Identify a warning contained in Orwell's Animal Farm which suggests history should not be repeated.

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

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In my mind, the ending is Orwell's warning.  There is a clear distinction drawn in the end that political structures, regardless of ideology, seek to control and benefit greatly from consolidation of their power structure.  The less resistance, the better it is for these political institutions.  It is here where I think that Orwell's warning is clearly defined in so far as how history needs to be understood and recognized so that patterns where individual voice has been repressed will not be repeated.  For Orwell, the animals blindly trusted the leadership of the pigs too openly and too quickly.  They lacked the sight or the collective resistance to understand that what was being done to the farm under the humans was being replicated by the pigs in a more sinister and insidious manner.  It is here were Orwell speaks to the idea that political subjects must study their history and understand its arc and development.  Recognition of this trajectory can help individuals understand current political and historical reality.  It might also be instrumental in suggesting that history not be repeated.  In this, there is a great deal of warning and clarity offered that the job of the political subject is to understand historical patterns do repeat themselves and that recognition and voicing this becomes the ultimate job of every citizen.  In assessing how Orwell constructs the fate of the farm animals both before and after the revolution, this becomes the critical lesson offered on history and memory.

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