the pigs give commands and enjoy living comfortably.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the last and most important of the Seven Commandments of Animal Farm declared that "all animals are equal," such was not the case. The pigs soon set themselves apart from the others, first absconding with the daily milk to mix with their mash. The pigs do no work, instead supervising the labor of the other animals. They learn to read and take over the harness room as their headquarters. Napoleon takes nine puppies, and they soon grow into his ferocious enforcers. When work on the windmill begins, all of the animals are forced to endure on reduced rations--except the pigs. The work week grows longer for the non-pigs, while the pigs soon move into the farmhouse and begin sleeping on beds. The hens are forced into giving up their eggs, which they consider murder. Another commandment is broken when the pigs order the death sentence for any animals suspected of having collaborated with the unseen Snowball. The animals are forced to address Napoleon as "our Leader, Comrade Napoleon." Soon, the pigs discover Mr. Jones' stash of whisky, which they consume until drunk.

When the pig population grows, the other animals recognize that Napoleon, the only boar on the farm, must be the sire. Boxer, instead of receiving his overdue retirement, is sold to the horse slaughterer--perhaps the greatest indignity to occur on Animal Farm. In the final chapter, the pigs exert their power by walking upright on two legs as they prepare to join forces with the humans, and once again the farm returns to its original name, "Manor Farm."