All animals are to be treated as equals, and no animals shall acquire any human traits or characteristics. These are the two rules that must be followed at all times in the satire novel Animal Farm by George Orwell. However, with Old Major’s socialist dream still fresh in the heart’s of the animals, they become quick to trust any animal who claims to be bringing them closer to their goals. What ensues the pigs using their power to manipulate, and control the other animal’s for his own personal gain which ultimately will lead to his destruction as well as the destruction of Animalism as a whole. Power needs to be shared among all societal groups, for if it is not, society becomes stratified, resulting in suffering of the masses.
The pigs are the first to recognize the value of using education to set them apart from the other animals. This will set a foundation for the pigs as they first use the other animals to gain control. The morning of the hay harvest, the pigs make an announcement that forever will place them in a higher class than their comrades. To the surprise of the rest f the animals, the pigs “revealed that during the past three months they had taught themselves to read and write” (9). By writing this, Orwell reveals the pigs intention to create a power barrier between them and the rest of the farm. After Animal Farm had been created, “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the other. With the superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership” (11). Orwell shows that the pigs are able to use their superior knowledge as a tool to get out of hard work simply because of their brain power. This only creates a bigger gap between classes with pigs assuming the top position. Now that the pigs have created an initial advantage over the other animals, the future holds plans for using it as a Tejani 2 tool to oppress.
After obtaining full power, the pigs continuously oppress the animals by using their education along with the ignorance of the other animals. When Boxer begins to weaken and look towards retirement he must first go to the hospital. As the animals crowd around the van to say goodbye, Benjamin reads the sign on the van and shouts:
‘Fools! Do you not see what is written on the side of that van?’ … ‘Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied. Do you not understand what that means? They are taking Boxer to the knacker’s!’ (47) By showing that the animals do not “understand what it means,” the pigs are clearly using their innate ability to take advantage of the other animals which eventually leads to the destruction of animal farm. It is obvious that Napoleon doesn’t feel the need to pay for Boxer and would rather see his “comrade” be put to death than take money out of his own pocket to pay for his retirement. This act of cruelty could not have been pulled off if the animals had equal say in the on going’s of the farm. Orwell shows how those who are denied equal power can be oppressed without their knowledge.
As Animal Farm was created, seven commandments were put in place to make sure every animal was equal. But, with the creation of classes such as the workers and the brainworkers, the population becomes skewed and soon the pigs have not only individually broken every rule set in place, but, they begin altering the original commandments to justify their wrongdoings. For example, when Clover asks Muriel to read the commandments and she sees that the sixth commandment has been changed from “No animal shall kill any other animal” to “No animal shall kill any other animal without cause” (98). Orwell shows how Napoleon uses his superior knowledge and education as a tool to justify his unethical and selfish actions resulting in a constant manipulation of his comrades and Animalism as a way of life. Tejani 3
In a society where your level of education is based on what class you fall into, the class that receives the most will get power resulting in an unbalanced society. The whole concept of Animal Farm was to stay away from human like things because it all leads to one thing: selfishness. However, the pigs complacency for the commandments set in place acts as a catalyst for a wormhole of greed, selfishness, and inevitably, self destruction. Ultimately, Animal Farm reveals that without a balance in power, society will become stratified and the majority of classes will pay the price for the mistakes of the few.