Who teaches the sheep to chant “Four legs good, two legs better” in Animal Farm?

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

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The mantra or slogan of "Four legs good, two legs better" is something seen in the last chapter of Orwell's work.  At this point in the novel, the pigs have completely assumed full control of life in Animal Farm.  The revolution that brought them into power is no longer something that is in the memory of most of the animals.  Clover is one of the few holdovers, while most of the other animals consist of pigs and dogs, the brains and the brawn of the farm's administration.  With no foreseeable threat on the horizon, the pigs slowly assume all mannerisms of the humans that used to control the farm.  One day, Squealer takes the sheep far away from the farm to teach them a new song, for which he says "privacy is needed."  This coincides with what Clover and the other animals see in a pig walking on its hind legs.  As the pigs walk upright, mirroring the humans they once overthrew, Squealer recognizes that this sight might trigger the former slogan of "four legs good, two legs bad."  It is why at this moment, the sheep bleat out the new slogan of "four legs bad, two legs better" to once again legitimize the rule of the pigs, something that Squealer mastered over the course of the work.  The sheep bleat this on for so long that all potential signs of dissent are muzzled, indicating the absolute nature of the pigs' rule on the farm.

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