In "Animal Farm", what was Old Major respected for?

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Old Major is the prize white boar whose dream and vision of a Utopian society inspires the rebellion.  In the history of the Russian Revolution, Old Major is Lenin or some interpretations suggest he is representative of both Lenin and Karl Marx.  In any event, it is his beliefs that are important.

 "Although quite old for a pig, he is described as "still a majestic-looking pig." He concludes his speech by teaching of the animals the song, "Beasts of England." It becomes the rallying cry of the Rebellion. Three nights after the meeting he dies in his sleep."

Before he dies, Old Major gets the animals together in the early part of the story to share his vision, his dream for them.  He makes a rousing speech about the tyranny that animals have suffered under the rule of man.  He tells the animals that they must fight man, and most of all, never become like man.

sagesource eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Old Major, the Middle White boar, is respected because he is the first of the animals to call for rebellion against the tyranny of the humans. He also gives them their theoretical foundation and their anthem, "Beasts of England." In the symbolic scheme of the novel, he stands for Karl Marx, the pioneering theorist of Communism, who is commonly represented as an old man with bushy white hair and a beard. Like Marx, Old Major eloquently describes the darkness of the present state and the bright future that will come, and like Marx, he dies before any of the things he has predicted comes to pass and before others take over his legacy and misuse it for their own ends.