In the book "Animal Farm," why doesn't Old Major take part in the animals' rebellion against Mr. Jones?

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timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

It would not be appropriate for the Major to live through the actual revolution.  He is the "idea man" --- and part of the books is about how ideas, no matter how clear and well intentioned in the beginning, are/can be corrupted when put in the hands of the "practical man" --- the man who knows what power is and who knows how to use it reach his "ends."  The Old Major would (I hope) be horrified had he lived to see what his "ideas" turned in to.

It's also something of a warning to us.  No matter how good ideas may sound, we need always be careful about how they are "applied."

ophelious's profile pic

ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Old Major, the instigator and philosophical heart of the revolution, can't take part in the revolution because he dies before it begins.  That, indeed, is why he calls the meeting of the animals in the first place.  He has had a dream that he considers either prophetic or inspirational and he knows that his time on Earth is coming to an end so he wants to share it.

In a way, though, he DOES take part in the rebellion.  After all, it is his ideas that are providing the motivation for the other animals.  I guess it depends on how you define the phrase "take part in the animals rebellion."

cbots's profile pic

cbots | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Old Major dies before the revolution. Major is the pig who inspires the revolution when he tells the other animals about the dream he had about living on a farm and in a world where animals worked for themselves and man had been removed from their lives. But before the animals have their revolution, Major dies.

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