Animal Farm Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

Animal Farm book cover
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In "Animal Farm," who is the animals' enemy?

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clane eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The animals' have more than one enemy. As the novel opens the animals' enemy is Mr. Jones and animals' enemies everywhere are generally the farmers and humans they feel oppress them. As the novel progresses and the animals do away with their human enemy the enemy becomes Snowball. Napoleon uses Snowball as his scapegoat after he runs him off the farm. The animals grow to hate Snowball and to blame the farm's misfortunes on him. The farm cannot sustain the rule of Napoleon for long and soon the animals begin to see him and the rest of the pigs as the enemies because they use all the farm's resources without spreading the wealth evenly.

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mrerick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This comes from Old Major's first speech:

"...Why then do we continue in this miserable condition?  Because nearly the whole of the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings.  There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems.  It is summed up in a single word - Man.  Man is the only real enemy we have.  Remove Man from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolishyeed for ever..."

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academic-maven01 | Student

In Animal Farm by George Orwell, Mr. Jones is portrayed as the animals’ main antagonist. As the Old Mayor puts it at the beginning of the novel, “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.” From a Marxist perspective, Mr. Jones is a tyrannical leader, and oppressor of animals. That is why the Old Mayor persuades his fellow "comrades" to rebel against him.

Soon after Mr. Jones is defeated in “The Battle of Cowshed,” another leader—Napoleon—is born. Napoleon becomes the new version of man in that he abuses his power and makes life unbearable for other animals. Napoleon manipulates the principles of “Animalism” for his own benefits. For example, “Beasts of England” which is used primarily for uniting all animals for a common goal is rendered irrelevant; it is replaced with a new anthem that glorifies Napoleon. Also, Napoleon and his fellow pigs starve other animals and make them overwork. The fact that pigs can interact with humans which is contrary to the principles of “Animalism,” make them enemies to the rest of animals.

abaker4 | Student

The animals' have more than one enemy, though some aren't revealed until later in the story. Their most obvious enemy is 'Man', due to the abuse suffered. This hatred of man and fear of Jones is what keeps them from seeing who their real enemies are. Later on, its apparant that their real enemies were among them all along, perverted by their luxuries and thirst for power. Napoleon and Squealer, as well as the dogs, have become their enemy, and have taken on the same role that Jones had before he was ousted. They've even started an institution of tyranny through newly arriving pigs.  You also have Pilkington & Fredericks, two farmers who try to find ways to use and trick the animals through trading with them, only to have Fredericks open attack them. One could also say that their most dangerous enemies are themselves; for whenever they notice something is wrong or unjust, its always that interior argument 'Napoleon is always right' which keeps them from doing anything about it.

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