The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm Essay

Old Major dies three nights after the meeting that united the animals. Over the next three months, the more intelligent animals begin to approach life differently. They now anticipate the Rebellion, for which they assume the task of preparing. The pigs take on the task of organizing and teaching the other animals because they are “generally recognized as being the cleverest of the animals” (35).

Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer have taken charge especially, and they have expanded Old Major’s concept into a “complete system of thought” called Animalism. They hold frequent meetings in the big barn to espouse the views of Animalism to the other farm animals. At first, the animals are not convinced that they should follow Animalism. Some feel loyalty to Mr. Jones, some worry that they cannot be self-sufficient, and others, such as Mollie, worry about losing treats such as sugar and ribbons. Snowball contradicts Mollie, saying that the ribbons are “the badge of slavery” and that “liberty is worth more than ribbons” (37).

Moses causes trouble for the pigs by inventing an animal heaven called Sugarcandy Mountain., a utopia for another time. In contrast, Clover and Boxer are some of the pigs’ strongest collaborators. Not being very intelligent themselves, Clover and Boxer memorize simple pro-Animalism arguments that they pass on to the others.

Monetary troubles plague Mr. Jones, leading him to drink excessively. The farmhands are lazy and fail to tend the farm well, yet hard times for Mr. Jones mean a leg up for the animals. In fact, Mr. Jones’s misfortune makes the Rebellion come earlier than expected. On Midsummer’s Eve in June, Mr. Jones gets so drunk that he passes out and neglects to feed the animals. Having gone unfed for hours, the animals break into the store-shed and eat. Mr. Jones and the farmhands rush in and begin whipping the animals indiscriminately, and the animals respond by attacking them in unison. The men are frightened and forced to flee the farm.

After a disbelieving calm, the animals barge into the harness-room and drown or burn all the implements of their former bondage. Snowball makes sure to burn the ribbons, which he calls tantamount to clothing, and states, “All animals should go naked” (40). The animals then help themselves to double servings of food and sleep better than they ever have. When they awake the next morning, they survey the farm with new eyes, absorbing the fact that it is now their own. Finally, they tour the farmhouse, seeing in disbelief the “unbelievable luxury” in which the Joneses had lived. Then the animals agree to leave the farmhouse intact as a museum. They confiscate a few hams for burial and leave.

The pigs reveal that they have taught themselves to read and write from an old children’s book, which they burned in the bonfire of human belongings. Snowball uses paint to replace the title “Manor Farm” with “Animal Farm” on the farm gate. Back in the big barn, they reveal that they have reduced Animalism to Seven Commandments. The animals must live by these commandments “for ever after.” The commandments, which Snowball writes on the wall with some typographical errors, are:

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
3. No animal shall wear clothes.
4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
7. All animals are equal.

After reading the Seven Commandments out loud, Snowball declares that the animals must begin the hay harvest. Three cows interrupt his thought by lowing in pain, since their udders are full to bursting. Some pigs milk the cows, producing “five buckets of frothing creamy milk” (44). The animals wonder what to do with the milk, but Napoleon puts off that decision for a later time. The animals begin the harvest in the fields, and when they return the milk is gone.

Analysis

Old Major’s death represents Lenin’s death in 1924, which left Stalin (Napoleon) and Trotsky (Snowball) to vie for the leadership position. Major’s meeting changes the animals’ outlook on life, but Orwell is careful to mention that not all the animals quite grasp Major’s idea of a utopian society. All the animals can learn "Beasts of England," but only those smart enough can truly assume the revolutionary spirit and the task of preparing for the Rebellion. The pigs become the organizers very quickly. It is important to note two things about their rise to power. First, the pigs have not always been in charge of the other animals, though later in the book when the pigs are so thoroughly demonized, Orwell makes it hard for the animals—and the reader—to remember that. But they are superior by nature—or at least by tradition—when it comes to intelligence. Second, the pigs’ intentions are not necessarily bad at first. They take on the task of organization because of their reputed superiority rather than a desire to take control for themselves. Just as Boxer is best suited for hard manual labor, the pigs take their place for organizational work in the animals’ division of labor.

Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer organize Major’s ideas into the theory of Animalism, which can stand for any “complete system of thought” but is meant to evoke Soviet Communism. If Snowball and Napoleon represent the organizers of Communism, then the other pigs represent those of the Russian intelligentsia who became involved in the revolutionary cause. The Seven Commandments represent Communism in its theoretical, idealized form. In writing, the Seven Commandments look fair and hold true to Major’s stipulation that the animals not emulate humans. Though the animals intend to live by the Seven Commandments “for ever after,” we will learn quickly that the tenets of Animalism do not translate perfectly into reality, especially not with the seeds of elitism already planted among the pigs.

Like any new theory, Animalism is met with doubt and opposition. The most notable objection comes from Mollie, the fickle mare that represents Russia’s elite. Although the common animals also doubt Animalism, Mollie is spoiled by the special treatment she received under Jones’s rule (mirroring the czar’s rule). She also, despite being superficial and fickle, has the intelligence and the resources to get herself out of Animal Farm, which the “peasant” animals lack. Historically, many of the Russian elite were unwilling to give up their privileges, just as Mollie is loath to give up ribbons, sugar, or being petted. Like Mollie, they became expatriates in capitalist societies where they could retain their advantages (this was a particularly wise move, considering what had happened to the nobility during the French Revolution). Moses also presents a challenge to Animalism, just as religion presented a challenge to Communism. Historically, Stalin used intimidation and force to crush religion and promote atheism in the Soviet Union. However, despite their efforts to promote their ideas over those of Moses, the leadership of Animal Farm allows Moses to come and go as he pleases. The struggles and inconsistencies of Animalism as practiced can be made softer by belief in an animal heaven to be enjoyed later.

Mr. Jones’s monetary troubles mirror the Russian throne’s ineffectiveness and dwindling power on the eve of the Revolution. The air is ripe for revolution, and the animals seize the opportunity to run Jones off his own land. The animals are kinder to Jones than the revolutionaries were to Czar Nicholas II, who was executed on Lenin’s orders along with his family.

With Jones gone, the animals begin to realize Major’s vision of a utopian, animal-run society that operates under its own ideology. The Rebellion could represent the February Revolution (though it happens on Midsummer's Eve) or the Russian Revolution as a whole. The February Revolution did result in Czar Nicholas II's abdication, which Jones's expulsion mirrors neatly. The story, however, does not need a one-to-one correspondence with history, and Orwell can make his points more crisply by adapting the history to his carefully crafted allegory.

Although the animals live happily for a while, it is important to note that the pigs have begun their clandestine and elitist activities already. For example, they order that all artifacts of the animals’ oppression be burned. The pigs thus burn a children’s book they used to teach themselves to read and write, but the resource is no longer available after the book-burning. Throughout the novel, Orwell emphasizes the other animals’ lack of intelligence, but we can never be sure that the animals’ ignorance and illiteracy is due to lack of intelligence rather than an oppressive environment, generation after generation, that has made their lower status and ability seem natural. When the pigs take the milk for themselves, the reader knows that this is the beginning of a new round of subjugation and oppression by an elite.

Animal Farm: Importance Of The Seven Commandments

Animal Farm: Seven Commandments

Without law and order, it is nearly proven that civilization will fail. Because of this, Snowball saw it necessary to create a set of rules for the animals on the newly evolving farm, so came about the 7 Commandments. Unfortunately, but undoubtedly in the pigs’ advantage, most of the other animals did not know how to read or write. Because of this the other members of the farm had to bestow their trust and goodwill in the more educated of the animals. Little did they know that their innocence and their devotion to the farm as a whole would in the end lead to their demise. “The birds did not understand Snowball’s long words, but they accepted his explanation, and all the humbler animals set to work to learn the new maxim by heart. “
As the story of Animal Farm progresses, the pigs take a leading role and find themselves hungry for power and suffering from a chronic case of ruthless greed. In due time, the once staple and communal 7 Commandments start to change to ‘accommodate’ the selfishness of the pigs, most prominently Napoleon. Shall we say Napoleon has a bit of a complex? Although all of the commandments originally acted as a bible, their importance is gone now and they have been modified to allow the pigs to be heartless in their ways. Three of these commandments jump out as to being the most important of the bunch.
“Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.” This commandment is crucial in demonstrating the betrayal that the other farm animals experienced. This commandment it basically making the point that the animals are good and the humans are evil. In the end, the pigs did what they said they would never do, follow in the evil footsteps of the humans. As the changes on the farm occur and the other farm animals are taken advantage of, the pigs end up walking on two legs. Hypocritically, they have become what they once hated. “It was a pig walking on his hind legs… And finally there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a shrill crowing from the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and with his dogs gamboling round him.” This quote shows the condescending change in demeanor of Napoleon and his two-legged walking acquaintances. Eventually, this quote was changed to “Four legs good, two legs better!” At this point the other farm animals are in shock, but they have lived for so long without questioning, criticizing, or putting in their input, that they are blown away and speechless.
Two other commandments are harmonious in showing the drastic difference in appearance versus reality on the farm. “Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend” And “No...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

The Collape of Animal Farm Essay

1149 words - 5 pages The Collape of Animal Farm In today’s world, people have always strived to create a utopian society. In the novel ANIMAL FARM written by George Orwell, the animals strive to create their own utopian society based on equality and prosperity. Animalism was created to, as like the Ten Commandments, Animalism’s Seven Commandments were rules for the animals to live by. However, similar to God’s rules, Animalism was a difficult concept for all the...

The Commandments of Society Essay

950 words - 4 pages Have you ever wondered why we have to say “bless you” when someone sneezes? Why it is considered rude to not hold the door for someone who is following right behind you? We do these and many other small actions without even thinking why we do such things. The reason we do these actions is because we are used to the rules that society has taught us. These rules, or commandants, are what mold our society into a strong stable civilization, without...

The true gist of "Animal Farm."

521 words - 2 pages The book "Animal Farm" may seem strange if not properly understood. To the naked eye the story seems odd and unusual. But, to the careful and intelligent reader "Animal Farm" is a book with a powerful meaning. The pigs represent the ruling communist party of Russia in the 1930's. Animals of the farm actually stand for the working class of the Soviet Union. Also, the whole idea of the farm symbolizes a ruling government. Animal Farm is a book...

The Role of Propaganda in Animal Farm

1329 words - 5 pages Role of Propaganda in Animal Farm The novel, Animal Farm, is a well-known allegory written by George Orwell. As a satire of the Russian Revolution, Orwell portrays the rise of a cruel dictatorship and the mistreatment of the general population under it. Like the Communist government in Russia, the government in Animal Farm employs the use of many manipulative tools, especially propaganda. Propaganda was used by the pigs throughout the book,...

The Role of Squealer in Animal Farm

2465 words - 10 pages The first time we see Squealer is when some of the other animals question the consumption of milk and apples by the pigs. This point in the book is significant because it is the first time the pigs are seen to be giving themselves better quality food than the rest of the animals. Squealer is described in the book as a brilliant talker and persuasive. He is excitable and confuses the others with his skipping motions and whisking tail. These...

The Message of George Orwell's Animal Farm

778 words - 3 pages Fiction is an indicator of human thought and emotion, more truthful sometimes than any statistical fact.I think that anyone can read Animal Farm and get the message of it,...

The Use of Language in Animal Farm

727 words - 3 pages The Use of Language in Animal Farm Animal Farm by George Orwell is an allegory in which animals are personified to represent the struggles and conflicts of the Russian Revolution. The main point emphasizes in the novel is that language is a powerful tool, which can be used to manipulate and control people in order to bring about change, whether big or small. In the story the pigs govern everything that happens, whether...

Failure of the Revolution in Animal Farm

646 words - 3 pages The animals in the book “Animal Farm” hoped to achieve unity, equality. trust/truth, prosperity, better quality of life, freedom and individuality, in terms of the revolution. This was achieved at the beginning of the revolution, which made it a success, but in the end the revolution was a failure. The farm, in many ways, was very prosperous when the revolution began. The animals were given an education, “the reading and writing classes were...

The Contemporary Relevance of "Animal Farm"

1860 words - 7 pages George Orwell wrote a unique story in 1945 to criticize the political system of that time. He uses animal characters to tell his story. The novel effectively portrays how animals rebel human leadership with the intent to rule themselves. Some animals pursue the rebellion because they believe they are going to be free at last. However, as events turn out, they end up in more oppression by one of their kind. The animals end up in disappointment and...

Animal Farm The Book

1066 words - 4 pages 1. George Orwell is the pen name of Eric Arthur Blair. Orwell was born on June 25, 1903 in Motihari, India. Orwell's parents were members of the Indian Civil Service, and, after an education at Eton College in England, Orwell joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, and later wrote Burmese Days (1934), a book about his experience. After living in Burma for a few years,...

Hero Of Animal Farm

681 words - 3 pages During the great struggle that had occurred in this great fable (or novel), many of animals had done a great deed of work. The animals had formed a rebellion (Soon later to be called the Battle of Cowshed) against their heartless and cruel human enemies. With the great knowledge of the pigs and the effort of the rest of the other animals, they had overthrown the humans and replenished the farm into a sufficient stable farm suitable for the...

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “The Seven Commandments In Animal Farm Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *