Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
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In what way is Animal Farm becoming a civilized society?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The question hinges on what is meant by a "civilized society." If it means the equal society Old Major envisions in which all the animals achieve a comfortable standard of living, an absence of the coercion of whips and spurs, and a decent retirement, that society never comes into being on the farm.

More likely, "civilized society" means the world familiar to most of human civilization through most of history, which is one of hierarchy and privilege for the few. The pigs, especially under Napoleon, move quickly to make sure that they are the privileged group. They almost immediately commandeer the windfall apples for their "brainwork." Later they move into the farmhouse and sleep on beds. Napoleon trains a private police force of dogs that uses violence and terror to enforce the will of the pigs. By the end of the book, the pigs are wearing clothes, carrying whips, drinking alcohol, and living in comfort while the lower caste animals work very hard and live rough, hungry lives.

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writergal06 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It starts small, with the animals learning how to speak and revolting against the Farmer. Then they develop organized committees and unspoken leadership. Then they begin to develop rules and conduct meetings, voting on what should be done and how to do it. As two prominent leaders arise, they hold an election to chose one leader for the farm. The pigs begin to separate themselves as the higher ranked officers, more suited to supervising and planning and less for physical labor. Eventually, the pigs are walking on their back legs only and living in the farmer's house, setting up trades with other farms and commanding the other animals.

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