"All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others"

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206

Context: Through allegorical means Animal Farm presents a scathing satire on government. The events of the story, though particularly referring to the French Revolution, suggest elements of almost all totalitarian governments. The animals of Manor Farm, feeling suppressed by the tyrannical master, Mr. Jones, rebel and set up their own government. They develop a constitution, consisting of seven commandments written on the barn wall, by which their government is to function. The pigs become the natural leaders, the animal state establishes its position in the community, several wars are waged, and the animals become adjusted to a new life. However, a transformation takes place; ideals are rationalized away; group welfare is sacrificed to individual ambitions. Kept in ignorance, deceived and exploited, the common animals are reduced to a state of misery and permissive slavery. As the principles of government change, the commandments are conveniently altered to accommodate the will of the leaders. To the commandment, "no animal shall sleep in a bed," for instance, is added the words, "with sheets." Finally the commandments are reduced to only one, it also having been altered:

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There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

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Character and Theme Quotes